One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s last commissioned Usonian-style homes, the Kraus House grows out of a hill and overlooks a small persimmon grove in Kirkwood, MO. The house features a carport, attached shed, zero 90 degree angles, and a stunning studio.
Here is a gallery of some (illegal) photos I took during my recent visit. Check out the unique drawer shape in the bathroom, the origami chairs in the living room, and the pronounced cantilevered roof off the studio. The master bed is in the shape of a parallelogram and requires custom sheets. The house also has three Taliesin lamps.
After her father died in 1977, Becky Rothman, eventual Saint Louis icon, took over the family business with her brothers. She was 22. They changed the name to Becky’s Carpet & Tile during expansion in the 80’s and Becky became the Queen of Carpets. She ran a successful local marketing campaign where she was often featured hovering over the city of Saint Louis on a magic carpet. Pretty awesome. Becky’s became a local flooring empire during the 90’s and then began to struggle after the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008.
She was voted RFT’s Best Local Girl Gone Bad in 2012 when she abruptly closed up shop due to the family business, Rothman Properties, being delinquent in paying more than $150,000 in property taxes from 2011 at four of its five St. Louis area stores.
The Rothmans may not have been the most business savvy, but Becky was the queen of local TV media marketing. Her 90’s commercials are burned into the memory of every person in Saint Louis. Just ask. Everyone knows Becky.
“In the earlier commercials, Rothman appeared alongside a family friend, Wanda, who was dubbed the “princess of tile.” They would hover on the magic carpet near the Gateway Arch and sometimes even flew into outer space.
Rothman said she would write the commercials as she was putting on her make-up. And many of them were improvised on the spot.“
She did a lot of ads involving The Arch including one where she jumped from it and used The Arch to perform a gymnast bar routine. See below the succint bit from Show Me St. Louis covering her rise to stardom and fame.