O'Mahony Guest house

Twitchell Rudolph Architects

"We live in a home designed by architect Ralph Twitchell shortly after Rudolph left his office. We discovered this fact when we found the deteriorated blueprints in the shed. Whether we own it or it owns us, we have yet to decide. The house has many of the features of mid-century houses: clerestory and large picture windows, wide overhangs and no load-bearing internal walls. Bringing it back to livable conditions has been a labor of love or lunacy ... depending on one's point of view. The house never lets one forget where you live. It is always filled with light and the green of the trees."

So wrote Maggie Stevens, owner of the only surviving mid-century home of three once located on adjacent lots overlooking the Caloosahatchee River with direct links to the leaders of the Sarasota School of Architecture, Paul Rudolph and Ralph Twitchell.

The house that still stands, owned by Stevens and her husband, Steve Funnel, was built as the guesthouse for the O'Mahony Family when their main residence, designed by Twitchell Rudolph Architects, was never built.

Like many of the buildings whose designs or architects originated from the Sarasota School, this local example, was built with local materials - often, conventional items found on the shelf of the local hardware store. Now, as Stevens and Funnel restore their historical jewel, they look to other well-documented houses of this period, relearning methods originally employed to create these simple, unadorned, airy, open places.

Mr. and Mrs. D. K.O'Mahony, would be proud to see their guest house well-cared for and still standing today.

AIA Florida Southwest Southwest Florida Museum of History Herman Miller