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USModernist Bruce Goff

BRUCE ALONZO GOFF (1904-1982)
Goff was born in Alton KS. He started school in Skiatook OK, where he was fascinated by a picture of the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, his first real exposure to architecture other than frontier structures. Later, after moving to Hominy OK, he began drawing buildings on wrapping paper. Goff was largely self-educated and displayed a great talent for drawing. His father apprenticed him at age 12 to the Tulsa architectural firm of Rush, Endacott and Rush. One of his earliest built designs was 1732 South Yorktown Avenue in Tulsa's Yorktown Historical District; another was the 1920 McGregor House, at 1401 South Quaker Street in what is now known as the Cherry Street District. During this period, his work was heavily influenced through his correspondence with Frank Lloyd Wright and with Louis Sullivan, both of whom had encouraged him to practice architecture with Rush, Endacott and Rush instead of enrolling in Massachusetts Institute of Technology; they felt the formal education would stifle his creativity. Goff was made a firm partner in 1930.  He and his high-school art teacher Adah Robinson are co-credited with the design of Tulsa's Boston Avenue Methodist Church, one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the United States. Goff designed the Tulsa Club, downtown Tulsa's historic landmark, in 1927.

In 1934 Goff moved to Chicago and began teaching part-time at the Academy of Fine Arts, working for the manufacturer of Vitrolite. He served in the Navy as an architect during WWII. He also obtained a teaching position with the School of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma in 1942. Despite being largely self-taught, Goff was named chairman of the design school in 1943. In 1955, Goff, who was gay, was accused of "endangering the morals of a minor", and was forced to resign from his position at the University of Oklahoma.

In 1955, Goff relocated his studio to the Price Tower in Bartlesville OK which was designed by his mentor Frank Lloyd Wright. Goff's mature work had no precedent and he has few heirs other than his former assistant, New Mexico architect Bart Prince, and former student, Herb Greene. A number of Goff's original designs are on display at the Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2002 Heinz Emigholz produced the documentary film Goff in the Desert which depicts 62 of Bruce Goff's buildings. There is a 2020 film by Britni Harris called Goff which covers the arc of his life and career as remembered by his friends and students.

Goff's contributions to 20th-century architecture are widely praised. His archive—including architectural drawings, paintings, musical compositions, photographs, project files, and personal and professional papers—is held by the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries at the Art Institute of Chicago. Bio adapted from Wikipedia.

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1919 - The B. L. Graves Summer House, near Los Angeles CA. Unsure if built.   

1920 - House Studies, location unknown. Unbuilt.

1921 - Studio Studies, location unknown. Unbuilt.

1922 - The Baughman Bungalow, Tulsa OK. Unbuilt.

1922 - Bungalow, location unknown. Unbuilt.


 

1922 - The George Way House, 3047 South Peoria Street, Tulsa OK. First design, unbuilt. Second design, built, completed in 1925. Sold to Jeffrey J. Glass. 


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1923 - Studio Studies. Unbuilt.

 1924 - The May Allyn Christie Studio, Tulsa OK. Unbuilt.

1925 - The L. L. Holmes House, Tulsa OK. Unbuilt.

1925 - Unidentified House.


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1925 - The Fred Hansen House, 2262 South Utica Street, Terwilliger Heights, Tulsa OK. Destroyed around 2014.


 

1925 - The Adah Robinson Studio, 1119 South Owasso, Tulsa OK. Sold in 1980 to Thomas Thixton.


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1928 - The General Electric Competition: Design for a 5-Room House. Unbuilt.


  

1928 - The Patti Adams Shriner House and Studio, 1381 Riverside Drive, Tulsa OK. Plan 1, unbuilt. Plan 2, built. Sold in 1933. Sold in 1941 to actor Richard Mansfield Dickenson and used as his residence and speech and drama studio until 1953. Sold to Tulsa Spotlight Theater and the The Drunkard and the Olio. Patti Shriner was Goff's music teacher. Olinka Hrdy (correct spelling) was commissioned by Goff to paint a set of murals at the house. They were removed some time prior to 2001 but a mystery as to what happened to them. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.


 

1929 - The Watts Lyon House, 3418 Altura Avenue, El Paso TX. Sold to Angel and Dora Flores.


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1929 - The Stone Neerman House, Tulsa OK. Unbuilt.

1929 - Apartment Building, Tulsa OK. Unbuilt.

 1930 - The Glass House Study, location unknown. Unbuilt.


 

1930 - The Latham House, 221 East 21st Street, Tulsa OK. Sold in 2003 to Samuel Grayson.


