Friday, September 11, 2009

Organic in Florida

I grew up in Florida, in the 1960's and 1970's. I lived in Satellite Beach, which is on the east coast, and, not surprisingly, is near the Kennedy Space Center. South of Satellite beach is another beach town, Indialantic. When I was a kid, we would often drive south on the lagoon side of the barrier island on Riverside Drive. As we would approach Indialantic, I would look to see a very unusual looking house (and I thought, really cool looking). This house was a composition in colored concrete blocks. Now concrete block is not an unusual material in Florida, but this one used it in an artistic way, not just for structural strength during hurricanes.

Years later, after I graduated from college, I remembered this house, and I went to see it again. By now I knew a lot more about architecture, and I recognized that this house was related to the great textile block houses by Frank Lloyd Wright, built in Los Angeles in the 1920's. Obviously this house was much more modest, but someone clearly had been an admirer of Wright. I walked up to the house, rang the bell, and the owner answered the door. I introduced myself, and the owner gave me a quick tour. I couldn't take any photos of the interior, but I took quite a few of the exterior.

I learned that the house had been built in 1960, and that the architect was from Houston, Texas. Since that time I have lost the name of the architect. I am going to try to find that out and will post an update if I do.

As I said, the house is a composition in concrete block, and it also has pre-cast concrete beams supporting the roof. There is a nice, private pool patio with a block wall screen, and the landscaping is lush.

I recently visited the house again, but no one was home. It has suffered some neglect in the last 22 years, which is unfortunate, because this is one of the most interesting houses in Brevard County. Check out the photos. More can be seen at
the Friends of Kebyar Blog.