As the celebration of Frank Lloyd Wright's 150th birthday winds down (he would have marked his sesquicentennial on June 8th, 2017), the Pope-Leighey House will throw a fundraising party. Officially, the event will be hosted by Woodlawn and the Pope-Leighey House, which share a property in Alexandria, Va.; Wright completed his Usonian Pope-Leighey House in 1940.
The Pope-Leighey House was commissioned by Charlotte and Loren Pope in 1939. As Lauren Walser reported in Preservation Magazine, Pope wrote directly to Wright, imploring him to build a house:
“Dear Mr. Wright,
There are certain things a man wants during life, and, of life. Material things and things of the spirit. The writer has one fervent wish that includes both. It is for a house created by you ... I feel that you are the great creative force of our time. And if you had never built a building I’d still feel that you are one of the great Americans as a man.”
Wright accepted, and designed a 1,200-square-foot, L-shaped house for the Popes, incorporating concrete floors with radiant heat into an open plan with high ceilings and integrated storage.
The Popes sold the house to Robert and Marjorie Leighey in 1946. When the state of Virginia notified the Leighey family that the house would be condemned as part of the extension of Route 66, Mrs. Leighey donated the house—as well as its condemnation award—to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which relocated the house to the Woodlawn Plantation, opening to the public in 1965. The house was relocated a second time due to unstable soil conditions in 1995. Following a concerted conservation effort that began in 2011, the Pope-Leighey House has reopened for tours.
WHEN: Friday, June 8th 2018, 6pm - 9pm
WHERE: 9000 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA 22309
HOW: Buy tickets via Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House ($35 for adults; $10 for children)