Feb 25, 2017
Lawrence Kocher and Albert Freys Aluminaire House was conceived and constructed as an exhibition house for the Allied Arts and Industry and Architectural League Exhibition of 1931 at the Grand Central Palace in New York City. The House, while intended as a display of products, was also an overt demonstration of their use in modern form making and in a repeatable affordable house bringing together the ideas of mass production with high-density community planning. In just one week of exhibition, over 100,000 visitors toured the home, after which, the architect Wallace Harrison bought the house and relocated it to his property in Huntington, Long Island.
In 1932 it was chosen by Hitchcock and Johnson as one of the few American examples for MOMAs first architectural exhibition, and simultaneously published in their influential book, The International Style. Thus, it became known as the Harrison Weekend House rather than the repeatable prototype of experimental materials.
In 1987, threatened with demolition, Dean Julio San Jose and Professor Jon Michael Schwarting of New York Institute of Technology successfully negotiated to save the House. The House was recorded and dismantled by architecture students, moved to the Central Islip campus of NYIT and meticulously reconstructed.
In 2004 NYIT moved its academic programs from that location, and the House was once again in jeopardy and once again dissembled. The Aluminaire House Foundation was formed in 2015 to find a new site. It’s exciting to announce that the 1931 Aluminaire House will be transported to Palm Springs in late January 2017. Currently dismantled, it is stored in its own container, ready to be assembled and join the other Palm Springs works of Albert Frey, once the downtown event space across from the Palm Springs Art Museum is completed. (Date TBA)
Professor Jon Michael Schwarting and architect Frances Campanis passion for over 20 years has been to save Aluminaire from destruction and to eventually open it to the public.
The entrance to the Annenberg Theater is located behind the Annenberg Theater Box Office adjacent to the museum's North Parking Lot.