Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Famed architect's home open to public on July 28

A home built by Art Troutner, Idaho's answer to Frank Lloyd Wright, will be open to the public July 28 from 10 a.m. to noon.
The Idaho Falls Historic Preservation Commission, in partnership with Century 21 High Desert Realty and Voigt Davis Realty, will be sponsoring an open house at two mid-century modern homes Saturday July 28.

The homes will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to noon. Members of the Historic Preservation Commission, city staff, and the realty firms will be on hand to answer any questions.

In the 1950s, because of the Atomic Energy Commission's National Reactor Testing Station (later the INL), Idaho Falls had the greatest growth of any community in Idaho. The city’s population increased 73 percent during the Eisenhower era, and the city's housing stock reflects it.

This tour allows members of the public to give themselves self-guided tours of two unique homes built then. The first is located at 460 9th Street, and was designed by the firm of Clinton Sunberg, one of the two principals of Sunberg and Sunberg. A long, low home with a prominent front door, the home integrates the rear patio and back yard, a new idea for homes after World War II (pre-war homes were oriented toward the street and had front porches more often than not.)

The second home, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008, was designed and built by Art Troutner in 1956 for Ada Poitevin. Troutner is best known for his company, Trus-joist, and his design of the Kibbie Dome at University of Idaho. The home appears circular, but has sixteen sides with a skylight in the center and a intriguing and innovative roof structure.

Troutner was the subject of an Outdoor Idaho documentary in 1998. Here is a link to an essay written about him and his 35-year career: http://idahoptv.org/outdoors/shows/designingidaho/troutneressay.html.

For more information on the open house, call the Planning Department at 612-8276.