Carol and Mike Wofford spent many a long, cold Alaska night dreaming of a sunny retirement in Oklahoma.
By the time they broke ground on their Lincoln Terrace lot in 2007, “We knew exactly what we wanted” in a house, Carol Wofford said.
Their three bedroom-, 3½-bath home will be one of five featured on the Lincoln Terrace Home Tour from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 and available at each home, or in advance online for $12 at lincolnterrace.org.
Emerging from the Woffords' love of Prairie Style architecture and their relationship to Frank Lloyd Wright's Price Tower in Bartlesville, the house's design was almost predestined.
Carol, a Bartlesville native who saw the Price Tower being built, eventually worked as director of Price Tower Arts Center Museum. Mike was an attorney for Conoco-Phillips, which once owned Wright's only skyscraper.
“We're both huge Frank Lloyd Wright fans,” Carol said.
They educated themselves on Wright's residential architectural concepts while posted in Alaska for seven years, sketching, scheming and collecting ideas that would eventually come to life on NE 16.
It was 2009, on a previously undeveloped lot “meant to house a ‘Grand Gate' to the Capitol that never happened,” Carol said, when the Woffords moved into their 4,000-square-foot house.
The location is fitting, almost poetically just. The couple met inside the state Capitol, just blocks north of their current home, when she was working for the Oklahoma Conservation Commission and he was working for Gov. David Boren.
Oriented in such a way that natural light bathes the main living areas — yet protected from blazing direct sunlight — the entire home is appointed with Stickley furniture, creating an authentic homage to Wright's Prairie Style residences from the early 1900s.
The expansive living room and dining room flow together, with Wright-inspired decorative windows looking west and another wall of windows on the south wall.
The central conversation area is all Stickley: sofa, armchairs and coffee table in the Arts & Crafts style.
Mike's office, opposite the living room, is furnished with a Stickley desk and circular meeting table, with a period-accurate Mission filing cabinet on one wall.
A guest bathroom off the entry way features a copper sink salvaged from a hotel in Chicago.
Carol said her “pride and joy” is a hexagonal oak table designed by Wright as an original piece for the Price Tower.
The kitchen opens to the living room via a square window that Mike described as common to Wright's residences, allowing for the flow of air between rooms.
“Only in our house, it's more for the flow of food,” he said.
Although equipped with modern appliances, the kitchen has a chessboard tile floor, the type that might have been laid underfoot by Wright himself.
The Woffords' master suite awaits at the top of staircase from the living room, its banister inspired by a larger one in Greene & Greene's 1908 Gamble House in Pasadena, Calif.
The bedroom is illuminated by one of the clerestory windows that are common in the house, with built-in cabinetry and gorgeous wood tones echoing those downstairs.
In addition to a relaxing library and adjacent portico off the master bedroom, the master bath is what Wright might have created if he'd built a spa resort.
For guests, the Woffords have included an entire wing downstairs, complete with a kitchenette, living area, two bedrooms and two bathrooms — one of them constructed as a safe room.
Suzi Epps, president of the Lincoln Terrace Neighborhood Association and chairwoman of the home tour, said that investments in the neighborhood such as the Woffords' are increasingly common.
“This is a transitional neighborhood for sure,” said Epps, herself an architect and the owner of Bethany's Stray Dog Cafe. “Lincoln Terrace has changed so much that if you haven't seen it since 2009 you won't even recognize it.”
The Woffords bought their lot on a hunch in the early 2000s “on the way home to Bartlesville from an OU game,” Mike said.
“It was just after MAPS 1. We saw what was happening in Bricktown and had a feeling that even if we never built on it, we couldn't go wrong,” he said.
Like another decision they made just up the street under the big dome, it has paid off.
Also on the tour
Other tour homes are:
• 636 NE 14, owned by Dennis and Samonia Byford.
• 644 NE 14, owned by Bob and Merkie Campbell.
• 631 NE 17, owned by Charles and Margo Harding.
• 623 Culbertson, owned by Mary Ellen Meredith.