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An Essay on Art Troutner

"It appears that his (Troutner's) architectural work belongs to the fresh, quirky, uniquely American tradition of Bruce Goff and John Lautner …"
                                                                        Edward Allen, A.I.A

interior of troutner house

The Architecture of Arthur Troutner: Idaho Genius

By D. Nels Reese, Associate Professor
Department of Architecture
University of Idaho
Moscow, Idaho 83843

Presented at The Fall Meeting of the Society of Architectural Historians/Dean Marion Ross Chapter
Boise, Idaho
October 2-4, 1998

Abstract:
Art Troutner, architect, inventor and co-founder of Trus-joist Corporation is a man little known outside the Boise-Ketchum region of the inter mountain Northwest. A native and lifelong resident of Idaho, Troutner is primarily noted for his pioneering work in the wood technology field. Troutner is arguably the most important single figure in the history of the development of wood technology for architecture. His work has changed the way wood is thought of as a structural building materiel and the way the forest is thought of as a resource. Harold Thomas the Chairman of the Board of Trus-joist International says that Troutner, "…is the only genius I've ever known."

This paper deals with the architecture of Arthur Troutner, built over a thirty-five year period. Troutner studied architecture at the University of Idaho and begin building soon thereafter. His work was built of natural materials and was of the land. It is easy to see his great respect for the organic architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Troutner's work is also influenced by the structural insights that he carries to all of his designs. The large body of his work is found within the residential building type. Though he was the creator of the Kibbie Center structure that spans 400 ft and covers a four-acre sports complex. The Kibbie Center was awarded structure of the year in 1976, by the American Society of Civil Engineers. This paper will chronicle his work and will focus on a dozen structures that best show his growth as a designer and structural inventor. Special attention will be given to the structural innovations and the buildings in which they were used.

The Architecture of Arthur L. Troutner: Idaho Genius
Arthur L. Troutner, architect, inventor, industrial designer, patron of the arts and co-founder of TJ International Corporation is a man little know n outside of the Boise-Ketchum region of the inter mountain Northwest. A native and life-long resident of Idaho, Troutner is most noted for his pioneering work in the wood technology field. Troutner is arguably the most important single figure in the history of the development of wood technology for architecture. His work has changed the way wood is thought of as a resource. (Reich 1996) Troutner holds at least 50 patents for his numerous inventions relating to wood technology, machine design, solar devices and sail craft. Harold Thomas, the chairman of the Board of TJ International says that Troutner, "…is the only genius I've ever known." I, like Red Thomas have had the privilege of knowing and working for this local genius. However, he has also designed and built a solid body of architectural work, and it is this body of work that will be the focus of this paper.

The Early Years:
Troutner is about as Idaho as Idaho dirt. Born, Arthur Lowe Troutner in 1922, his life began in relative poverty in the eastern Idaho farming community of Pingree, located half-way between Idaho Falls and Pocatello. Being poor was a common dilemma in Idaho during the 1920s and 30s so Art probably didn't consider himself unusual in this dimension. His father had a 40-acre farm, raising sugar beets and potatoes. When time allowed Art liked to dabble with inventions at an early age. " I was always screwing around with something. I made a little threshing machine and little tractor with rubber bands around the tracks. You wound it up to make it go…Later, I built a model car and won a prize. It was my own design. It looked like a VW bus." (Woodward, 96) At thirteen Art was sent o Boise to live with his grandmother, in Boise. He apparently enjoyed Boise as it became his home and his place of operation during a long and creative life. He says he "… had a bicycle and a paper route," in other words, a job and transportation, what more could a young man ask for? He lived with his grandmother for three years and then Art Says, "he was on his own." Charles Hummel, long-time Boise Architect and civic leader, was a member of Troutner's Boy Scout troop. Charles remembers Art as "one of those people who was in a class by himself. He was always into great science projects, and mischievous things. He loved playing jokes and in those days he appears to be less retiring than his is today."

