June 8 is the birth date shared by architects Bruce Goff and Frank Lloyd Wright. While Wright, born in Wisconsin in 1867, is better known, Goff, born in Kansas in 1904, is one of the few architects that Wright would openly praise as creative. Each man designed two buildings in Mississippi. Some of these structures have been featured before on MissPres. I’ve heard rumors that Mr. Wright visited Biloxi and stayed at the Buena Vista Hotel in the late 1940s or early 1950s. This was likely in conjuncture with a Gulf States Region of American Institute of Architects conference. Mr. Goff would visit Gulfport several times during the construction of the Gutman House. Below are short vignettes about each house and where you can find more information about them.
“Fountainhead” (J. Willis Hughes House). Jackson, MS Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect. Built 1948-1954.
MissPres has yet to have a Fountainhead exclusive post, but you can read all about this Jackson residence Wright designed, and see some additional photographs in the 1980 National Register Nomination.
Fuller House. Pass Christian, MS Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect. Built 1951. Destroyed 1969.
Despite being built on piloti, the Fuller House along with much of Henderson Point (the area where the Fuller House was located) was destroyed by Hurricane Camille in 1969. You can read more about the structure that was in the MissPres post “Lost Mississippi: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fuller House“
Emil Gutman House [“Star House”] Gulfport, MS Bruce Goff, Architect. Built 1958. Destroyed 1986.
It is safe to say no one accused Goff of designing two houses that looked alike. Sadly the MDAH HRI database says that this home that sat on Gulfport Lake was destroyed by fire in 1986. No dedicated MissPres post on the Gutman house yet, however this website has scans of the original plans and lots of comments from those who knew the structure well. The comments are well worth the read.W.C. Gryder House [“Cat House”] Ocean Springs, MS Bruce Goff, Architect. Built 1960
The Gryder House may be one of the residential structures most frequently written about here on MissPres. And why not? A big, beautiful, purple house with a gold chimney commands attention. Plus how many other structures in Mississippi have been critiqued by famed New York Times & Wall Street Journal architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable? You can read all the Misspres posts on the Gryder house here.
Happy Birthday, fellas. Thank you for the designs.