“no dusty corners in this house”

August 19, 2010 — 2 Comments

An article published in the Portland Journal, on March 23, 1930, describes the history of a round house in Cottage Grove, Oregon:

More than one architect has set forth the advantages of a house so built that the structure has no dark corners to catch dust, but until Joseph Landress of Cottage Grove, Oregon, built such a dwelling no one seemed to have sufficient courage to make such a radical departure from the accepted architectural forms for private homes.

When carpenters began the work of building the round dwelling, some of Mr. Landress’ neighbors smiled a trifle patronizingly and predicted that the owner had no idea how such a house would look among homes of the usual types and that he would soon tire of the place. Some of them inquired jokingly if Landress got the inspiration for his freak residence from a nearby railroad round-house or from the silos of adjacent farms.

Landress took these remarks good-naturedly and assured his friends that he was neither a modernist nor a dreamer, but that his curious house would have many sensible features which cannot be found in any of the traditional types of dwellings with square corners.

And now, with the house completed, the doubting citizens of Cottage Grove admit that a house built on the lines of a silo is not so crazy as it seems and that, even in outward appearance, the unique home is rather attractive. The windows are so placed that light is admitted evenly from all directions and in the daytime every part of the ground floor of the house is adequately lighted. There are no nooks and corners to cast shadows.

. . . The upper floor of the circular house contains three sleeping rooms and a bath, and has fewer windows than the downstairs part because there is no object in flooding the second floor with daylight.

. . . The lower floor of the Landress home is one big living room. A small “ell” attached to the rear of the building contains the kitchen and pantry, so that the beauty of the circular room is not marred by a partition cutting off a portion of the room.

. . . The smooth, continuous wall of the room, broken only by the windows, gives a pleasingly clean-cut appearance. And the circular floor, covered with a large round rug, makes possible an interesting arrangement of furniture that could not be managed in a room square or oblong in shape.

Once asked by an interviewer why he built the house round, Landess quipped, “I figured I’d have a house no woman could corner me in.” He lived in the house until his death in 1961.

Sadly, the house was altered greatly over the years, moved to another location in 1986, and by 2012 it was part of a Comfort Inn complex.


2 responses to “no dusty corners in this house”


    For many years I have designed round houses because I know the extreme advantages of such (round under the sea, on land or water surface and in the air!)


    Joe was a wonderfully kind person. He taught me to spin a rope. We lived in his rental house next to his Round House in 1948-49. We often visited with him in his special house. One night we got to sleep in one of his feather beds and it was like being on a cloud. I am happy to learn his house was not destroyed but moved to another location.

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