Home tour offers variety

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A home from the Manhattan era, along with the ‘glass house’ will be on the map

By Special to the Monitor

The Los Alamos Home Tour will include seven homes of a variety of styles and architecture, from an historic Bathtub Row home to brand new custom homes. Viewers will be able to get ideas for remodels and new constructions and learn about the history of home building and architecture in Los Alamos.

The addresses and names of homeowners will be not announced prior to the tour.  Ticket buyers will receive a detailed program and map. Tickets are $20 in advance and are available at Brownell’s Hallmark, LANB, Family Strengths Network and online at lafsn.org.

Architectural trends in Los Alamos have long been closely tied to its past as an Army facility.  But before World War II, renowned New Mexico architect John Gaw Meem designed Fuller Lodge and several buildings next to it, completing them in 1932 for the Los Alamos Ranch School.

In the Manhattan Project era, Fuller Lodge and neighboring buildings were first used for temporary housing for visiting scientists and military officers. Residents included the famous Danish physicist Neils Bohr, Lt. Col. Whitney Ashbridge and Capt. Gerald Tyler of the military contingent, A. L. Hughes (a physicist from George Washington University) and noted Italian physicist Enrico Fermi.

Those homes were the only residences afforded the luxury of bathtubs so the strand on 20th Street became known as Bathtub Row. Recently 20th Street was officially renamed Bathtub Row. The buildings next to Fuller Lodge are now privately owned homes and one is included in the tour.

Los Alamos was an Army facility from December 1942-1947 when the Atomic Energy Commission took over.

The town remained a closed city until the gates were removed in 1957. During that time, the U.S. Government built 2,284 homes for military personnel and their families. The standard floor plans included one-, two- and three-bedroom ranch-style homes.

Most are still standing in the Eastern, West and Northern Communities and one is included in the tour.

This four-bedroom home with an outstanding canyon view and a half an acre of land was most recently remodeled in 1999 and in the Home Tour program the interior designer shares her recommendations and suggestions for the remodel with home tour viewers.

Other homes include:

• A multi-level, 5,000-square foot “mountain home” with two decks and a private courtyard, vaulted ceilings and a custom fireplace.

• “The Copper Dome” with beautiful custom finishes in a barrel-vaulted ceiling, an Anazasi stone fireplace, custom millwork, bamboo flooring and designer stone and tile accents.

• A Craftsman-style home constructed with wood, rock and glass, including a 350-piece ceramic tile entry floor medallion and a 3,500-piece, 6’ x 7’ stained glass window. The home also includes a butler’s pantry and guest bedroom suites and the homeowners have a unique collection of antiques that decorate the home.

• “The Glass House” is a graceful blend of Southwestern and modern styles, built with Rastra, steel, concrete and golden pear wood. The design is spare, modern and filled with elegant architectural touches.

• Another custom-built home has a flowing, open floor plan that combines formal spaces with casual comfort and scenic views. It has a marble entryway, trey ceilings, black granite kitchen countertops, African tropical wood and a concrete tile roof with stucco exterior.  

Homes will be available for public viewing from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sept. 11. Volunteer monitors are needed and can call Lynn Strauss for information at 412-0319. Volunteers work two-and-a-half hours and receive one ticket.

The event will also include a Silent Auction from 9 a.m.-noon at the ticket pick-up location at Fuller Lodge.

Sponsors of the Home Tour include Los Alamos National Bank (Presenting Sponsor), Bella Cosa Flowers, RE/MAX, Real Estate Associates, The Finishing Touch, Los Alamos Monitor, Devorah Gavron, Bruce Norman, Roger Waterman and Don Taylor.

Family Strengths Network is a private, non-profit organization serving families through workshops and activities that empower families and build community. For more information, call 662-4515 or visit www.lafsn.org.

FSN is located at 1990 Diamond Drive in the Pueblo Complex in Los Alamos. Family Strengths Network is a United Way agency.