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1930 - The I. G. Rosser House, Southwest corner East 31st Street and South Rockford, Tulsa OK. Unbuilt.

1930 - The Phi Beta Delta Fraternity House, The University of Oklahoma, Norman OK. Unbuilt.

1930 - The Ellis Neville Supplee House Interior, 424 East 13th Place, Tulsa OK. Unbuilt.

 1930 - Speculative Houses A & B. Likely unbuilt.

1931 - The Mr. G. G. Hiflord House, Tulsa OK. Unbuilt.

1931 - The Parental Home for Boys, Tulsa OK. Unbuilt.

1931 - Study for a house, location unknown. Unbuilt.

1931 - Study for a tower house, location unknown. Unbuilt.

1932 - The Hodgson House, Tulsa OK. Unbuilt. 

1932 - Two studies for a house, location unknown. Unbuilt.

1932 - Speculative house, location unknowns. Unbuilt. 

1932 - Study for a triangular House. Unbuilt.

1932 - Unidentified studio/residence. Commissioned 1929. Likely unbuilt.

1935 - The Concrete Block House. Commissioned 1933. Unbuilt.


 

1935 - The Burton Dunglinson House, Ealing, London England. Commissioned 1934. Unsure if built. Designed while working for Chicago sculptor Alfonso Iannelli.


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1936 - The Glass Blocks and Vitrolite House, location unknown. Unbuilt.

 1937 - The D. H. Goodwillie House, Toledo OH. Bathroom alterations, vitrolite design. Unbuilt.

 1938 - The Cemesto Board House, location unknown. Unbuilt. Two designs.

 1938 - The Octagonal House, location unknown. Unbuilt.

 1938 - The Theobold House, Chicago IL. Unbuilt.


 

1938 - The George Elin House, 206 Wagner Road, Northfield IL.  2 designs, second one built. Sold in 2017 to John and Barbara Silva.


 

1938 - The Charles Rant House, 210 Wagner Road, Northfield IL. Commissioned 1934. Plan 1 unbuilt, plan 2 built. Sold in 2007 to Benjamin Cothran.


1939 - The Charles Turzak House, 7059 North Olcott Avenue, Edison Park, Chicago IL. Commissioned 1938. Sold in 1956. Sold to Walter and Linda Slager since at least 2007.


  

 

1939 - The Frank Cole House, 910 Hastings, Park Ridge IL. House #1 unbuilt. House #2 built. For sale in 1959. Sold to the Richards Family. Sold in 1980. Sold in 2000 to Kenneth Jaconetty.


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1939 - The Paul Colmorgan House, 700 Echo Lane, Glenview IL. House #1 unbuilt. House #2 built. Sold in the 1960s to James Hamilton. Sold to Robert and Anna Deme.


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1939 - The Mack House, Chicago IL. Unbuilt.


 

1940 - The Helen Unseth House, 808 Park Plaine Street, Park Ridge IL. commissioned 1939. House #1 unbuilt. House #2, built, above.


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1940 - The M. L. Burt House, La Grange IL. Three unbuilt plans.


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1940 - The William Langdon House, Elmwood Drive, Highland Park IL. Unbuilt. Have model.


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1941-1942 - The Irma Bartman House, "Hickory Hill House/Tricero", 8310 Johnson School Road, Louisville KY. Photo #2 above is aerial view. Goff designed an unbuilt second house and addition for the same site in 1942.


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1941 - The Spencer House, Edgewater Road, Riverside IL. Two plans, both unbuilt.

1943 - The Bailey House, Portland OR. Unbuilt.  

1943 - The Commanding Officers House, USN, Attu Island, Aleutian Islands AK. Unsure if built. No plans.

 1943 - The Durfee House, Chattanooga TN. Unbuilt.

 1943 - The W. D. Innis House, Coronado CA. Unbuilt.

1943 - The Quarter Circle House, Oregon. Unbuilt.

1943 - The J. D. Thompson House, Spokane WA. Unbuilt.  

1943 - The Wold House, Altadena CA. Unbuilt.


  

 

 

1944 - The Myron Bachman Alteration, 1244 West Carmen Avenue, Chicago IL. Original house built in 1896. Sold in 2016 to Ocean Properties Inc. Sold in 2018 to Matthew Baumann.


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1945 - The C. B. House, somewhere in California. Unbuilt.

1945 - The Cheetham House, Mariin County CA. Unbuilt.

 1945 - The Bruce Goff Studio, Berkeley CA. Unbuilt.

 1945 - The G. E. McCabe House, Berkeley CA. Unbuilt.

 1945 - The Riley House, Oakland CA. Unbuilt.

 1945 - The James San Jule House, Sausalito CA. Probably unbuilt.

