The Pope-Leighey House was owned first by Loren Pope, a journalist. He was intrigued by Frank Lloyd Wright’s home designs and wrote to the architect asking to be considered. At the time, Wright made his decisions based on the location and family. The house was commissioned in 1940 and became part of the more than 100 of these modest homes, referred to as Usonian, which were constructed between 1936 and Wright’s death in 1959.
The Leigheys were the second owners of the home. In the 1950s, when Hwy 66 was being widened and in danger of being destroyed due to eminent domain, Mrs. Leighey graciously gave the property to the National Trust, which relocated it to nearby Woodlawn. They granted her lifetime tenancy and Mrs. Leighey lived in the house at Woodlawn until her death in 1983.
In 1995-96, the house required another move due to the unstable clay soil but this time, it only had to be moved thirty feet up the hill. Currently, Route 1 is expanding and Woodlawn/Pope-Leighey House are along the route. Wisely, the decision makers went with the other side of the road so both historic sites wouldn’t have to be moved.
Detailed woodcarving on all the windows.
Between 1936 and Wright’s death in 1959, he focused on designing and constructing over 100 affordable, middle-class residences. The style was referred to as Usonian, thought to mean “the United States of North America.”
The house is very small and would be ideal for a beach or lake house but I couldn’t imagine a family of five, like the Popes, living in it comfortably. No privacy whatsoever. On the positive side, it blended in nicely with the environment and all the little details inside the home were clever and quirky.