Sunday, January 28, 2007

Akright Home Memories

When the two daughters of Jim and Elizabeth Akright informed me that their Bruce Goff designed family home would be listed for sale I asked them, Susan Stanton and Carol Akright, to share some memories of their home. Sadly, their mother had passed away this past July, after having lived in the home for 55 years. Their father had passed away earlier, in 1994.

In 1959 Jim and Elizabeth Akright commissioned Bruce Goff to remodel their home, which they had built in 1951. Following the war the Akright’s returned to Bartlesville in the mid-forties. Jim had served as an officer with McArthur’s staff in the Philippines and resumed his work for Phillips Petroleum. Elizabeth was a housewife, taking care of their two daughters. In 1959 Susan was a high school senior and Carol was in the 8th grade. Susan remembers Goff meeting with her parents, the young “cute” student assistant Goff had who later monitored the construction and who also designed and built the rear patio bench, pool and light.

Susan remembers how, after the addition was completed, the recreation room became the heart of their home. “With the high ceiling and multitude of windows, it was airy, light, had wonderful views of the trees and sky (especially the spectacular Oklahoma sunsets), and made you feel like you were outside. Our friends would marvel at the unusual design, the Goff signature glass ashtrays set in the aqua colored wall panels and the diamond pattern of the front porch framing. We never put a television or a radio in the recreation room, as a result, the room could be very quiet and restful. At Christmas, the Christmas tree stood at the north end of the room; the fireplace was at the south end and always had a fire. We gathered in the center to visit and play games. We left the folding doors to the original part of the house open most of the time, so the kitchen and dining area became part of the recreation room.”

For Carol, the realization of the recreation room was a “dream come true”. She wanted a big party room and got a designer one! Carol remembers “2412” as a cherished memory, and hopes that some family who loves the house--its design, its special architectural gifts of light, openness and "Goff" features, will come to love it as much as she does. “2412 will always be what I think of as my childhood home. My sister and I will hand it over to the second family to live in--with both poignance and love--and the hope that they will cherish it as much as we do.”

The home is listed at $127,500, contact the realtor Barbara Hopper, 918-335-7202, for more information. Susan and Carol will provide the purchaser with copies of the original drawings by Goff. They plan to donate the original drawings and other papers to the Price Tower Arts Center.

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