Art subsequently attended Boise Junior College, followed by a tour with the Army Air Corps where he was a crew chief for heavy bombers. He worked on the famous B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-24 Liberator, and later was crew chief for the P-51 Mustang. For boys like myself who grew up in awe of those wartime pilots, this line of work would have seemed like the essential experience. Such early experiences were no doubt instrumental in Art's development but he has no doubt about the turning point in his life. "It was going from engineering to architecture at the University of Idaho…I've been doing both ever since."

Troutner graduated from the University of Idaho School of Architecture in 1949. By 1958 when I entered the school, coming from engineering even as Art had done, ten years earlier, his name was spoken of in awe as one of the talented graduates of the small but much loved art and architecture program. Art's graduating class in architecture included himself and four other students Though he often contemplated sitting for his architectural license and was still discussing the possibility in 1962 when I worked with him, he never found time for the task. Fellow student, John McGough, co-founder of a major architectural firm in Spokane, Washington recalls him a being "smarter than hell, but he heard a different drummer. He came up with ideas that would stop us all in our tracks." It isn't difficult to understand what Jack was saying. He has amazed us all during the last forty years. Troutner has some sixty architectural and engineering projects to his credit, from innovative homes, and the circular Boise Little Theater to modernistic TG International offices and the University of Idaho's barrel-arched Kibbie Activity Center.

Probably his first residence is the home of Dritch and Trudy Bowler in Hagerman, begun back in 1947. This was a project done with and for a good friend. The house became the foundation and key building for the now famous Snake River Pottery. Dritch Bowler says that in some ways he and Art were joined at the head. The house is not a pristine structure as so many of Art's residences would be. Here, Art and Dritch created a house from scratch with very little money. They tell stories of fishing timbers and logs out of the nearby Snake River to use as framing and structural members for the house. This house is perhaps more like something that Christopher Alexander might imagine in his book, Pattern Language. The home today is ultimately comfortable and aging with charm, due mostly to Dritch's long love affair with the place and the beautiful pottery and art work located in every niche and corner. Still, in this house one can see Troutner's modernist tendencies. The flat roof, the rows of carefully articulated windows and the use of natural concrete block that will be seen again in may future buildings. This was the modernism learned at the feet of professors at the university, lead by the venerated Theodore Prichard. Professor Prichard was a very skilled architect, trained at Harvard in the days before modernism, but he had taken on a love for the Bauhaus and had built a department of architecture based on those modern premises. One can already observe Troutner's love of natural materials and the western landscape. It is possible to see his great respect for the organic ideals of Frank Lloyd Wright. In fact, Art not only discovered Wright and his work, but took the time as a student to visit Taliesan three times and admits to the proposition that Falling Water is Wright's best piece of architecture. But more like one of Wright's early apprentices, John Lautner, Troutner's work displays a love of structure that carries throughout his entire body of work.

Immediately after graduation Troutner began designing and building homes for people in the Ketchum-Boise region. By 1960 his list of residential commissions had grown to at least twenty-six. The most interesting of these early houses were built in the Sun Valley-Ketchum area. The Puchner house still sits carefully out of sight at the base of the Warm Springs Run. It is a simple gabled house built of natural planking and using specially designed joists. One trademark of a Troutner house is often the Oakley stone quarried from a stone quarry owned by Art and his brother Paul Troutner. The stone when well laid up has that feel of the stone that Frank Lloyd Wright made famous in his work at Taliesan and Falling Water. In fact, it was this same stone that would e used in the Teater house, designed by Wright in 1954, located in the Hagerman Valley, within sight of the Snake River Pottery. (see Teater House)