 1945 - The Warren House, Oakland CA. Unbuilt.

 1945 - The L. A. Wilson House, California. 2 unbuilt schemes, no plans found.


1945-1946 - The Stransteel Quonset House #1, aka Wilson Quonset Housing and Quonset Studies. Unbuilt.

 

1946 - The Paul Giganti Garage Apartment, Pleasanton CA. Unbuilt. (will scan perspective drawing)

 

1946 - The Paul Giganti Studio Alterations, Pleasanton CA. Unbuilt. (collection not clear if this was part of the same project as above)

 

1946 - The James F. Hudson House, 6th Street near Stafford Avenue, Hayward CA. Scheme 1. A second scheme was designed in 1947. Neither were built. (will scan plan)

 

1946 - The Kozak House, Deer Hollow Road, Sleepy Hollow, Marin County CA. Scheme 1, (above). A second scheme was designed in 1947. Neither were built.

 

1946 - The Don Leidig House, Hayward CA. Unbuilt. (will scan photo of model)

 

1946 - The Nicholson House, Berkeley CA. Unbuilt. (will scan plan)

 

1946 - The Giacomo Patri House, Corte Madera CA. Two designs, neither built. (will scan plans)

 

1946 - The Pfau House, California. No exact location. Unbuilt.

 

1946 - The Rosenthal House, Berkeley CA. Unbuilt. (will scan plan)

 

1946 - The J. D. Thompson House, De Sabla Road and Sherwood Road, Lot 16, El Cerrito Manor, Hillsborough CA. Alterations. Unbuilt.

 


1947 - The Constance Gillis House, Bend OR. Commissioned 1945. Unbuilt.


1947 - The H. E. Ledbetter House, 701 West Brooks Street, Norman OK. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places 2001. Sold in 2002 to Oklahoma University. By tradition the director of the Fred Jones Art Museum lives in and cares for the house as of 2019, Mark Andrew White. (Photos 1 and 2)


 

 

1949 - The Sam and Ruth Ford House, 404 S. Edgelawn, Aurora IL. Commssioned 1947. Sold in 1986 to architect Sidney Robinson. Video.


1948 - The Family Circle House, Atkinson Drive and Marshall Street, Midwest City OK. Designed for real estate developer, W. P. "Bill" Atkinson. Sponsored by Good Housekeeping. Unbuilt.


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1948 - The Garden Apartments, Norman OK. Unbuilt.

1948 - The Pauline Kinkaid Apartments, Southwest 38th Street, Redings Rancho Village, Oklahoma City OK. Unbuilt.


 

1949 - The Jerry and Alex Blakeley House, Highland Park, Dallas TX. Two schemes. Unbuilt.


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1948 - The Bachman House, Chicago IL.


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Around 1949 - The C. K. Newton, Bradenton FL. Unbuilt. In 1957, Goff designed alterations to another house for the Newton's, also unbuilt.


1950 - The Julius and Opal Cox House, 1300 North Cimarron, Boise City OK. Goff was commissioned in 1949 by son Winton Cox who served with Goff during the war. Built by Julius Cox. Julius Cox commissioned Goff again in 1959 to add on a bedroom, a porch and basement. By previous agreement, all architecture changes had to be designed and approved by Goff and built by Cox. Sold to the Cimarron Heritage Museum.


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1950 - The Henry R. Angelino House, amended Wetzler subdivision, Norman OK. Unbuilt. One of ten commissions Goff received for the amended Wetzler subdivision. Only two were built.


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1950 - The Richard Goff House, amended Wetzler subdivision, Norman OK. Unbuilt. One of ten commissions Goff received for the amended Wetzler subdivision. Only two were built. We could not find what the relationship was between Richard and Bruce.


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1950 - The George Goodman House, amended Wetzler subdivision, Norman OK. Unbuilt. One of ten commissions Goff received for the amended Wetzler subdivision. Only two were built.


 

1950 - The John Keys House, 911 West Timberdell Road, amended Wetzler subdivision, Norman OK. One of ten commissions Goff received for the amended Wetzler subdivision and one of only two built. Heavy window alterations made to the front of the house alter the original look of the house. (Current photo is first attachment. No original photo found to compare). Sold to Raymond Leon Price.


