This project, a Preservation Iowa winner, involved completely updating this unique 1958 Frank Lloyd Wright inspired ranch home including the living room, dining room, kitchen, bathrooms, floors, lighting, building systems, painting, restoration of a triangular concrete patio, and siding. We also designed and built a sympathetic screened porch addition and landscaping.
The “official” cutoff for being considered a “historic” building is 50 years — once a building reaches that threshold, it becomes potentially eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The nomination process involves substantial research into the building’s architectural significance, the part it plays in understanding broad historic movements and development patterns, and/or its association with significant historic people.
Interestingly, many preservationists are wary of the implications as buildings constructed in the 1950s and ’60s become eligible for consideration. While there are many fine examples (this project included) of significant design from this era, it is also a time when building patterns, materials, and methods started shifting away from craft towards mass production.
Iowa has a smattering of significant mid-century modern homes that will start to require major renovation in the coming years. We are glad to be leaders in this movement and look forward to future mid-century projects!
Every year Preservation Iowa selects outstanding Iowa projects in several categories including commercial, adaptive reuse, residential, and public buildings. In 2012 Silent Rivers received a statewide “Preservation at Its Best Award” from Preservation Iowa for our renovation of this home.