In decades separating World War I and World War II, Americans tended to prefer houses that reflected past traditions, while European architects emphasized on radically new designs that came to be know as International Style.
Features that classify these types of houses include flat roofs, large windows, unornamented exteriors, straight edges, smooth facades and intermixing materials such as steel, stucco, concrete, glass, and wood. International style often incorporates long ribbons of windows that compliment the simplistic design. Architects focus on allowing the difference of shapes, textures, and designs to give the house flare and uniqueness. International houses are most noted by their deviation of traditional style. Most houses reject non-essential decoration. An example would be using plates of glass as walls, using single-paned, irregular windows instead of traditional multi-paned, centered windows, and having flat roofs that offer no ledges.
This International house portrays almost every symbolic feature that gives it the name. Located on the corner of Straughan and Bannock, it offers the surrounding historical area a glimpse of futuristic, modern design. It provides a unique image and an energy efficient feel in an otherwise traditional community. The house is actually a duplex with one address facing north and the other facing east. The eastern-faced house has massive oak doors, which are complimented by the single-paned windows. A long, vertical hanging window, which gives the structure an elongated appearance, offsets the balcony on the top floor. Although there is no yard, there is a lengthy flight of stairs leading from the second story to a stone patio. The perimeter of the property is adorned with flowing trees and budding bushes giving the property a relaxed, nature-oriented feel.
The north-facing house, on the other hand, has substantially fewer features that reflect an International style. While it does have an oak door, and sporadic windows, the exterior of the house is generally plain. The second floor is ornamented with 4 rectangular windows on the right while having no windows on the left, except a small, square window above the door. A balcony faces east giving the structure openness and allowing more light to pass in. A common aspect in both houses is the use of plated steel for garage doors and sloped driveways giving it an overwhelming feeling of stimuli.
The house was built in 2004 when the previous bungalow style residence was bulldozed. The construction of this house was a motivating factor for the community to assemble a Historic District. The purpose of the Historical District was to protect other established houses in the area of the east end and the foothills. This house is often used as a “conversation piece about compatibility… and the need for establishing historic districts” (Shelby Day). Although it is an extravagant residence, it simply doesn’t fit in with the heritage homes of the neighborhood.