The Gordon House – Silverton, Oregon
Visiting the Gordon House in Silverton Oregon reminded me how much I live Frank Lloyd Wright designs. I am not sure when my love of architecture surfaced or why I feel so drawn to all things between 1910 and 1940. In my opinion all the best buildings, books, art, fashion and architecture happened during this period. That isn’t to say I don’t adore literally every other time period. Some might call me wishy-washy, I call it an ardent lover of all things.
Regardless Frank Lloyd Wright falls safely in that most beloved time period. I don’t love everything he is designed, but his background, inspirations, darkness, the mysteries and the murders that seems to follow him around make for a fascinating study. The more I look into his life, and the things that have occurred surrounding his work the harder it is to stop digging. And it is difficult to deny even if you don’t agree aesthetically with his work, that he was a genius. Creating several well known architecture movements and schools. Inspiring countless future artists and leaving behind a legacy of over 1,000 buildings, 400 of which stand today.
Unisonian architecture was the last of his movements. An attempt to create homes for middle class America that were specially designed to give you everything you need inspired by and for the surroundings of the home. Every house he designed was unique, and it didn’t stop with the building but continued in every detail of the house including furniture. But to design for the middle class rather than some of his earlier clients meant a much simpler house. Not that it came cheap, according to our tour guide this house would have cost 500,000 – 600,000 to build today.
The Gordon House is the only Frank Lloyd Wright building in the state of Oregon. It was designed for a retired couple for their specific piece of land on the Willamette River. When the house was designed it was too pricey to build for the couple, so they waited. It was built after Lloyd Wright passed away. And the couple lived in it for the rest of their lives. When the property was sold to its second owner they didn’t want the house.
They were going to tear it down. But word got out and soon wheels were in motion to save the house. Long story short, it was mapped, moved and rebuilt at its current location at the Oregon Gardens in Silverton.
You can tour the building now, and the docents who conduct the tours are just lovely. So knowledgeable and passionate about the house and all aspects of historic buildings.
The tour lasts about an hour and is plenty of time to learn about and enjoy the home. Though I didn’t really want to leave I was ready to move in. Those floor to ceiling windows on both sides of the main living space made me swoon.
Every aspect of the house was designed with a very specific purpose. I wish I could properly recall everything we learned but you should definitely go to The Gordon House. It is amazing to be in a place where so much intention was put into every detail.
To learn more and tour the house the you must visit the website and make reservations. Tours of The Gordon House are conducted several times a day but in small groups. Since the house isn’t all that large they keep the groups small so you can more easily maneuver around. The house is also open for a variety of events, and can be rented for your own special event. They also allow rentals for overnight stays occasionally. All proceeds back to the foundation that keeps the house in good repair.