The City of Lawrence recently added the George Malcolm Beal House (1624 Indiana Street) to the City's list of local landmarks. The house was added to both the National and State Registers of Historic Places in November 2015 thanks to the efforts of owner John Charlton, who completed the applications with assistance from members of Lawrence Modern.
Designed by KU architecture professor George Beal in 1950, and built by Robert Still, the house at 1624 Indiana is an outstanding example of Usonian organic architecture that built upon his friend Frank Lloyd Wright's design principles. Beal used a heliodon instrument that he designed and built to calculate site-specific sun angles that allowed for creating a more energy efficient house long before LEED ratings were even a concept. He introduced passive solar design by utilizing eave overhangs to shade the house in the summer, while southern facing glass collects the sun's rays in the winter to heat the house. Additionally, the central free-standing chimney absorbs heat that it releases into the house at night.
Not only is the Beal House an architectural gem, it also remains largely unchanged since it was built. Its high degree of historic integrity could not have been possible without the thoughtful stewardship of Beal and John's mother, long-time preservation advocate and LPA member Betty Jo Charlton, who resided at the house from 1971 to 2014.