I have seen the photos of the Wilson house before, but never bothered to find out more about it until last month (shame on me). I was searching for mid-century modern related places to visit in the Austin, Texas area and found out the Wilson house was on our way in Temple, Texas.
The Wilson house is located in a quiet neighborhood, just off I-35 in Temple, Texas. The exterior of the house looks an average ranch-style single family home. The house was designed and built in 1959 by Ralph Wilson Sr., the founder of Wilsonart LLC, a world-leading producer of laminate. Wilson used the house to test the quality and durability of the products the company manufactured until his death in 1972. The house was purchased by the company from Ralph Wilson’s widow in 1997 and had been restored to its original appearance.
Once stepped inside, the house opens up to the living room decorated with mid-century modern furnishing – and there it was! The wall decorated with a geometric pattern of custom laminates in my favorite colors!
Laminates were used extensively throughout the house including the walls, kitchen countertops and cabinets, laundry and bathrooms. Most laminates seen in this house are the original laminates, preserved from the time the house was built.
The house has three bedrooms, but only one (master bedroom) is furnished with bedroom furniture. The other two are used as storage.
The Wilson house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a significant architectural structure and was awarded National Landmark status by the Texas Historical Commission in 1998.
Today, the house is open for tours Monday through Friday by appointment and also used for corporate entertaining. The Wilson house is located at 1714 S 61st Street, Temple, Texas. Call 254.207.7000 for more information about the tour (you will need to make an appointment for the tour at least a week in advance). Visit Wilsonart website for more information about the Wilson house.