The Wilson House: A Laminate Laboratory

This mid-century home located in Temple, Texas was designed and built in 1959 by Ralph Wilson Sr., the founder of Wilsonart International. Besides being Wilson's private residence, the 3000 square foot house also served as a model home and "test lab" for his then-fledgling plastic laminate company. Experimental uses for laminate occur throughout the house, including as a wall decoration in the living room and as a replacement for drywall, where a special-grade laminate was attached directly to the 2x4 wall structure.

The home was purchased by Wilsonart International from Ralph Wilson's widow in 1997 and has since been restored. Interestingly, most of the laminate was in excellent condition; a testament to the durability of plastic laminate. In 1998 the home was named to the National Register of Historic Places for its innovative use of materials. Today the home acts as a museum and corporate archive.

The following video produced by Wilsonart features design historian Grace Jeffers commenting on the history and preservation of the Wilson House. For RSS subscribers who can not see the video click here.

Related Links:
Go to- Wilsonart International's page on the Wilson House.
Go to- Wilson House virtual tour- image is very small.
Go to- 1998 New York Times article about the Wilson House.

Images courtesy:
Tony Slagle flickr
ClearBlur flickr
DColman flickr
Wilsonart International


R. Claude said...

Une maison à vivre. Superbe. (Comme d'hab')

Anonymous said...

This was a Tour de Force of Mid-Centry Modern. Just LOVE your site. ALWAYS find the most amazing
art, craft, architecture, and inspiration. THANK YOU for taking the time to archive and share. Betty

Mid-Centuria said...

Thanks Betty!!