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Toledo's Alcoa aluminum house, 1 of 14 | by Joey Harrison
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Toledo's Alcoa aluminum house, 1 of 14

Washington-based architect Charles Goodman designed 23 homes for Alcoa Aluminum's "Care-free Home" demonstration project. Among them is this 2,700 square-foot gem in the Toledo suburb of Perrysburg. While the home is not entirely aluminum, the purple decorative panels on the exterior, the doors both in and out, the door frames, many of the walls, and much of the kitchen and bathroom cabinetry is made of aluminum. Absent the aluminum, you still have a classic mid-century modern house. With its unusual pedigree, it's a something more.


The long narrative about Charles Goodman in the link above contains a nutshell glimpse of the architect that deserves a little sunlight:

"Chuck Goodman was a slight man who designed modest little houses, but he suffered the classic affliction of the modern architect: a monster ego. A flinty, irritable, blunt-speaking chain-smoker from Chicago, Goodman tended toward outbursts—against Eisenhower, perhaps, or in favor of aluminum as a building material. 'He would deliver not a lecture but a diatribe at the drop of a hat,' says Robert Lautman, 79, Goodman's photographer for more than 20 years. 'And he could be absolutely charming, too.'


The Perrysburg home, built by Gustav H. Feldtmann, was open to visitors for a six-week period shortly after completion in 1957. It contains more than 7,500 pounds of aluminum and also features brick, steel, wood, and extensive use of glass.


The home was purchased in 1965 by Jack and Jeanne Lever -- only the second owners. Mrs. Lever, now a widow, is moving to a retirement home and has the house on the market ($239,000). She hopes to find a buyer who respects the home and will not alter it.


Update: [October 2, 2006] I heard from the Realtor today that the price is now $209,999.


I contacted the realtor, Kay McArdle, and asked if I could photograph it. She contacted the owner for permission and then kindly gave me run of the place during an open house.


Addendum: Another flickr member, Jenlef, has a nice set of shots showing her house in Hollin Hills, a subdivision in Fairfax County, Virginia where all 450 homes were designed by Charles Goodman.

One of her other sets has some views of the exterior of her house.

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Taken on June 26, 2006