Designed by Conner & Pojezny
600 Timber Ln., Edmond
When my husband and I were looking to buy our first house in 1999, I drove through almost every neighborhood in the Metro checking out homes that would fit our growing family. When I happened upon this one in Edmond, I squealed with delight and slowly creeped my car along the street around the large, corner lot checking out every crazy angle of the house and wishing this 50’s delight belonged to me. Alas, the house wasn’t for sale then and we bought another home, but every time I made the trek to Edmond, I’d find myself driving by the house on the hill to make sure that it was still okay and hadn’t fallen victim to a crappy “update” or ugly McMansion replacement.
I did this pretty consistently for about five years or so. Then, when I started researching my grandfather’s (R. Duane Conner) architecture, I made a list of all of the addresses of buildings he designed and systematically started driving around town taking pictures of his work. Imagine my surprise when I drove by this house one spring morning and realized that this gem was one of his designs! This house that I’ve adored for years, that I’ve felt so protective over … needless to say, I was thrilled to find out that my attachment to the place was more than just an appreciation of its design; it was a connection to a man I never had the opportunity to meet.
As for the house itself, this was one of Conner & Pojezny’s first designs after forming their firm in 1947. They had just completed the new, modern Industrial Arts building at nearby Central State University (now University of Central Oklahoma), where Dr. M.W. Glasgow was a professor, so I assume that the architects and client met through that connection.
Dr. Glasgow had recently purchased a hilltop plot of land overlooking the university that had an interesting Native American legend attached to it. Perhaps because the land was one of the high spots in Edmond, Native Americans in the area believed that it would always be protected from Oklahoma’s fierce and frequent tornadoes. (So far, the legend has held up, and this area of Edmond has always been spared the terrifying winds that have damaged and destroyed so many other parts of the city over the years).
Taking advantage of the non-tornadic hilltop breezes, lead architect Conner designed the modest, three-bedroom home with a “square floor plan for economy, (and a) roof and ceiling ridge set diagonally to provide natural updraft ventilation.”
In addition, screened-in, floor-level transom windows and a louvered roof cupola allowed for efficient ventilation (especially important in the days before air conditioning), while overhangs protected the interior from the hot, Oklahoma sun.
A later article (and cover photo) in the annual House Beautiful Building Manual declared that the 1,600-square-foot home, designed for a family of five, was “a demonstration of how imaginative design can yield comfort and convenience as well as economy.” While the bedrooms are small, partial window partitions along the top of the rooms make them feel more spacious while still providing privacy. The large, L-shaped living/dining room is surrounded by walls of glass offset with a dramatic flagstone wall topped with windows and an angled, stone fireplace with a matching (and somewhat Goffian), triangular skylight.
The unique home, which garnered House Beautiful’s praise for the innovative, “teepee ventilation” design, was also recognized by the Oklahoma chapter of the AIA in 1954:
Long after the Glasgow family moved away, a subsequent owner contacted one of the doctor’s now-grown children to interview him about his experiences living in the house. Perhaps not surprisingly considering its innovative design, the younger Glasgow happily recalled that the entire time he lived in the house, passersby frequently did double-takes as they drove by the house on Timber Lane. They would often turn around and would drive up and down the street multiple times to get better views of their home … just like I did so many decades later.