After months of concerned speculation, crazy rumors, and crossed fingers that all couldn’t be as bad as it seemed, it appears that, sadly, the worst fears are true.
The Bavinger House is history.
Bruce Goff’s most spectacular architectural creation was severely damaged last spring, whether due to storms or to the owner following through on a threat to demolish Oklahoma’s most significant piece of residential architecture remains unclear. Whatever the cause, the owner, Bob Bavinger, has consistently refused to let anyone onto the property to inspect the damage. With no access, there has been no opportunity to work with Bavinger to perhaps find a way to save the spiral-shaped structure that, since its completion in 1955, has been featured in countless books and periodicals for its outstanding and thoroughly original design.
Instead, the now-ironically-named Bavinger House Conservancy has, for the first time since the home was damaged, updated the Bavinger House website offering “an opportunity for everyone to own a piece of history.” A piece of the Bavinger House, that is. Yes, just in time for the holidays, you can “cherish actual pieces from the historic house” and buy an aqua glass cullet or maybe a rock or piece of pipe that once held up the AIA 25-Year-Award winner and pass it on to that loved one in your life who has everything.
What an inglorious and even shameful end for a house that Bavinger’s parents, Eugene and Nancy, and dozens of OU students lovingly built over four long years using recycled WWII leftovers, locally-quarried rock, and bright green-blue glass rocks. All of that love and effort and originality being sold off piece by piece with the money going to a Conservancy that no longer has a purpose … personally, I think I’ll pass.