Starkey House (Alworth House)

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Starkey House (Alworth House)

View from South

Correspondence   153  browse all »


Drawings   45  browse all »

Construction Set
Topographic Survey
Topographical Map

Photographs   6  browse all »

View of Covered Porch and Stone Wall
Street Façade
South Elevation from Hill

In 1954, June Halvorson Alworth commissioned a house in Duluth, MN. Because Alworth was widowed and subsequently married Robert Starkey, the house was known as both the Alworth and the Starkey house. Breuer designed the residence to take advantage of its site on the shores of Lake Superior. Two large, rectangular volumes of unequal size were cantilevered over the side of a hill and supported by wood columns and laminated girders. One contained the bedrooms and children's playroom. The other contained the open-plan living and dining rooms arranged around a central hearth. Laminated wooden girders on the roof of the living-dining wing provided additional support. The upper volumes of the house were clad in board-and-batten siding, and the facades facing the lake featured large expanses of windows shielded by glass sunshades. Breuer paved the area underneath the cantilevered volumes, defining the space through the use of planar, fieldstone walls and a massive outdoor fireplace. Details of the house suggested marine imagery, particularly the gangplank bridge suspended from wires and staircase banisters evocative of ship rails. A separate volume constructed of fieldstone and painted brick contained the garage. The house became one of Breuer's most famous after it was featured in the October 22, 1956 issue of "Time Magazine."