Frank Lloyd Wright – Rosenbaum House

Lee and I visited the Frank Lloyd Wright House in Florence, AL.  It is the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in Alabama. The Rosenbaum House is known for being a purest example of the Wright Usonian design. The Usonian design was meant for the middle class. The Rosenbuam’s were the sole owners until the city of Florence bought it in 1999 and restored it to it’s former glory and opened it as a museum.

If you are wondering why there is a Wright house in AL, it because Stanley Rosenbaum’s parents wanted him and his wife Mildred to live in Florence, so they bought them a house. Because they preferred a modern look, Frank Lloyd Wright was the perfect architect. There was only a few requests, the parents who lived across the street didn’t want to lose their view of the river, Stanley wanted a bookshelf for books and study and Mildred wanted a nice kitchen. He nailed 3 out of the 4 requests. Frank Lloyd Wright had never built a middle class home, so he built one with a kitchen he thought would work, Mildred was not impressed, it was small and not functional for a growing family. When the Rosenbaum’s found out they were expecting baby number 4, Mrs. Rosenbaum requested an addition be added to the house. One with a guest room for her parents, play room for her boys and a bigger kitchen. Wright created a beautiful “expansion” to the house and honestly you would never know it wasn’t part of the original design. 

Special characteristics about the house. The Rosenbaum’s requested screens on every door and window because they lived in the south, they were given bronze screen so they would blend in with the scenery.  The screen doors did not have knobs on the outside, apparently the boys used to lock each other out of the house this way. The house was built in an L-shape and when the addition was added, another L-shape was added to make is a T-shaped house. The added guest room had a bathroom with a shower, which was unheard of at the time. The hallways were narrow, as were the doorways and Frank Lloyd Wright made the most of storage space by putting cabinets and drawers in hallways. Throughout the house are corner window, Frank Lloyd Wright didn’t believe in using Silicone for corner windows, he felt that if you cut them right and installed them properly, the corner seam would disappear and based on his philosophy he was right. The Japanese Garden was added after the boys were grown.

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