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LOCATION Maitland, Florida
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
During the Spring and Summer semesters of 2021, UCF History graduate student Trevor Colaneri conducted a laser scan of Piney Croft. This eclectic A-frame house provides a wonderful representation of a style of architecture that was found in the 1950s and 1960s in both residential and commercial properties. One of the most noted A-frames of the era was from the Whataburger franchise.
The text and materials below were provided by Trevor Colaneri
Architect and Design
Clifford William Wright is the architect who built the A-framed home at Piney Croft, Maitland. Wright was born in the hamlet of Oceanside in Nassau County, Long Island, New York, on April 15, 1933, yet spent most of his childhood in the Winter Park/Maitland area. He received his Bachelor of Architecture in 1955, received his architect’s license, then moved across the street from the Meyer family. After getting to know the Meyer family and being inspired by Mrs. Meyer’s artistic ideas, he designed a house for them to be completed by the end of 1959.
Wright spent two months coming up with the design for the Meyer residence and was encouraged by Mrs. Meyer’s artistic desire to create the unique A-framed structure. Wright designed the house to be easily cooled despite the 32-foot overhead since the cooler air would collect towards the bottom of the house, however, this property would also make it difficult to heat the house in the winter. Wright overcame this drawback by designing a brick fireplace to help with Florida’s short winters. In designing the Meyer family’s residence, he was challenged to anchor the tall 32-foot A-framed structure against hurricanes and other strong winds. The answer to ensuring the structure’s integrity came from using steel plates to clamp the support beams in the center structure and anchor them into large pieces of concrete buried underneath the ground.
The house was of a modern design in 1959 by following the recent trend of A-framed houses started in 1957 by Andrew Geller and was the first A-framed home in the Central Florida area. It was designed with many modern influences including a sunken living room, wall to wall carpet, aluminum construction and newly prefabricated wooden beams, and thirty-two double multicolored glass windows along the two major A-framed walls however, it is not clear if these multicolored glass windows ever made it into the final build over a more traditional choice. Wright balanced the unique structure with two traditional expansions on both sides of the A-frame featuring additional bedrooms and bathrooms on the eastern side and a three-car garage on the western totaling 2600 square feet. Plans for a seamless patio deck and pool extending south of the eastern wing of the house were drawn but, much like the multicolored window panels, there are doubts if there were ever followed through.
The structure underwent renovations circa 1999 at the behest of a previous owner. An additional wing was added to the south side of the residence to the east of the A-frame where the pool would have been built. Interior renovations also took place which involved homogenizing the tile work throughout the house and adding stonework encasing around the original brick fireplace to match the new stonework fireplace in the new wing bringing the total square footage up to 3200.
ChronoPoints would like to thank Dr. Scot French for his permission to laser scan Piney Croft. Additional information addressing the project can be found on Trevor’s page.