Troutner Residence in Boise:
In 1955 Troutner built a house for himself and his wife Kathryn, located in the east Boise hills just below Table Rock. He chose a severe site that was much to his liking. It was a tough sage brush and sunflower covered site marked by a long outcropping of basalt rock. There at the end of an outcropping, Art chose to graft his family home into the rock. He would imbed a two foot diameter steel column into the rock and build a sixteen sided two story house as if it were a part of the lava flow itself - a many faceted circle. While this would be one of Troutner's finest structures, a profound combination of steel, wood, and stone, it did not employ the truss-deck system. In fact, it used steel trusses cantilevered from the great pylon to support the floors and roof. A powerful wall of Oakley stone provided the hearth. This centering element is much reminiscent of the way Frank Lloyd Wright would center his own houses on a natural or man-made rock core. The view of the valley was expansive and here Kathy Troutner could watch their two young children with binoculars, if necessary, as they roamed the nearby hills. This is one house that seems to relate to John Lautner's work in the Los Angeles area. The property was of a size that easily accommodated Art's work shop and the now famous dirigible hanger. Here he could create to his hearts content. Whether it be solar dishes, structural members, dirigibles, or sailboats. Today many Boiseans have found the foothills a tempting residential site. Now nearly lost in a suburban construct, there can be no doubt why Art lost the joy and freedom of his original habitat built over forty years ago. After all, the house was not built as a suburban dream but rather a rocky Idaho get-away.

The Trus-deck Houses:
In early houses Troutner used heavy timbers, specially designed trusses, and an occasional glue-lam to support floors and roofs. Roofing would usually be built of one-by-six tongue and groove decking. Realizing that both heavy timber and glue-lams were over designed and a waste of material, Troutner searched for new structural answers to his problems. Nick Galluccio of Forbes Magazine quoted Troutner this way, "It seemed to me there had to be a better way to build roofs and floors," said the bushy-browed architect builder. "So I invented this truss. I installed it in some of the houses and buildings I built around Boise. It was lighter and it saved me time and money." (Galluccio 1980) His solution was a system of 2x6 decking elements laced together with a network of pressed metal webbing. The webbing was fastened to the decking with pins drilled at regular intervals. Troutner intended that sections of this truss system be built in the shop and then lifted into place on the site. This system used the best of wood decking and the best of a light- weight Warren truss. He called it Truss-deck. It would stimulate the name for the original company Trus-dek Corporation. Troutner also created the machines to assemble the system. In an old hanger structure at Gowen Field the Trus-dek Corporation was born. By 1958, the system was being tested in south Boise residences.

In 1980, twenty years after the formation of the first Trus-dek Corporation, Forbes magazine featured the small building product company in Boise, Idaho headed up by Harold "Red" Thomas and Arthur Troutner. According to the Forbes writer, Troutner and Thomas did not find love at first sight. That was back in 1958. Thomas, a traveling lumber salesman, had stopped by Boise, Idaho where he heard that Troutner was building a theater. Maybe Troutner needed some timber. What Troutner needed more than timber was an audience. Before Thomas could get a word in edgewise he found himself examining an open-wed truss Troutner had just invented. It consisted of a pair of two-by-four beams fastened to crisscrossed steel tubing. Troutner claimed it was a lighter, cheaper support beam for roofing or flooring (where it is called a joist) than conventional heavy timber beams. (Galluccio 1980)

Harold Thomas scoffed at Troutner's truss. He wasn't using the right glue or the right pressure, said Thomas. Troutner, who wasn't making much of a living at the time and who had spent years tinkering with his truss, couldn't stand this cavalier put-off. He told Thomas to go to hell and threw him out of the office. What turned an idea into a company, was the nagging thought in Thomas' mind that Troutner was on to something. "I knew he had a good idea," says Thomas, "its just that he needed to change the glue and the pressure."(Galluccio 1980)

Little did they know that two years later they would start the Trus-dek Corporation, which, with a name shift to Truss Joist Corporation, earned $7.3 million in 1979 on sales of $102 million.

For a short time Troutner continued to busy himself with house commissions using the truss-dek system as one of the key structural elements. This was one of Troutner's most fertile periods of residential design. He would work on residences for Dr. Phillips, Joan Carly, and Sandy Klien. These would be very unique and creative structures all driven by the use of the truss deck.

