Charles and Mary Louise Curran House
4009 Curran Lane
In 2011, the Governor' s Council on Historic Preservation named the Curran House to our state' s "Heritage Register." In 2012, the Curran House was additionally named to the National Register of Historic Places and is the first listing as such in University Place. These honors are due to the historic and culturally significant properties of the Curran House and its environs. Recognized as a fine example of Modernism, the house--- and its associated apple orchard--- moreover represent the development of University Place, particularly after the "new" Narrows Bridge was built in 1950.
Designed by Tacoma's Robert Billsbrough Price, the house also exhibits advances in building materials in the post-World War II era.
Visitors to the Curran House today will see the typical components of Mid century Modem design: A carport, flat roofline, post and beam construction, skylights, and floor to ceiling windows. Interestingly, Modernism did not stress the use of garages. Due to our "mild climate," garages were deemed unnecessary, and carports were more frequently used, especially by Price. The covered walkway between the carport and the kitchen entry was lined with cupboards that could lock, for tool or equipment storage. (Note that this feature is also present at the Cannon home, again designed by Price.) In the basement, a large unfinished area was reserved for fruit and vegetable storage, in this very modem farm house. The Currans had a large vegetable garden in addition to their many fruit trees.
The apple orchard remains a popular community park, where the community gathers for pruning parties, summer concerts and a late summer apple squeeze. School children visit the park to learn about fruit horticulture and the early history of University Place. The orchard committee has done a fine job of maintaining the health of the trees. Examples of espaliered apple trees, by Fred Langton, are located in the south-eastern comer of the park, adjacent to the Curran House.
Owned by the City of University Place, the house has been vacant for about six years. Recent repairs include a new roof and new deck facilitated by the UP Public Works department and financed through grants obtained by the University Place Historical Society.
Architect: Robert B. Price Builder: Brian Laird Year: 1955