"With a budget of $24.000, the second Commencement House continued to be built on speculation with Gulledge covering the cost of construction until the house sold. The sole aim for this studio remained to design a marketable house and in this regard, the studio achieved success when the contractor sold the house to the Kenneth Hinsdale family, Hinsdale a vice president for the Jefferson Pilot Insurance Company.
The students divided the small family-oriented, one story house into public and private zones, orienting the public but cozy dining room and theatrical living room out of an expansive glass wall toward the wooded lot and lake view. The private part of the house, for a quiet and personal retreat, included three bedrooms and two and one-half baths as well as ample storage and a dressing room in the master suite. According to the aims of the course, students considered: areas zoned for family activity, a step saving traffic pattern, visual spaciousness beyond actual square footage, easy maintenance, dramatic lighting, and climate conditioning (through a central attic fan and well placed window and door openings.)
In the house, the simple entry hall sets the stage for the dramatic living room views with the living room two steps below both entry and dining areas, the separate levels permitting 'a borrowing and lending of space and light, with each area maintaining an independence and formality of its own'. The devised lighting unifies the formal spaces alongside a family dining and activity center open to the large art in the dining room, while a massive chimney (also of natural brick) divides living room from kitchen. Richly grained walnut furniture, upholstered in black, brown, and cream imparted an interplay of textures for the rooms, underscored by layered textiles on the curtain wall.
In the private areas of the house, students made the most of the space in the framework of a strict decorating budget, incorporating gently-hued draperies, hardwood floors, and multi-functional bathrooms that could be open or closed when entertaining the public part of the house. Throughout, the students specified wood furniture by Founders, upholstered pieces by Thayer-Coggin, Anderson Windowalls, carpet by Suwanee, and Armstrong Tessera linoleum. The kitchen contained an indoor barbeque as a supplimentary cooking area, a generous supply of work counters and cabinets as well as efficient under counter and general overhead illumination. Like the previous project, the 1959 Commencement House students sought support from the local community by way of donations and through help from several contractors. Duke Power company rated the structure a "Gold Medallion Home," the same award as given the 1958 Commencement House. Walter J. Moran served as interior designer for the project with Loewenstein coordinating student efforts in studio and on site."
- the commencement house story [handout]
at woman's college + the university of north carolina at greensboro