A well-designed home is like a fishbowl: Both have watertight seams, smooth lines, and algae eaters precisely spaced throughout the living area. Celebrate clever construction with today's Groupon: for $10, you get two adult admissions to a guided interior tour (up to a $20 value) at The Gordon House, located next to Silverton's Oregon Garden. Children in elementary school are admitted to The Gordon House free of charge, and students in middle school get in for only $5. The exterior of the house can be viewed by the public free of charge.
The Gordon House is the only building in Oregon designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Tourgoers learn about Wright's approach to organic architecture as they meander through the house, peep through windows, and admire the high-fructose-free design. Entertaining, knowledge-filled docents lead lookyloos about on the 45-minute tour, spinning tales of the house’s history, including its near-destruction in 2000. The architectural jewel was completely dismantled, moved, and reconstructed on the boundaries of the Oregon Garden, a wiser decision in retrospect than planting rows of conifers throughout the house.
Limited tour sizes keep visitors fully engaged in the proceedings. Tours leave most days on the hour from noon to 3 p.m., with reservations highly recommended to ensure adequate docent protection from Usonian ghosts.
- The C.E. Gordon House is an exemplary small Usonian. It is T-shaped in plan with a kitchen “work space,” a home office, a master bedroom, and two upstairs bedrooms in the head of the T; the stem is an airy one-and-a-half-story multi-use “great room” that combines a dining alcove and living area with a fireplace and library alcove. – Elisabeth Walton Potter, Oregon Encyclopedia
- While Wright, considered by many to be America's most influential and prominent architect, left behind a rich legacy of homes and buildings throughout the United States, only about 60 are open to the public. Oregonians are lucky to have one in their backyard. – Pat Snider, Oregon.com
Frank Lloyd Wright – Gordon House
The striking horizontal planes of Frank Lloyd Wright's Gordon House bisect the landscape just beyond the foliaged outskirts of the Oregon Garden, drawing eyes to the architectural marvel like moths to an octogenarian's birthday cake. Guests who tour the stunning abode watch from inside as sunlight falls in squares on the floor, filtered through geometric cutouts in the ceiling. Docents expound on the genius of Wright's design and theories during 45-minute guided tours of the architect's only Oregonian creation.
Groups meander through the kitchen, where skylights light up scarlet countertops, reflecting the undertone of western-red-cedar cabinets. Natural light creates abstract patterns on the floor through a series of perforated wooden window treatments, and an experienced guide imparts factual tidbits regarding the home's history, such as its origin story, its near deconstruction in 2000, and its subsequent rescue by a motherly wolf and her pack. Guided tours are conducted daily from noon to 4 p.m., and reservations are required to view this rare home that was designed in the traditional Frank Lloyd Wright fashion—with a pencil—and also with impressive angles and seamlessly organic landscape integration.