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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Alcoa Care-free Home for sale in Portland

After World War II, companies like U. S. Steel, who sponsored the Case Study House Program, and the Aluminum Company of America (now Alcoa), saw aluminum as a "miracle metal" that had uses reaching far beyond the defense industry. In 1957 Alcoa issued a press release, saying they wanted to create the "greatest change in residential building materials in centuries."

Alcoa hired architect Charles M. Goodman to design a 1900 square foot single-story home which they originally planned to showcase in every state, but they ultimately only succeeded in building 24 houses in "strategic locations" in 16 states, because what was originally promoted as an affordable $25,000 home turned out to cost twice that much.

Goodman's plan

The only Alcoa Care-free home in Oregon is currently for sale in Portland. It is listed at $950,000. The square footage has been increased from the original 1900 to 2826, without changing the footprint, by converting the workshop behind the garage to a guest suite and laundry room.

The home still has the original purple aluminum exterior and peacock blue woven aluminum window grilles and blue aluminum door. It also features an interior courtyard and a number of glass interior walls.



  1. A well known architect in Northern Va. where I grew up. He designed the modern houses for Hollin Hills in Alexandria Va.It would make a good addition to your list of designers.

  2. That is a really neat looking house. Price makes it seem like it should be in FLorida, but aluminum would corrode away in a year here. Wish it had a green door. Then is could be a Barney house, and the owner could sing Behind the Green Door.

  3. Beautiful. If only I could afford the pricetag, I'd scoop it up in a minute. Based on those pictures, there aren't a lot of things I'd want to change.

    1. It's been beautifully maintained, hasn't it? I'm so glad people haven't made a lot of changes to it over the years.