The Phillips House, 1957-58. The first notable house in which the truss-deck system was used was the Phillips House completed in 1958. Here is a house that turns it's back on the typical modern flat roof form that Troutner was fond of. Troutner had used folded roof forms before, but here the roof becomes the theme and the roof becomes the structure. This house reflects the structural exhibitionism that Troutner used in his own home, though here the use of the triangle becomes dominate rather than the circle, used in his own house. "The house was constructed as three folded plate triangles made of truss-deck tilted up in a three gabled A-frame configuration." (Reich 1995) There was little interest in the invention, despite Troutner's efforts to show it to people. Then one of the people to whom he showed it tried to steal the truss-deck idea by filing a patent on it. Troutner was able to save his invention, and he knew he was on to something important. Unfortunately, there was nothing in the building industry quite like it, and thus it was viewed with some suspicion. (Bunderson, 1992)

Dr. John Phillips, a psychology professor at Boise Junior College, was no doubt anxious for a unique and special house from one of Boise's creative lights. I remember the story that Dr. Phillips and Troutner had a difficult time finding a bank that would lend money on such an unique piece of architecture. Money was finally found and construction began on this house located in a rather private lot on Edson Street behind South Junior High School. Money was an issue for the young professor and so rather than the preferred Oakley stone the masonry core of this house was simple concrete block stained, to a fine natural rust color, with ferric oxide. However, Art's enthusiasm for the new system may have outstripped the grasp of a young professor's ability to pay and as the story goes the house finally exceeded the estimated $25,000 construction cost.

Klein House, 1958. The house for Sandor and Edith Miller Klein on Warm Springs Boulevard falls into the modernist category more that any other of the Boise houses. The house is fit into a 36 foot by 60 foot rectangle with an attached garage. This house used the very modern flat roof with low lying ceilings of a eight feet. Casement doors along both long elevations are reminiscent of Wright's love of the similar door type. The highlight in this house is a pool featured, inside the house adjacent to the living, dining, and master bedroom areas. The roof span using Troutner's truss-deck system could reach up to twenty feet without any apparent beams or columns. The drawings on all these Boise houses display Troutner's very careful and able drafting skills. At this time he was apparently doing most of his own drafting.

Carley House, 1958. The Carley-Eaton Residence, located on a choice hilltop in the east Boise foothills, may well be one of the classic examples of Troutner's residential architecture. Like many of Wright's designs, this house relates to the site in such a way that it is virtually impossible to photograph, in its totality. The house, originally commissioned by Don and Joan Carley in 1958, is now owed by the Donald Eaton family. It is built in a radial way that is somewhat reminiscent of the second Jacob's house by Wright. The inside curve of the house enfolds the private family area with an interior walkway leading from one end of the house to the other. Here key areas of the house, notably the living room and master bedroom are defined with massive Oakley stone walls, in this case beautifully laid up. The ceiling of the house is a grand example of the truss deck system so that one sees no sign of heavy beams or joists. Even an astute observer wonders where the beams are that would be expected to hold up the roof spans of often more than twenty feet.

The house we see today remains a thing of architectural beauty even though it has had a significant addition required by the Eaton family. Much to the Eaton's credit, the addition, though detailed by another architect, was carefully supervised by Art Troutner himself.

The single most salient element of these three houses designed in a short period of time is the use of the truss deck system. While it was both useful, structurally unique, and beautiful it was a labor intensive concept straining the pocket books of several of Art's clients. Cost not withstanding, the truss deck system was the breeding ground for the product that came to be known as the truss-joist. This new joist systems would ultimately lead to the financial success of the Trus-dek Corporation and with successive Troutner inventions would finally lead to the Fortune 500 TJ International Corporation that the country knew by the 1980s.

