Experiencing Great Architecture and Creative Built Environments

Bruce Goff

Ford House (1949)

Bruce Goff Architect

404 S. Edgelawn Avenue, Aurora IL

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Visited July 5, 2013

Bruce Goff designed this house using unusual materials and creative uses of common materials. This house’s structural system is created by standard quonset hut ribs forming the dome shape. The exterior wall behind the ribs is constructed of coal blocks with glass cullers, a waste product from glass furnaces. The house is on a full city block, with much of the property left in a natural state.

Albert Ford was a gas company executive, and his wife Ruth Van Sickle Ford was the Director of the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.

The Ford’s received many comments during the construction of their unique house. Many neighbors in the upscale neighborhood of traditional homes were not kind in their comments, calling the new house a “Big Apple”, “Birdcage” and the less creative “Dome”. The Ford’s added a quote to the construction sign which let the neighbors know how they felt….”We don’t like your house either”. See a photo from Life magazine in 1951 showing the sign:  Construction Sign Link

I have taken a photo from the same view as the sign photo in Life magazine, followed by the next door neighbor’s white traditional house at the end of my slideshow.

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Boston Avenue Church (1929)

Bruce Goff of Rush Endacott and Rush, Architects

Adah Robinson, Designer

1301 South Boston Avenue, Tulsa, OK

Aerial View and Map

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From my Archives – Photos taken October 16 2004, last visited November 14 2008

This National Historic Landmark is considered one the finest examples of  Art Deco architecture in the country. There seems to be some controvery about who should be credited with designing the church, Adah Robinson, Bruce Goff’s high school art teacher, or Bruce Goff himself, an architect who became principal in the architectural firm responsible for the building.

A great glorius Art Deco masterpiece, this church and tower has bold forms and decoration. They appear in some parts as minimal sculptural forms, and in other areas applied elaborate decoration.

The Church can be toured when the building is open during regular hours and is well worth a stop.

Church Website Building History Page

Tulsa Preservation Commission web page on the Church

I am taking the time to go through my archives and posting some of the buildings I have visited prior starting this blog. While some of the photographs are taken with early low-resolution digital cameras, hopefully they capture the general feeling of the buildings…prompting a visit of your own.