In a way it reminds me of my in-laws, who were exact contemporaries of the Prinzes, similarly steeped in modernism and collaborated on their house here in Pound Ridge, even though neither were architects. Here's what the reporter says about the future of the Prinz house:
In an age of bulldozers and zero-lot-line McMansions, what will happen to this one-of-a-kind home?
"Regardless of its pedigree, the Prinz residence could turn into a teardown scenario," warns Peabody. "The very fact this is a midcentury home, of smaller proportions than most, makes it more of a target for an insensitive renovation or demolition."
One of Prinz's contemporaries shares Peabody's concern.
"O'Neil Ford once told me there will come a day when you outlive some of your buildings. He was absolutely right," says semi-retired architect Ralph Kelman, now in his 70s, and best known for his design of the Hilton Inn (now Hotel Palomar) and Willow Creek shopping center.
"Things are more flamboyant now," says Kelman. "I think midcentury design was, comparatively, more honest."
It's an ideal description for the Prinz home, and a quality Jeanette hopes someone else will appreciate about her husband's design.
"It's time to let this place go and let someone else love it," Jeanette says. "I just hope they don't paint over my redwood walls."
The FHA had four chief complaints against Prinz's design for his Oak Lawn Heights residence:
1. The lack of windows on the west-facing front of the house
2. The large expanses of uninsulated plate glass
3. The nonconventional heating system
4. The unlevel lot
Ironically, all of the elements the agency cited as not fitting in with the era's design standards were the very components Prinz used to make the house literally fit in to its site and region.
The west-facing front – red brick wall, solid and demure – was designed without windows to avoid interior heating from the afternoon sun.
Conversely, large expanses of glass on the home's south and east walls beckon in the rays, open views to the side garden and lush ravine out back, and help warm the home with sunlight in winter.
The dramatic windows in the living room stretch to the ceiling rafters and follow the peak of the high-pitched roof. Plate glass works fine here, thanks to strategic overhangs, which help to moderate the elements. ...
The story also includes a link to PreservationDallas.org. One of our loyal readers is in the Dallas area. Maybe he can do a drive-by of the Prinz house and tell us what it looks like in 2008. -- ta