Famed Liddle House open to public Jan. 16

Docomomo WEWA and Historic Tacoma will co-sponsor a tour of the Alan Liddle House in Lakewood on Sat., Jan. 16 between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

According to the two organizations, Tacoma architect Liddle’s Lakewood home was built by Parker Gadd and completed in 1969. The house was widely publicized after its construction and received numerous design awards, including an honor award from the Southwest Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The house was also a citation winner in the ninth biennial round of the AIA-Sunset Magazine Western Home Awards in 1973.

The contemporary Northwest style house sits on a heavily wooded site at the highest elevation overlooking Gravelly Lake. The design was inspired by Finnish architecture, incorporating brick floors (continued from the courtyard to the interior), sloping wood ceilings, and a freestanding fireplace. The house was designed to provide ample sunlight even though the lake side of the structure has a northern exposure. The sun-trap courtyard, nestled between the carport and the house, is a major exterior feature and provides the outdoor-indoor living effect so popular among residences of the Modern era.

The house was designed by Liddle as his own residence and represents the unique, personal space of one of Tacoma’s most prominent architects. Up until his death in May 2009, the house remained true to its late-1960s/early-1970s appearance, complete with original furnishings, artwork, and book collection. Members of the Docomomo WEWA Board of Directors met with Liddle in his home in 2006. After Liddle’s death, the house was deeded to the Tacoma Art Museum.

The Alan Liddle House is located at 12735 Gravelly Lake Dr. SW. The tour is free, but donations will be accepted. Reservations are not needed. Parking is limited and visitors are encouraged to carpool. For more information, visit http://www.docomomo-wewa.org and http://www.historictacoma.net .