The Rosenbaum House Museum in Florence, Alabama is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the day the Rosenbaum family moved into an iconic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home, the only Wright structure in Alabama. To celebrate the anniversary this August, architecture experts are speaking out to remind Alabama residents and visitors just how important the house is to American architectural history.
The Rosenbaum house was built by the famous architect in 1940 and is often touted as the perfect example of “Usonian” architecture. The Usonian movement was Wright’s effort to design homes for the middle class, and architecture critic Peter Blake once called it one of “four structures of a beauty unexcelled in America before or since.” Following the Great Depression, Wright was determined to make his architecture accessible to typical American families.
In a recent survey, most Americans self-reported the overall design of their home as “traditional” (44%), while 22% called their home’s design “modern,” 13% as “eclectic,” and 10% as “country.” But even 75 years after the family of Stanley and Mildred Rosenbaum moved into their Usonian home, the house’s iconic design still appears exceedingly modern. It’s a testament to the architectural genius of Wright, widely considered one of the greatest American designers to have ever lived.
To mark the home’s 75th anniversary, the museum hosted a series of events called “All Wright, All Day.” The museum organized several events open to the public, as well as ticketed events and tours. According to Libby Jordan, the director of the Rosenbaum House Museum, Mildred Rosenbaum said that in the 1940s her neighbors “thought we were out of our minds.” Today, more than 7,000 annual visitors come to see one of Alabama’s greatest architectural treasures.
“Wright wanted you to feel as though you were living in sculpture,” Jordan says. “He truly believed if you surrounded yourself with beauty, it would change the way you lived your life.”