Truss-joist Era:
By 1962 the newly formed Trus-dek Corporation had out-grown its Gowen Field hanger and had been moved to a new headquarters several miles west of Boise on Chinden Boulevard. Here a new factory for the production of the now standard truss-joist was placed into operation. These joists were manufactured using a two-by-four as top and bottom chord laced together with diagonal metal tubing. The essential difference between the truss and the deck was that the truss was a stand -alone unit built in a factory setting and assembled on the site, while the deck was entirely assembled on the site. The trusses were not stable as a stand alone device but became very strong when assembled into a synergistic diaphragm consisting of a series of joists held together by lateral bracing and sheets of plywood nailed into place on both top and bottom of the joist. A sales staff was created to work with architects, engineers , and designers. Art Troutner was now encouraged to put his full creative skills to work on the production and development of many new forms of the basic truss. Machine design became Troutner's passion and while a few houses were contemplated only the Kahn House in Baltimore, Maryland was built.

Material issues would now become a primary concern for the new company. Long structural two-by-fours were becoming more and more difficult to purchase. Troutner and Thomas worked on perfecting a finger joint that would allow the fabrication of trusses ranging from twenty to forty feet in length.

Mico-lam Era:
As early as 1962 Troutner and Thomas were concerned about the lack of dependable two-by-four material that could be used in the production of the new truss-joist product. There were at least two serious issues to overcome. One was the time it took to assemble the joist and two was the difficulty is obtaining good stable two-by-fours. There were too many knots in the typical board. Each and every board was run through a stress machine. Identified knots would have to be cut out and replaced by gluing shorter lengths of two-by-fours together. This process required the use of finger joints and special reliable glues. It was this problem that drove Troutner's unique mind toward the development of a uniform and reliable material. This material would be made up of many small strands of wood glued together so that they would form a long and uniform building material. The product was called MICRO=LAM.

The Greatest Truss-deck Project
In the early 1970s, old Staley Field, the football stadium at the University of Idaho, had burned and the University of Idaho, faced the prospect of rebuilding. The University began to thinking about the building a covered football stadium. Glen Cline, of the Boise architectural firm, Cline Smull and Hamill, was then the architect of choice at the university, and was given the task of developing a scheme to fit this dream. Glen approached Art Troutner and asked, "can you adapt any our your technologies to cover a 400-foot clear span and give me a clearance equivalent to a 12 story building for the playing field?" Thus began the story of the Kibbie Activity Center at the University of Idaho and the greatest truss-deck project yet conceived. The story of the development and construction of this world class structure is carefully and eloquently portrayed in the recent book, Raising the Roof, written by Peter Johnson and published by the University of Idaho Press. Peter was President and CEO of the Truss-Joist Corporation during construction of the Kibbie "Dome". The building industry is much indebted to Peter for his book and this paper relies heavily on it for this description.

At the inception of the Kibbie roof structure, the Truss Joist Corporation was midstream in the introduction and marketing of two of its breakthrough engineered wood technologies. Both of these technologies were the result of Art Troutner's creative genius. MICRO=LAM, a laminated veneer lumber, would become a way for trees to be converted to a higher value. The other technology, the TJI all-wood beam, would go on to replace the two-by-ten as the preferred floor joist in the residential construction market. Despite the new products that were being developed at Truss-Joist Corporation, the idea of creating a large indoor arena such as that being contemplated by the University of Idaho did catch the attention of Troutner and his immediate engineering assistant Kevin O'Sullivan. As the ideas for this potential project developed others in the company became involved. These would be men within the engineering and production staff. The point is that unlike past residential innovations this large public project would require a concentrated effort by a large and well chosen team within and without he company.

