These are some more pics I’ve been meaning to show forever – in fact, these are from before the Rosenbaum house was actually opened to the public, when Av was invited for a showing several years ago. What makes this house so fantastic is that it was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1939. It belonged to the Rosenbaums from the time that it was built until Mrs. Rosenbaum sold the home and contents to the city of Florence, Alabama in 1999.
It needed a *lot* of maintenance when the city got it – Av says he remembers visiting Mrs. Rosenbaum back in the ’90s and seeing water damage and other things that needed looking after. It took the city somewhere around $600,000 to restore it.
This is the cantilevered carport – this is an early architectural development:
We’ve visited the home a few times since these pics were taken; what I remember most about it is how small the house seems, although it is almost 2500 sq ft (for whatever reason, when I think of a Frank Lloyd Wright house, I think of some huge structure) and how understated it is. Most of the rooms open up to the outside:
(Of course, the house is ‘open’ now and they have everything put in its place, including plastic taken off the chairs!)
Look at this great dining table below – the furniture is mostly made out of plywood – and this is all original to the home, and this dining area comes into the living room. The house was built with radiant heating – heat coming from the floor. It was something FLW put in his first Usonian house and continued to do.
The house was sold with its contents – those are the Rosenbaum’s menorahs on the lowest shelf:
If you’re interested in FLW homes, this is the only one in Alabama and the only one in the Southeast that’s open to the public for tours.
Alvin Rosenbaum, who grew up in the home, is not a fan of the book that was written just about this house. He wrote his own book published by the National Trust in 1993.