Now & Then Volume 1, 2023 | Page 5


Carroll Alsop HOUSE

An Oskaloosa treasure


One Oskaloosa woman is undertaking the daunting but worthwhile task of restoring a treasure of America ’ s architectural history to its former glory .

High on a hill along Oskaloosa ’ s A Avenue sits a brick house , shaded by trees . It ’ s known as the Carroll Alsop House , and while it ’ s flown under the radar in Oskaloosa for the past several years , it ’ s about to be revealed as one of famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright ’ s mid-century modern masterpieces , built right here in Iowa .
The mid-century modern movement in American architecture began just after World War II , in the late 1940s , and continued through the 1960s . The movement was brought to America , in part , by European architects fleeing from the Nazi regime . After the war , the style became attractive to American families , who were placing a higher premium on family togetherness and spending time in nature . Mid-century modern architecture , with its focus on environment and horizontal layout , was perfectly suited to foster those ideals .
Wright , a Wisconsin native , dominated mid-century modern architecture with his unique houses that were inspired by the American Midwest . The new approach to architecture he helped usher in , called prairie-style , is characterized by an emphasis on horizontal lines , rather than vertical , and an appreciation for the natural landscape the house is built in . Wright , in particular , considered landscape to be important to his work and focused on both incorporating it and on making it prominently visible in his designs .
Wright ’ s signature prairie-style homes , spread across the country from Pennsylvania to Iowa , enjoyed their heyday in the aftermath of World War II and made Wright one of America ’ s most beloved architects . Wright intended his houses to be
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