This was a new area of concern that required new patterns and processes. It was also a time to consider serious risk taking. Peter Johnson recalls it this way, "Glen Cline had just presented us with the company's biggest challenge in its brief and shining history."(Johnson 1998)

Many ideas and approaches were considered but Troutner decided that a trussed barrel-arch held the greatest promise to meet the stadium challenge, even considering all its unknowns. And this trussed barrel-arch was in fact the truss-deck system revisited. The key difference was one of size. As calculations were made and products were tested the deck would grow to a structure 7 1/2 feet deep rather than the typical eight inches of the residential decks. Once the decision was made it became a major preoccupation of the teenage company. According to Peter Johnson, there was much soul searching after the bid came in and there were some question as to whether the firm had the will and the expertise to actually complete the proposed project. After all, Truss Joist was not a construction firm, it simply built products and got them to the site on time. Troutner's resolve carried the day and the project went forward.

Skeptics of the project had proclaimed the roof an imprudent risk, but the key players drew heavily upon their imaginations, skills, self-confidence, and of course, Art Troutner's native intuition. So armed the team unflinchingly performed crucial roles in an audacious act of creation. As Art Troutner reflected, "It was the high point of Truss Joist's history. It has never been exceeded."

The stylish and simple trussed-arch was seen in its most inspirational form during construction. It is massive, simple, beautiful and complete. Only the exigencies of everyday life get in the way to require an outer skin to keep the elements off the activities within and equally important to keep the elements, especially water off the structure itself. Part of the essential beauty of this creation is the delicate nature of each and every connection and the compounded structural ability gained by using the very best attributes of wood and steel. Here Troutner one-upped nature by using wood in the form of MICRO-LAM laced with steel as a lacy web. We can share in the sense of this simple beauty through the use of photographs but only those there at the creation could gather the true sense of poetry that the uncovered structure could illustrate. This writer can only regret missing those several days of magic as the great lacy truss deck forms were brought together and pinned into place during that summer of 1975. Today the structure is covered and the beauty is only hinted at. The most memorable way to experience the structure today is to climb up through the deck itself into the top of the great arch and peer down the 150 feet to the field below.

A side-bar regarding the great truss-deck vault involves the original roofing chosen for the four and one-half acre roof. The original budget of approximately $4 million was barely able to cover the cost of the structure. This was a time when the idea of sprayed foam roofing was very popular on large structures especially in the warm south. Such a spayed roofing material was used on this structure. However, the combination of a structure that moved nearly two feet from hot to cold days and the constant freeze-thaw cycles found in Moscow, Idaho were too much for the foam roof. Leaking began almost immediately and by 1980 the university maintenance was faced with crisis conditions of dampness and wood rot. The wood of the MICRO-LAM could not endure a constant moist condition. Much study, finger pointing, and legal action was followed by a settlement out of court. The litigation was followed by the installation of a new superstructure built over the vault and finally covered by a composite roofing system that has served to keep the roof structure dry.

Mike Thompson, the project manager had this to say: "the successful completion of the TRUSDEK barrel arch over Moscow's ASUI / Kibbie "Dome" was the largest single event I Truss Joist's history. It shifted Truss Joist from a good solid company marketing proprietary structural products to a world class organization. It was one of those pivotal events in a company's history that changes a company's image of itself and how others perceive it." (Johnson 1998)

The Kibbie structure received much recognition including articles in Engineering News Record, Architectural Record, Forest Products Journal, and Western Building Design. Then in 1976 the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) honored the project as the Outstanding Structural Engineering Achievement . This recognition for a project costing a mere $4 million.

Troutner's Later Houses
Art Troutner's latest houses display a strong sense of almost brutal structure and a western sense of the landscape. Each are very personal statements about structure and place where-in the artist becomes his own client. By this juncture Troutner's financial success was assured and he could afford to act as his own client, as he had done in the unique Boise residence.

The Stanley Cabin, located a few miles from Stanley, Idaho sits on the very edge of the Sawtooth Recreation Area. Two solid stone walls stand arrogantly facing the Sawtooth Range. Here as his own client Troutner was able to make statements about his own sense of structure, place, and the adjoining landscape. One response to the cabin is, here stands western man contemplating the mighty Sawtooth Range - I stand alone. A very Wrightian and western idea. The cabin features a 25-foot high picture window, tall not wide, that was brought to the site from Salt Lake City. The glass of one inch tempered plate was a might act of technology in and of itself.

