Bruce Goff-designed Bavinger House in Norman apparently has met its demise

The architectural oddity either fell to a recent microburst of high winds in Norman, or at the hand of the owner.
by Richard Mize Published: June 23, 2011
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The Bavinger House apparently is no more.

The Bruce Goff-designed architectural oddity in east Norman either fell to a recent microburst of high winds — or at the hand of the owner, Bob Bavinger, son of Nancy and Eugene Bavinger, the art professor for whom Goff, the noted architect and 1940s head of the University of Oklahoma School of Architecture, designed the house.

“Fell” would be the best word for it. The home, a three-story design patterned after a DNA helix, basically was suspended from its tall spire. The exact condition of the structure could not be determined Wednesday.

The house, finished in 1955, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Bob Bavinger did call the State Historic Preservation Office on Monday to report its demise, said Melvena Heisch, deputy state historic preservation officer.

Heisch said she had seen a photo of the house showing it severely damaged. However, the Norman Transcript reported Wednesday that the spire could be seen from 60th Avenue SE. The property is behind a fence that has been covered with black plastic, the Norman paper reported.

Bavinger said a dispute with OU over ongoing efforts to restore the house left him “backed into a corner” so he decided to “remove the target,” according to the Norman Transcript.

However, on Wednesday, the Bavinger House website, www.thebavingerhouse.org, reported, “Due to severe storm damage we will not be able to reopen.”

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by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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