International Style Dream House of the Week


One of my favorite groups of old books that I have are the Home Builder's Catalogs put out by F.W. Dodge. You could purchase these books through magazines (and I do run across the ads in my old magazines quite often) or by request. Basically, the books are comprised of bound catalogs featuring pretty much everything, in regards to house building, that was available that year by pretty much every manufacturer in business at the time. So, you find info and ads on kitchens, bathrooms, appliances, paint, building materials etc. These are fantastic reference books.

My favorite F.W. Dodge book is my 1939 Home Owners Catalogs (With Builder'sSupplement). Because of the supplement, it is 2 to 3 times the size of the others that I have.

It was in this volume a few months ago that I ran across a house, used in an advertisement, that happened to be in Shreveport, Louisiana. This was odd. Most houses featured in these books were East and West Coast homes. What was even more odd was that the home was this very modern International Style in Louisiana. According to the National Registrar of Historic Places, "All in all, there are roughly a dozen International Style buildings in Louisiana. Some of these have been
altered so severely that they would not be eligible for the Register."

In Baton Rouge I think there are only two homes I could consider the architecture even remotely similar to this home in Shreveport (and they are fairly new):


I looked up the architects and found that Samuel and William were brothers (both architects), and had a couple of homes on the National Register of Historic Places. I have never been to Shreveport, but made a note to myself that I had to venture up there soon to see the homes by these architects at some point.

Then, last week I received a comment at this blog about the mid century House and Garden magazines from Ann in Shreveport. So, in replying to her comment I also mentioned the home I found in my book and the Wieners. Strangely enough, Ann lived just a few blocks from one of the homes I had mentioned..and she even sent pictures that she snapped for me while she was out that day.

This is Ann's picture of her favorite Wiener House in Shreveport, the Sam Wiener House:


And this is one of the pictures of this home from the Louisiana's Historic Register website:


And the official National Register document on the 1937 Sam Wiener House can be read HERE

And...this is Ann's picture of the Flesch House (another Wiener home):


And these are some of the pictures from the Louisiana's Historic Register website:


And the official National Register document on the 1936 Flesch House can be read HERE

Ann also mentioned in her email that the Wiener Brothers "were named 'Architects of Record Houses of 1956' along with Marcel Breuer, Richard Neutra and Paul Rudolph, among others". Pretty neat.

I was sad to read this though in one of the National Register documents:

In the next few years Samuel Wiener and his younger brother William (independently and together) produced a number of major works in the International Style for Shreveport clients. Their work was wide-ranging, including institutional, commercial and residential construction. Sadly, their most exciting, most important work has been demolished or seriously altered.

Ah, America sure does love demolishing and altering beyond recognition.

Regardless, I really want to get to Shreveport now and have a look around and at least see what remains of the Wieners' work.

Maybe soon.



lsaspacey said...

It is great though to see that those two were kept so true to how they originally appeared.

I love when you write pieces like this. I am currently up for an internship with the VA
Dept of Historic Resources' Archives dept. so this is definitely interesting to me.

day-lab Blog said...


My little sister is about to start a graduate Historic Preservation program in New Orleans. Wish I could join you both!

You are in Richmond, right? Richmond is a great place to find work in that field, I would think! :)


craig said...

wow. I'm just came across your site. I know of another Wiener house and have some pics. There is also another house in my neighborhood that looks like it could be a Wiener but it is not on the Register. Sam Wiener built numerous houses for folks not all were in the International Style.