White House

Paul Rudolph Wallace Residence Athens Alabama 1965

While waiting fifteen hours to see the doctor yesterday, I had the joy of listening to the breaking news about the debt ceiling. Other than raising my blood pressure, the debt ceiling has only served to overshadow almost every other news item… but it somehow slipped though that the President’s birthday is this week. So Happy Birthday. And for you, here is a white house far away from the White House and partisan bickering.

Actually, I noticed that Bobby and Alec both posted about white buildings yesterday so I wanted to continue the trend. This is the Wallace Residence, a house in Athens, Alabama designed by Paul Rudolph. The photo above was taken closer to the home’s completion than to present, and today the house looks more like this. The imposing columns and generous outdoor spaces of this Rudolph project help tie the house to the region, while the plan of the house looks much less antebellum.

I like that this stately estate is hiding in the woods in rural Alabama. Big, exciting architecture is usually found in big, exciting cities, but there’s room even in smaller towns for great projects. This house is here because Rudolph went to high school in this  small town. Decades later, he came back to building this house. Now, almost fifty years after its completion, the Wallace Residence may be hidden in the sticks, but the large white columns that Rudolph restyled from Greek revival architecture are still standing, the white wicker furniture sits on the same patio, and its ceiling has not collapsed.


August 2, 2011 / By