1947′s Modern Home Experiment: Idea House 11
“When Idea House II opened to the public in 1947, it embodied many of the ideals of architecture and interior design at mid-century and reflected the Walker’s philosophy of educating the public on the virtues of modern design. This split-level contemporary house, designed by Walker staff members William Friedman and Hilde Reiss with local architect Malcolm Lein, was not intended as a model home to be duplicated, and no blueprints were made available. Rather, it was a house of ideas about the latest technologies for the home, including the flexibility and spaciousness of open plan rooms, the concept of a child’s “apartment,” and the practicality of modern furniture.
Idea House II received extensive local and national publicity with articles in McCall’s, Life, The New York Times Magazine, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Progressive Architecture, and the Walker’s own Everyday Art Quarterly as well as coverage in local and national radio broadcasts. During its brief time in the limelight, Idea House II was both a timely response to the immediate postwar interest in defining a new style of contemporary house and a prescient glimpse into many features of modern living that would make their way into homes built in the decades that followed.
Idea House II remained open for public tours during its first year. Subsequently, it was used as a residence for Walker staff, including former Director H. H. Arnason and his family, and in 1969 it was demolished to make way for a new Guthrie Theater expansion. “
- Walker Art Center (The Home Show Exhibition)