Property Type: Residential
Neighborhood: Art Troutner Collection, Idaho Falls  |  County: Bonneville  |  Building Status: Private  |  Year Built: 1955  |  Architectural Style: Troutner Modern
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“The Aupperle Studio was the first house built in this District, completed in 1955 for Donald K. and Helen H. Aupperle. It is uncertain how Troutner came to be chosen as the architect, but it is believed that Helen, an accomplished artist, knew (or knew of) Troutner through her art circles or other acquaintances. The term “Arrow House” appears on Troutner’s drawings for the Aupperle Studio. One of the artist’s most common topics was portraits of Native Americans, and the window configuration of the north wall forms a distinctive arrowpoint It is not known if the use of “Arrow House” terminology was the result of Aupperle input, a play on words by the owner or architect, a reflection of the overall design of the A-frame structure, or some other reason. Nevertheless, it seems to be a fitting name. Donald Aupperle was an accomplished music teacher and musician, and a detail in the living room is worth noting. Along with substantially intact built-in cabinetry is a section designed specifically to hold standard dimension sheet music. Another interesting aspect of the house’s construction is the extensive use of Cemesto, a trademarked invention of the Celotex Corporation. Introduced as a strong and fireproof building material in 1937, it is composed of bonded cementious material and asbestos. One of its first major applications as a building material was for the rapidly constructed pre-fab houses built at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to house workers on the Manhattan Project during World War II.”

“The very tall A-frame design, supported by massive 4″ x 12″ beams, is a substantial expression of A-frame construction which was just beginning to be seen throughout the United States, although primarily as smaller scale recreational cabins. Its use here as a primary residential structure was rare for Idaho. Indeed, Troutner returned to this A-frame concept for another house he designed for a client in Ketchum a few years later. It is also interesting to speculate that the huge size of the beams may have helped inspire his search for a lighter, more reliable, support system which later culminated in his invention of the Truss-deck system.”

Source: National Register of Historic Places, Troutner District nomination form. (