Prairie Chicken House
Designed by Herb Greene
550 NE 48th St., Norman
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When Julius Shulman photographed this house (it was still under construction at the time), he stayed in the room where the window is (on the left) for four days while he captured this one-of-a-kind home on film. He said that it was so amazing to look out this window and see nothing but tall grass everywhere and the strong Oklahoma wind making it dance.
When he later took photos of this house to the editors of Life in NYC, they made fun of him for even going to the heartland states to begin with. There was no good architecture here, they said; all of the great architects were on the coasts. Well, when Shulman put his slides of this house on the light table, the editors in NYC went nuts and wanted the photos published RIGHT AWAY … and they were.
Shulman’s photos made Herb Greene known to many far beyond the small college town of Norman, Oklahoma, and gave his career an enormous boost. Thank you, Mr. Shulman!
The Prairie Chicken House was sold in September 2016 to Brent Swift Design Build and will be lovingly restored — very good news, especially in the wake of the loss of the nearby Bavinger House.