City of Florence – Frank Lloyd Wright designed only a single home in Alabama. It was one of his classic Usonian homes he was noted for, designed in 1939 for Stanley and Mildred Rosenbaum. It is referred to as one of the “purest examples of Wright’s unique style.” Constructed of cypress, glass and brick, the original house was completed in 1940; Wright added two new wings in 1948 as requested by the Rosenbaums.
The Rosenbaums were the sole owners of the home until 1999. It has been meticulously restored and is now a museum with displays of some of the original Wright designed furniture.
Wright’s Usonian style typically included flat roofs, large overhanging eaves, plenty of glass and flowing space. The low hanging, cantilevered roof over the driveway was designed for automobiles of a different era. With some of todays higher profile vehicles, people would pull into the driveway and hit the roof. Officials at the Rosenbaum House wanted to prevent this from happening and contacted the ParkingZone, a division of Pacific Cascade Corporation in Vancouver, WA.
After researching the Rosenbaum House, the staff at the ParkingZone recommended a customized magnetic Gorilla Post Bollard. Gorilla Posts use rare earth neodymium magnets to lock onto epoxied or bolted metal base plates with a magnetic pull of 380 psi. This allows the post to be deployed in exactly the same position every time. If there is an event or the need for photography, an ergonomic tool lifts the industrial-strength magnets to allow quick, temporary removal of the Gorilla Post. The Gorilla Post has a pivoting spring base that is impact-resistant and can pop back to its original upright position even after a 15 mile per hour collision.
Not wanting to visually distract from the Frank Lloyd Wright design by using bright, standard color options, a custom bollard color and style was chosen to complement the theme of the Rosenbaum House. After the Gorilla Post bollards were installed, museum staff were very happy with the outcome and they worked exactly how they wanted them to.
Although the ParkingZone staff had to do a little more custom work, the end result is that it works exactly as the museum staff envisioned and they are pleased with the Gorilla Post’s performance. This solution is different than a typical Gorilla Post installation, proving that it’s not just meant for parking lots and sidewalks. It can now be said it is helping protect an American treasure.
The Rosenbaum House is operated by the City of Florence, Alabama. The museum offers tours Tuesday through Sunday. It is located at 601 Riverview Dr, Florence, AL 35630, (256) 718-5050. Visit their website for more detailed information at wrightinalabama.com