 

1950 - The Francis and Alta Maginnis House, 909 West Timberdell Road, amended Wetzler subdivision, Norman OK. One of ten commissions Goff received for the amended Wetzler subdivision and one of two built. With further design work by Goff commissioned by R. W. Tomberlin in 1951, the Maginnis House featured a steel and glass conical roof in the 1950s, lending to its nickname as the Teepee House. While maintaining the distinctive shape, the Maginnis House currently has a synthetic shingle roof that mimics wood shingles and markedly diminishes the integrity of design, materials, feeling and association. (Current photo is 2nd attachment. No original photo found to compare. Sold in 1951 to R. W. and Irma Tomberlin. Sold in 1965 to Raymond C. Junior and Mary Beth Dragoo. Sold in 1966 to David and Ann Swank.


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1950 - The Hankle House, near Sheridan Road, Evanston IL. Unbuilt.

1950 - The Elroy Rice House, Wetzler subdivision, Norman OK. Unbuilt.

 1950 - The John Whitaker House, Wetzler subdivision, Norman OK. Unbuilt.


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1951 - The James D. Wilson House, Star Route 99, Bay Road, Perdido Bay, near Lillian Bridge, Pensacola FL. Sold in 1975 to architect George Demmy. House was completely destroyed by fire in January 1980.


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1951 - The Concrete Block House Studies, location unknown. Unbuilt.

 1951 - The Leonard Stulman House, Old Court Road and Seven Mile Lane, near Baltimore MD. Unbuilt.

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1951 - The Tomberlin House, 909 W. Timberdell, Wetzler subdivision, Norman OK. Unbuilt alterations to the Maginnis house.

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1952 - The Roger D. Corsaw House, 1210 Woodland Drive, Norman OK. Sold to Peter and Susan Caldwell, still owner as of 2011.

 

1954 - The John Garvey House, 2016 Burlison Drive, Urbana IL. First plan designed in 1952, unbuilt (top photo). Second one, built. A bonus house behind, built since 2011, includes a sauna and soaking tub, along with Koi ponds. Sold to Latif Kahn. Sold in 2018 to James Munger.


1952 - The Otis Spears House, Lot 6, Greer Addition, Lawton OK. Unbuilt.


1953 - The Bruce Goff Studio, Webster Street, Norman OK. No address found but was later demolished.


 

1953 - The Ignacio Perez House, Avenida Circunvalacion Norte, Caracas Venezuela. Unbuilt. A second scheme was designed in 1954, also unbuilt.

Curious about Goff's design, on one of his visits to Bartlesville, Frank Lloyd Wright asked to see the drawings. He disapproved of the project's anticipated costs, writing Goff a patronizing letter of criticism that referred to the design as "hocus pocus for an opus".


1954 - The Richard Allen House, Tulsa OK. Unbuilt.


1954 - The William Cunningham House, Lot #1, Block 3, Tomlison Ridge, Tomlison Addition, Lawton OK. Unbuilt. Another scheme was designed in 1956, also unbuilt.  


1955 - The Bob Barnes House, near Canyon City CA. Unbuilt.


1955 - The Tom Murdoch House, 112 Meadow Lane, Midwest City OK. Unbuilt.


1955 - The Gene and Nancy Bavinger House, 760 60th Avenue, Norman OK. Commissioned 1950. Destroyed in 2016.


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1955-1957 - The Circle Tower Apartments, aka Texas Towers, Bartlesville OK. Unbuilt.


1955 - The John Frank House, Sapulpa OK.


1956 - The John and Grace Frank House, 1300 Luker Lane, Sapulpa OK. Deeded in 1996 to their daughters, Donna and Joniece. Deeded to an employee around 2015.


1956 - The Joe Price House and Studio, aka Shin'enkan, 2919 Price Road, Bartlesville OK. Commissioned in 1953. Additions completed in 1966-1970 and 1974. Deeded in 1985 to Oklahoma University and subsequently used as a conference center and think tank for architecture students. Sold in 1996 to the Friends of Shin'enkan, a local group with plans to restore the home. On December 27, 1996, a suspicious fire destroyed the home.


1956 - The L. H. McCullough House, 2301 Farrington Road, Wichita Falls TX. Commissioned in 1954. Destroyed circa 1995 and the property was readdressed as 3201 Martin Boulevard. New house built in 2007.


1956 - The C. Watkins House, Sapulpa OK. Unbuilt.


1956 - The Irma Barton House II, near Fern Creek KY. Unbuilt.


1956 - The Dewlon Aparture House and Studios, near Amarillo TX. Unbuilt. Designed for two artists. Top two images are one scheme, bottom two are of a second.


1956-1957 - The William Bass House, Tulsa OK. Unbuilt.


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1957 - The Don and Phyllis Van Dall House I, Hill Drive, Bartlesville OK. Unbuilt. Clients commissioned another design in 1964, also unbuilt.


