Bavinger House

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Eugene Bavinger House
Bavinger Exterior.JPG
Front of the house
Bavinger House is located in Oklahoma
Bavinger House
Bavinger House is located in the United States
Bavinger House
Location730 60th Ave., NE, Norman, Oklahoma
Coordinates35°13′40″N 97°21′10″W / 35.22778°N 97.35278°W / 35.22778; -97.35278Coordinates: 35°13′40″N 97°21′10″W / 35.22778°N 97.35278°W / 35.22778; -97.35278
ArchitectBruce Goff
Architectural styleOrganic
MPSBruce Goff Designed Resources in Oklahoma MPS
NRHP reference #01001354[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPDecember 13, 2001
Removed from NRHPFebruary 28, 2017

The Bavinger House was completed in 1955 in Norman, Oklahoma, United States. It was designed by architect Bruce Goff. Considered a significant example of organic architecture,[2][3] the house was awarded the Twenty-five Year Award from the American Institute of Architects in 1987.[4] It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001,[2] and was removed from the National Register in 2017 after being demolished the previous year.[5]


The house was constructed over the course of five years by Nancy and Eugene Bavinger, the residents of the house, who were artists, along with the help of a few of Eugene's art students, volunteers, and local businesses. The Bavingers moved into the house in February 1955, and Life magazine featured the house in its September 19, 1955 issue.[6] Despite its remote location, the house became an attraction; the Bavingers first tried to limit visitors by charging a dollar per guest. Life reported that the tours had yielded over $4,000, and eventually (according to Goff) they raised over $50,000 before finally deciding they didn't want to be disturbed by the constant flow of tourists.[7]

The house was vacant for more than a decade and had fallen into disrepair before it was reported in 2008 that the house would be renovated and reopened for tours.[8] Fundraising efforts, however, ran into difficulties.[9][10] The house was damaged and its central spire left broken at a 45-degree angle after a powerful windstorm in June 2011.[9] The official website for the house stated that the house "will not be able to re-open",[10][11][12][13] which was later changed to "Closed Permanently", and in August 2012 further edited to say "The House will never return under its current political situation".[13] The official website was taken offline in August, 2011, and its domain license was allowed to expire.[14]

In April 2016 The Norman Transcript reported that the house had been demolished and completely removed, leaving only a vacant lot, as confirmed by the president of the Bruce Goff-focused preservation organization Friends of Kebyar.[15]


The wall of the house was a 96-foot long logarithmically curved spiral, made from 200 tons of local "ironrock" sandstone dynamited (by Eugene) from a piece of purchased farmland near Robin Hill School, a few miles away from the house and hauled back on Eugene's 48 Chevy flatbed truck. The structure was anchored by a recycled oil field drill stem that was reused to make a central mast more than 55 feet high. The house had no interior walls; instead there were a series of platforms at different heights, some with curtains that could be drawn for privacy. The ground floor was covered with pools and planted areas.[2][16][17][18][19]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ a b c Form prepared by Arn Henderson. National Register of Historic Places nomination form for Resources Designed by Bruce Goff in Oklahoma. Accessed May 6, 2015.
  3. ^ Philip, Steadman (1979). The Evolution of Designs: Biological Analogy in Architecture and the Applied Arts. Taylor & Francis. p. 239. ISBN 978-0-415-44752-2. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  4. ^ Webb, Michael (June 2005). "Saving Bruce Goff". The Architectural Review. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  5. ^ National Park Service (March 10, 2017), Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 2/27/2017 through 3/03/2017, archived from the original on March 13, 2017, retrieved March 13, 2017.
  6. ^ "Space and Saucer House: Oklahoma family lives in suspension in a unique new structure". LIFE. September 19, 1955. pp. 155–156.
  7. ^ Welch, Philip (996). Goff on Goff: Conversations and Lectures. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 193–194. ISBN 978-0-8061-2868-9.
  8. ^ "Foundation hopes to restore and open Bavinger House for tours". The Norman Transcript. November 23, 2008. Archived from the original on September 5, 2012. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  9. ^ a b "Tearin' Down the House?". Oklahoma Gazette. June 29, 2011. Retrieved September 3, 2001.
  10. ^ a b Cobb, Russell (November 21, 2011). "Continuous Present". This Land. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
  11. ^ Rieger, Andy (June 22, 2011). "Bavinger House's future uncertain". The Norman Transcript. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012. Retrieved 2011-06-23.
  12. ^ Mize, Richard (June 23, 2011). "Bruce Goff-designed Bavinger House in Norman apparently has met its demise". The Oklahoman. Retrieved 2011-06-23.
  13. ^ a b "The Bavinger House official website". Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved 2013-02-25. Closed due to storm damage . . . Due to severe storm damage we will not be able to re-open
  14. ^ Archived from the original on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ Slinkard, Caleb (April 28, 2016). "Goff-designed landmark demolished". The Norman Transcript. Retrieved 2016-04-30.
  16. ^ Barry, Edward (January 6, 1957). "It's SOMEBODY'S Dream House: Oklahoma Couple Are Happy in a Home Which Is Like Nothing on Land or Sea FAMILY Living". Chicago Tribune. p. H23. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  17. ^ Lobban, Lynette (Spring 2002). "Goff's Historic Houses: The talk of the town when first constructed, the signature works of a master architect are being added to the National Register". Sooner Magazine. Archived from the original on May 23, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-23.
  18. ^ "Bavinger House". Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  19. ^ "Bavinger House (Norman, USA)". February 24, 2010. Archived from the original on March 10, 2010. Retrieved 2011-11-10.[unreliable source?]

External links[edit]