Pope-Leighey House, 1960s

photo by: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HABS VA,30-FALCH,2--1

June 1, 2017

Tour Frank Lloyd Wright's Pope-Leighey House Through Time

It’s been disassembled, moved, and reassembled two—yes, two—times. But Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House looks almost exactly as it did back when it was built in 1941. This is thanks, in part, to a recent restoration of its exterior siding, which you read all about in the Winter 2017 issue of Preservation magazine.

That restoration comes just in time, as Pope-Leighey House readies itself to celebrate Wright’s 150th birthday on June 8, 2017. In honor of this momentous date, we take you on a tour of Pope-Leighey House—a National Trust Historic Site in Alexandria, Virginia—showing how it looked before its final move in 1996, and how it looks today.

Pope-Leighey House, 1969

photo by: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HABS VA,30-FALCH,2--10

The east and north facades of Pope-Leighey House, as seen in 1969.

Pope-Leighey House, 2016

photo by: Lincoln Barbour

The exterior siding restoration was completed in 2015.

Window Detail, 1960s

photo by: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HABS VA,30-FALCH,2--4

The geometric window patterns on the east side of the house.

Window Detail, 2016

photo by: Lincoln Barbour

Today, Pope-Leighey House is one of the best examples of Wright's Usonian house design.

Living Room, 1964

photo by: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HABS VA,30-FALCH,2--19

The living room in the 1960s, featuring a built-in bookcase and furniture designed by Wright.

Living Room, 2016

photo by: Lincoln Barbour

The bookcase, board-and-batten walls, brickwork, and ribbon of clerestory windows emphasizes the house's horizontality.

Fireplace, 1960s

photo by: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HABS VA,30-FALCH,2--5

The cantilevered fireplace and dining area.

Fireplace, 2016

photo by: Lincoln Barbour

Wright designed an open floorplan for the house to make it feel bigger.

Kitchen, 1969

photo by: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, HABS VA,30-FALCH,2--23

Wright referred to the kitchen, shown here in 1969, as the "workspace."

Kitchen, 2016

photo by: Lincoln Barbour

The tall slot window in the kitchen fills the small space with light.

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based field editor of Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about art, architecture, and public space, and hopes to one day restore her very own Arts and Crafts-style bungalow.

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