Papp House


Laszlo Papp


1959


Description

The Papp House is set near the top of a sloping site in the woods and is bordered by fieldstone walls. The house faces west, overlooking a valley and a lake.

The house was originally constructed as a one-room summer cottage. Several additions were added between 1959 and 1964 to create an asymmetrical U-shaped plan around a terrace and oak tree. The foundation of the house is concrete. The walls are clad with redwood vertical siding. The building has asphalt-shingled roofs of varying pitches. Irregularly spaced rectangular windows puncture the façades. The two-story structure that comprises the south end of the house was constructed in 1964 and contains a dining room, kitchen, and playroom on the first floor. Three bedrooms and two bathrooms are located on the second floor. A fireplace, open to both the living and dining rooms, connects and balances the two rooms despite the change in floor level (the dining area is below the living room). The projecting balcony of the second-floor master bedroom is enclosed with a solarium, and the first-floor balcony below is open. A patio is located at the rear of the building.


Significance

The original cottage on this site was constructed c. 1945. After the original owners passed away, it was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Palmer, who eventually sold it to Laszlo and Judith Papp in 1959. The Papps were Hungarian refugees who were forced to leave their homeland in 1956. Given their limited resources, they altered the small cottage on the site to create a more ideal home. The design of the house responds to the challenging slope of the site through the construction of several levels that flow into one another and create a dynamic space.

The Papps winterized the cabin and dug out a partial cellar/partial crawl space under the structure. In addition, they built a fireplace and chimney and replaced the doors and windows with large glass units. In 1961, a second room and a two-car garage were constructed to Laszlo Papp's designs to the north of the cabin. The rest of the house was essentially built to Papp's designs in 1964, with the exception of the second floor solarium, which was added later at an unknown date.


National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2009.