August 14, 1999

Pope-Leighey Residence

The Pope-Leighey house is located on the grounds of the Woodlawn Plantation just south of Arlington, Virginia. The entrance to the plantation is easy to miss and there was a lot of traffic on U.S. Route 1 on the Saturday we visited the house. Laurene, Samantha and I were on our way to meet other family at Williamsburg for vacation, and I twisted their arms to visit this Usonian house that I had heard about from Thom Holmes. He and Shaina had visited the house a few weeks earlier and said their visit was very worthwhile. Our visit certainly was too. Touring the house gave me the first clear feeling I had of Wright's mastery of space. I'm sure I will notice it more the next time I visit Fallingwater too. Our guide Christopher was very knowledgeable.
Samantha and me in front of the den. The kitchen window is directly behind us.
Samantha was not the most patient, but Laurene was more interested than I thought she would be. Of course she likes to house shop. Maybe if we win the lottery some day we'll own a Frank Lloyd Wright house.....
This Usonian house cost $7,000 when it was built by a master craftsman in 1939.
The house was relocated two times to its current location.
It has forced air vents added in the floors for air conditioning, but otherwise it seemed to be a faithful restoration.
The entryway is located on the left side under an overhang. The lowered roof brings you into the interior space while you are still outside the house.
View of house -- looking at the entry. Photograph copyright © 1999 by Shaina Holmes.
Photograph courtesy Shaina Holmes.
Looking towards the entryway from the living room.
Notice the box lighting which was made very simply.
Cyprus wood was used throughout the house.
The dining area of the house. Photograph copyright © 1999 by Shaina Holmes.
Photograph courtesy of Shaina Holmes.
Looking from the entryway side of the living room. The sunroom is on the right.
This room feels very large, especially after having come from the relatively compressed space in the hall and entryway.
The living room. Photograph copyright © 1999 by Shaina Holmes.
Photograph courtesy of Shaina Holmes.
A corner desk in one of the two bedrooms.
There was also a study/den so it might be considered a small three-bedroom house.
There are only 1,200 square feet in the house.
Desk in one of the bedrooms. Photograph copyright © 1999 by Thom Holmes.
Photograph courtesy of Thom Holmes.
Plywood was used extensively. It was a relatively new construction material when the house was built.
The cutouts that were used throughout the house like a border were a substitute for the stained glass that Wright used in more expensive houses. Our tour guide told us that each Usonian house has a different pattern.
Copper tubing was used to frame the screened sunroom.
The patterned border and copper tubing used in the sunroom.
The bedroom wing is on the right and the living room is on the left.
From this picture you get a better feel for the "L" shape of the house. Photograph copyright © 1999 by Shaina Holmes.
Photograph courtesy of Shaina Holmes.
The house was relocated from its original site, and then relocated again, but only a short distance.

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