Lake Creek Lodge, Hagerman, Idaho (1984). New technology and the ever present urge to build are probably the driving forces of this new house or lodge, once again built for himself. Also the urge to get back to the Hagerman Valley where he had begun his architectural career with his long-time friend Dritch Bowler. Hagerman is a very special place, even to the casual observer. Here are the famous Thousand Springs issuing into the great Snake River. Here too, Frank Lloyd Wright had built his only Idaho residence for Pat and Archie Teater in 1952.

Once again, Troutner relied on basic geometry. This time using two isosceles triangles rotated on a central axis. Stone and MICRO-LAM are the basic materials of this house. Here Troutner moves to the black basalt of the Hagerman area rather than the typical Oakly stone so often used in the past. Even Wright had used Oakley stone in his 1952 house. The MICRO-LAM product that had changed the nature and earning ability of the Truss Joist Corporation and that had been used so successfully in the Kibbie structure was now central to this new project. Here large box beams of MICRO-LAM were used just as glue-lams had been used in the past. The building symmetry is very sharp and angular and very basic and childlike. These sharp angles are reminiscent of the angles of I.M.Pei's National Gallery Wing in Washington D.C. Once again Troutner allows the structural form to reign supreme over the mere need to inhabit space.

Searchlight House, Nevada (1987). Art Troutner's last and final house design was once again his own private house located in the desert of Nevada, not far from Las Vegas. Here the stone walls of the Carley House and the Stanley Cabin become a more complicated arrangement of forms. Located alone in the desert. This author is left groping for the rational not so much of the house but the place. This was Troutner's first design for himself located outside the State of Idaho. While Art would have been well equipped to understand and love the desert of the Southwest, it was far removed from the excitement and needs of the T-J Corporation that had for such a long time been the center of this man's creative life.

Our Challenge
As we face a new century with its incredible pace and its demand for instant gratification we could do worse than to remind ourselves of our responsibility s historians and keepers of the archive. We need to be reminded of the great lessons that have gone before us. We have so often as a group lost or almost lost such valuable legacies. In such documents as Lost America by Constance Greiff, we are reminded of what we did loose. We came close to loosing Jefferson's Montecello in other times. As buildings reach that ripe old age where they need some tender loving care, we are reminded that Troutner's mentor, Frank Lloyd Wright, has a national love affair going with many admirers. Wright has been accepted as a national treasure. But here in the backcountry of Idaho few know of Arthur Troutner's work. We may want to remind ourselves of the special legacies of our own state and of what we may want to do to preserver and honor them. We are fortunate today that two of the houses under consideration the Phillip's and the Carley-Eaton House are in the hands of caring and sensitive owners. The Kibbie Activity Center is in the hands of an institution that is likely to be caring. However, Art Troutner's own Boise residence is now being rented and its future is not entirely clear. I am not sounding a cry in the night but I am simply being mindful that, the Troutner Legacy is a strong and important one and we would do well to understand it and begin to think of how to bring it into the historical place that it deserves.

The End

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Bunderson, Harold. Idaho Entrepreneurs. Boise State University. Boise, Idaho, 1992.
Fritz, Jane. "On Becoming a Legend: Art Troutner." Idaho Arts Journal, 1988.
Galluccio, Nick. "Just a different glue…". Forbes, New York, November 24, 1980.
Johnson, Peter T. Raising the Roof, Creating the Kibbie Dome at the University of Idaho. Moscow, Idaho: University of Idaho Press, 1998.
Reich, Jonathan. "Poetic Engineering and Invention." 1995. (an unpublished paper )
Woodward, Tim. "Boise inventor fills life with ideas, gadgets." Idaho Statesman, 1996.