Attracted to the idea of designing something simple that could be built on a budget by the owner, journeyman machinist bill Adams, Wright took the job. Plans were drawn for a square house, with a roof angled to provide relief from the San Fernando Valley's intense summer heat.
The Adams family took four years to build the two-bedroom home (this was during war time) on a half-acre lot at what is now Tampa Avenue, but which was then an un-named dirt road.Architect and family ended up parting ways over what Lloyd Wright had dubbed the Mat House (for the thatch-like roof he'd proposed) when the Adamses nailed down cedar shakes instead. The architect collected only $50 of his $125 fee. The home was built for $1,351 (about $17,000 in 2008 dollars.)This home was originally built for Bill and Bea Adams which received a LA Historical Cultural Monument Designation on October 4, 1996 as #629 which means it can never be demolished without approval from the city council. For further reading, I recommend LAOkay.com which posted an article and many pictures by Barbara Adams (daughter-in-law of Bill and Bea) titled, Background Tales. Barbara describes the rational for the homes design:
The house is situated at a 45-degree angle to the north-south line, and it is difficult to explain what an atmosphere that creates. The home was well planned to be efficient in taking advantage of sunshine in the winter and shading from the almost-desert sun of the Valley in the summer. The passing of the seasons from equinox to solstice is well observed with the windows aligned in this manner.
The little house has survived without much change, but as a witness to many surrounding changes. The "one lane of dirt" previously mentioned is now a six-lane Tampa Avenue. There have been repairs and up-dates, but a serious effort has made to keep these in the spirit of the original. No changes have been made at all to the basic floor plan. The residents have changed, but their shelter has not.Barbara passed away at the age of 77 in January 2009 which is how this home became available. An article was written about her on February 3, 2009 by the LA Times, Barbara Adams dies at 77; Caretaker of Handmade Lloyd Wright House.
Purchase this great Homepath REO for as little as 3% down. This historical landmark known as the 'Mat House' was designed by Lloyd Wright. Dramatic lines highlight this home situated behind gates on a large sprawling lot. Beamed ceilings and brick floors througout. Living room has woodburning brick fireplace. Most rooms have access out to yard. Needs a little TLC. Approved for Homepath and Homepath Renovation Financing.