Thursday, September 29, 2005

1755 Oak Lane::My Current Obsession















The funny thing about 1755 Oak is that I must have passed it without giving a thought hundreds of times in the past quarter century. Driving home from my grandparents home on Briar back to Edgemont every Sunday, we went right by and my interest wasn't even piqued. A few years ago, as I took a meandering drive, I noticed 1755 Oak and was devastatingly smitten. It's obvious that this high Mid-Century home was built balancing each principle of modern design. The house builds upon itself as it climbs the hill. The angled roofs, the clerestory windows, the private front balanced by an expansive rear view. There's no question that the home was built to take advantage of the striking western valley view. From the last photo you can see a hint of the panorama.

You can see the balconey porches that hide the carport and the way to the walk out basement. Even the mix of materials like brick, glass, and wood, showcase a home in harmony with it's surroundings. There are only two bad thigns about 1755 Oak. The first is the most obvious. In a neighborhood with tended gardens and manicured lawns, 1755 stands as a home that is not loved. The plants and trees are overgrown with a tangled mess of thickets and weeds.Junk surrounds the carport and some of the siding badly needs a sand and paint.

The second problem with the home is that I do not live there. I live with a little panic in my soul that 1755 Oak will be sold within a few years to a couple who do not understand modern design and will turn the house into a mock-California stucco monster.

In the meantime, I can drive past 1755 Oak and think of all the marvelous things I would do to wrest this home from the gaping jaws of a rustic remodel. The thicket would have to go. A tree trimming and flower bed renewal. New windows and paint for the siding. If the outside of a home is this glaringly ignored, I can only imagine what the interior has descended into--80s country mauve floral wallpaper? A thorough cleaning and carpet removal. New wooden floors, or maybe a tile option. Mosaic in the kitchen to compliment the new stainless appliances. Period fixtures and updated bathrooms (taking care to keep all the vintage tile.) New books in the library and a clean chimeny. Oh, 1755 Oak would be loved again.

6 comments:

Rachel said...

ummm....this is a long story. you have picked out lois' lewis' house and i'm sorry to tell you that it will probably have to be leveled when she dies. there is so much history to this place....i don't even know where to start. she lives directly across the street from my parents and she is totally crazy. we love her to death, but she is crazy....paranoid, ocd, all of it (i know i have those tendencies too, but this is WAY out of control.)

her home is amazing on the outside, but she has literally STUFFED it with junk. she never lets anyone in because it is actually a health hazard. several neighbors have tried to have it condemned. my parents have been on lois' side since day one, because they love her and the kookiness and diversity she brings to the neighborhood.

the home used to be owned by the losees---as in BON LOSEE and the whole jewelry shebang. it was immaculate, i'm sure, when they owned it. now, it's a tragedy. a few years back, it started on fire and lois came undone. the house was ruined and should have been scrapped according to many. she moved into the residence inn and lived there for 6-8 months while they got it up to liveable conditions.

there are rats in the home, plants growing in the toilet, and all sorts of other stuff. my dad has been in a few feet, but there are all sorts of rumors and crazy stories about lois' methods.

she is a dear lady and i'm either enthused that when she dies, you will buy her house for a steal of a deal and fix it up to your heart's content and be across-the-street-neighbors with mes parents, OR saddened that her home will be sold as a lot, someone will come and knock it down, and then build a stucco palace in its place. maybe you should contact lois, befriend her, and find out what her intentions are after her death.

and have you heard all the hoopla this home has caused the city of provo? man, oh man! this is quite the story.

Rachel said...

p.s. her yard is my mom's favorite feature. you should see the plethora of produce growing therein. also, lois is so talented with floral arrangements...a total artist! she would bring us nosegays with berries and twigs, and wildflowers, and the most amazing things. she did nosegays for my sister's wedding, and she made my wedding bouquet. she is quite talented!

Azúcar said...

I remember telling my parents that I'd fallen in love with it. After confirming that it was not the colonial revival up the street, they gave me a funny look. They said, "It's owned by a crazy person." Ah, I thought, that means that it won't go on sale until she passes away.

I knew a bit of the back story but your tale fills in the blanks. It's so sad to see such a home probably destroyed. Who knows, en fin, it may actually be in our price range.

Azúcar said...

How great to hear that she's got some lovely specimins in the yard. I don't think the yard should be razed, just trimmed and shaped a bit. The whole rat thing is a tad discouraging.
I haven't heard the whole Provo City story, but I can just imagine. They are super concerned with keeping neighborhoods cared for that a place like this would present the ultimate challenge.

How cool that she made your bouquet!

Rachel said...

i keep looking for more mid-century modern utah....but, alas, i'm sure you're a busy mom with a full-time job (right?), a darling boy, and a husband. come on, carina, what are you doing with all your free time? start snapping photos and satiate my curiosity about whose house you'll spotlight next in my old neighborhood.

Azúcar said...

Ok ok ok :)