April 25, 2014 Alcoa Care-Free Home, Charles Goodman

Visual Tour of Goodman’s Alcoa in Grand Rapids

Alcoa Care-Free Home

I wrote about Charles Goodman’s Alcoa Care-free House for sale in Grand Rapids, Michigan when it was on the market a few years ago. I just came across this nice write up and visual tour of the well-preserved house on Mid-Century Michigan’s site. (Thanks to modern real estate agents Cincinnati Modern for posting on Facebook.)

Goodman designed the home in 1957 based on feedback from the 1956 Women’s Congress on Housing. With Alcoa backing the project, Goodman used aluminum in various areas of the house, including the roof, exterior wall panels and framing for sliding glass doors.  According to the original brochure, various builders constructed models in 16 states as a way to show off Alcoa’s aluminum products. There is one in Hollin Hills and one near Richmond. Around two dozen or so were eventually built.

The late Sarah Booth Conroy of the Washington Post described Goodman’s creation like this in a Nov. 14, 1957, article: “A house as full of color as a Picasso painting, yet as carefree as a piece of plastic. A house as new as research can make it, yet as rooted in love of beauty as the renaissance.”