1957 - The C. A. Comer House, 1316 North Creek Street, Dewey OK. A 2 bed, 1 bath house at just over 1400 sq ft. Sat empty for several years. Sold in 2012 to Cynthia Naylor who had recently retired from Wright's Price Tower and wanted to own a Goff house. Restored in 2015 using the original plans and photographs. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places.


1958 - The J. O. and Mary Motsenbocker House, 2416 Circle Drive, Bartlesville OK. Goff also did alterations in 1963. Sold in 2004. Sold in 2010. Sold in 2015.


1958 - The Donald and Gercene Pollock House, 2400 NW 59th Street, Oklahoma City OK. Additions in 1962 and alterations in 1963-1964. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. Sold to the Laura Bunch Warriner Trust.


1958 - The Robert G. Durst House, aka Durst-Gee House, 323 Tynebrook Lane, Houston TX. Sold in 1970 to the Starks. Sold in 1976 to Robert and Julia Gee.


1958 - The Raymond and Lena Darling House, El Dorado KS. 2 plans commissioned (1958 and 1960), both unbuilt.


1958 - The Paul Deutsch House, Bartlesville OK. Unbuilt.


1958-1959 - The Russell Snyder House, Chelsea Drive, Lot 4, Countryside, El Dorado KS. Unbuilt.


1958-1959 - The Owen Tolf House, Lake Koshkonong WI. Unbuilt.


1959 - The Richard J. and Joanne Riney Bennett House, 2841 Silver Lake Road, Bartlesville OK.


1959 - The Russell L. Collins House, 3400 Wildwood Court, Bartlesville OK. Sold to Stephen Franklin Smith.


1959 - The W. R. McBryde House, Kansas City MO. Unbuilt.


1959 - The Harold Price Alterations, Bartlesville OK. Unbuilt.


1959 - The Nicholas and Virginia Daphne House, Madrone Place, Hillsborough CA. 2 designs commissioned, both unbuilt.


1959 - The Robert S. and Virginia Allen House, Bartlesville OK. 2 designs commissioned, both unbuilt.


1959 - The James R. and Elizabeth Darling Akright Addition and Alterations, 2412 Circle Drive, Bartlesville OK. Original house built in 1951 for the Akrights, designed by David B. Runnels. Deeded in 2006 to the Akrights' daughters. Sold in 2007. Sold in 2011. Sold in 2015 to Roger Borg.

Goff utilized the land between the house and carport to create a high-ceilinged recreation room with a double-height stone fireplace. He turned the original square grid on end, forming diamond shapes to create a new module for the addition. The screen porch was expanded with a framework of stacked diamond forms resting in a sawtooth-shaped foundation. The rear of the addition included a larger master bedroom suite that, along with the recreation room, looked out onto an outdoor patio and sitting area.


1959-1960 - The Milton and Helen Gelbman House, 6970 Almours Place, Jacksonville FL. Destroyed in the mid-1980s. New house built in 1987.


1960 - The Kenneth Beall, Jr. House, Wichita KS. Unbuilt.


1960 - The Beulah and Harry Goff Studio Residence, Tulsa OK. Unbuilt. A second design commissioned in 1962, also unbuilt.


1960 - The W. C. Gryder House, 1212 Iola Road, Ocean Springs MS. Carport designed in 1966, unbuilt.


1960 - The Hayward Marsh Addition and Alterations, 2412 Price Road, Bartlesville OK. Unbuilt. Original house was built in 1953 and located within a mile of the Akright house.


1960-1961 - The Sydney H. and Geri Rodin House, Libertyville IL.


1961 - The John Quincy Adams House, 310 South Brewer Street, Vinita OK. Adams commissioned two other plans, in 1958 and 1959, unbuilt.


1961 - The Baxter Heights Speculative House and Addition, Bayview Drive and Bluff Road, Quincy IL. Unbuilt.


1961 - The Jerry Grady House, Casa Grande AZ. Unbuilt.


1961 - The John Overstreet Cabin, Cimarron River, Logan County OK. Unbuilt.


1961-1962 - The Marion and James Fitchette House, 1900 South Saturn Court, Bartlesville OK. Sold in 2007 to Eloise Needleman.


1962 - The Vernon and Helen Marie Rudd House, 205 Cervantes Road, Portola Valley CA. Commissioned 1959. Destroyed around 2015 and a new house built.


1962 - The Celestine Barby House, 114 Avenue N, Beaver OK. 2 designs, second built. Sold to Brenda Winkler.


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1968 - The Glen Mitchell House, Dodge City KS.


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1970 - The Glen Harder House, Mountain Lake MN.


Sources include: Catherine Westergaard Cramer;
The Architecture of Bruce Goff: Buildings and Projects 1916-1974 Volume 2.