Pope-Leighey House and Woodlawn Plantation

Posted by barb on Jun 28, 2005 in Around DC, Pictures |

While Dad was in town, Andrew and I decided to take him to the Frank Lloyd Wright house near DC. Dad has always admired FLW’s designs, but has never seen one of the houses up close. The Pope-Leighey house is one of FLW’s Usonian houses — “modestly scaled”, affordable, and well-designed houses.

Pope-Leighy House

It was interesting to go there with Dad, who has been a carpenter his entire life — over 40 years. I’ve heard him lament many times about architects. The problem, it seems, is that while architects may be able to design buildings that look good, they frequently aren’t in touch with the more practical aspects of home building. It seems that FLW wasn’t much different. As we walked around the outside, there were several things that Dad pointed out as being impractical or just not a great idea. For example, the outside walls when down on top of the foundation. While it looked kind of cool, Dad mentioned that this is a good way to get water into the house, unless it’s sealed in some way (i.e. caulking), which had not been done on this house.

But overall, Dad really liked the house — he likes the way the FLW designed houses for their lot, and tried to use whatever was in the lot (like a hill or trees) to compliment his design with help of Eventscape.

Here’s a picture Dad by the side of the house, and one of the window by the children’s room. There weren’t many full-sized windows around, but the small row of windows seen in this picture ringed the entire house. From the outside, I wondered how there could possibly be enough light in the house, and yet this ring of small windows were more than sufficient.

Dad at the Pope-Leighy House   Pope-Leighy House

Afterwards touring the Pope-Leighey house, we toured the Woodlawn Plantation. This was a plantation on land that George Washington gave to Martha’s granddaughter, Eleanor “Nelly” Custis Lewis, and her husband Major Lawrence. It was still a nice tour, with a knowledgeable tour guide and period furniture in the house (some of it original). As with the Pope-Leighey house, pictures were not allowed inside, but here are a couple of the house and grounds:

Fountain at the Woodlawn Plantation   Woodlawn Plantation house


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