4507 Young Lane, The Guilott Home
The Guilott Home was built in 1964 from plans by noted futurist architect and engineer Gilbert Spindel. This particular circular house was Spindel’s “Geodesica” model and is one of only eight known in the United States.
The home’s current owner researched Spindel’s work elsewhere and has visited with other Spindel house owners in their homes.
The seven other documented Geodesica houses are in Norfolk, Virginia; Jacksonville and Pahokee, Florida; Boone, North Carolina; Stuttgart and Magnolia, Arkansas; and Shawnee, Oklahoma.
Although all “Geodesica” homes were essentially the same, the architect customized this example with a sunken living room, curved outer hallway walls, a shower/tub combo to the bath, and a sun porch.
The tour will include the original house as designed. Additions made in the 1980’s and 1990’s are not on tour.
The original owners, the Murphy Guidry family, had seen a prototype of the house in Florida in 1963. A master electrician, Mr. Guidry worked for the utility company, Gulf States, and wanted to showcase an all-electric house as his personal family home. The Guidrys lived in it for five years. They sold the house to Jack Doland, noted McNeese University football coach, and later president, and state senator. The Doland family moved from a 19th century Victorian house in Baton Rouge to this space-age house in 1969 and lived here for most of his early career at the University.
The diameter of the house is 60 feet, and that of the round living room 20 feet. The height of the living room is 14 feet. Most of the original bones of “Geodesica” were not altered, but overlayed with 1980’s and 1990’s “renovations” and alterations. The current owner, Sarah Guilott, purchased the house in 2010 and immediately began researching “Mid-Century Modern” styling and materials in an effort to return the house to its proper Mid-Century aesthetic. Working with a budget, the owner made wise use of house resources and internet sources, selectively removing inappropriate add-ons and inventively creating solutions to design problems. She removed the popcorn finish on ceilings, removed sheetrock which hid the clerestory windows in the living room, reworked kitchen cabinets, and repainted the entire interior in period colors. She replaced inappropriate flooring with period flooring and found just the right color shag carpeting for the living room. She returned the entry way to Mid-Century splendor with freshly installed mosaic tile and by reworking the double doors with glass and metal accents.
The restoration project included retaining and reusing as much of the original building materials as possible including the period colored porcelain in the bathrooms and the terrazzo. A highly selective palette of period touches includes era-appropriate lighting fixtures, a wall-sized mural, and display space for extensive collections of period ash trays, enamel flower pins, furniture and other decorative objects.
Photos and additional information about this house are available online at Retrorenovation.com: