Don Thompson visits Eureka Springs AR. Picture of the J. D. Harris house.

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Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Advantage

Our blog buddy, Don Thompson, does a lot of traveling.  In fact, it seems that he is gone all the time to some far-off place.  This trip, however, was not that far and it was in our home state.....Eureka Springs, AR.  Eureka is known for being full of artists.  He discovered an artist who works with metal and sent pictures back.  He has made a short blog with a picture of the house.  Even after reading this explanation of how the house was built I still can't figure it out.  Don can!  We have a favorite thing to say about Don. "Don can do anything!"

 

J.D. Harris' house in Eureka Springs is a work of art and ingenuity.

J.D Harris
          HomeEureka Spring J. D. Harris house

Two of the more remarkable things about the Harris's home and studio are that there are no blueprints other than a sketch on a piece of paper, and J.D. built most of it by himself, with little help.

Others have constructed sloped roofs, J.D. said, but he came up with a way to do it without steaming the wood, which would be impossible for some of the lengths he's using in his roofs. He figured out a way to put two 2x4s together, put pressure on them and then nail the joints with nails at different angles so the planks hold their curvature.

How did he get 40 feet in the air to do this?

By building the walls from the ground up and making a hand- and foothold "ladder" out of pieces of 2x4 nailed to each vertical section.

Inside is 1,950 square feet of heated space, but outside is 7,000 square feet of roof.

Roofs, inside lofts and rafters are supported by cedar trees cut from their land. Building materials, fixtures and even paint come from Habitat for Humanity recycle stores. The floor is stamped, colored concrete.

J.D.'s sculptures nestle everywhere among the trees and bluffs. He and his wife Cathy plan to make the property handicapped-accessible so everyone can enjoy it.

I had an opportunity to talk with J.D. and Cathy about the think of it, then do it process.

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Anonymous
Anita Fuller

FANTASTIC!   I'd like to look around inside.  Do they let you do that, Don?  or do they make you leave your camera at the door?

Good job, as always.

Sep 09, 2012 10:59 PM #1
Rainer
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Don Thompson
Donthomp Associates - Sunnyvale, CA

The Harris' might have let me see the inside but I didn't ask. The studio had some of the same construction features so I got  feel for how the house would appear inside.

Here's the studio. The roof is curved like the house. Also, there a peek inside to see the construction with curved 2 X 4s.

Studio

   Peek inside Studio



Sep 11, 2012 09:50 AM #2
Rainmaker
1,088,317
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Thanks for the extra pictures, Don.  Building must have been a challenge.

Sep 11, 2012 10:12 PM #3
Anonymous
Debbie Wantulok

I think I am as bewildered at this creation as some folks are at me tying knots in sewing thread....it is amazing what people can do when they set their minds to accomplishing a project...and all this accomplished with no leaks...that would be the one thing that I would want to hear...let us hope that a storm never ventures his direction...I wonder how difficult it would be to find someone to help replace the roof if it did?  Don't call on me...I'm only an admirer of a finished project.  Nice job!  Maybe Don will volunteer...smiles!

Sep 12, 2012 07:02 AM #4
Rainmaker
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Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Debbie, you are so down-to-earth.  Imagine a storm and the insurance adjuster coming and surveying the damage!  What on earth would he use for comps! 

Sep 12, 2012 11:52 AM #5
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Rainmaker
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Barbara S. Duncan

GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR
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