By W. Bradford Willauer
My Dad, Arthur Osborne “Oz" Willauer practiced architecture from the time he received his Masters of Art in Architecture from Princeton in 1932 until he died in 1978, aged 70.
During his life, he worked in Houston, Washington DC, Boston and Prouts Neck, having married Winslow Homer’s great niece, Alice Homer. When her grandfather, Winslow’s younger brother Arthur Benson Homer died in 1917, Alice inherited his house “El Rancho”, and together they moved in during the summer of 1933.
His work at Prouts includes many renovations, including but not limited to Winslow’s Studio (to house a family), restoration of the Homers’ Ark for the Hallwards, redesign of the Halmos (formerly Day) cottage, complete redesign of the PNA Beach, and the addition of the Fairfield Room at the PNYC.
He designed new houses for Hope Talbot on the site of the Willows Hotel, Mort Pratt on Black Point Road, the Carvers also on Black Point Road. The whereabouts of plans for these houses are not known.
Joining forces with a good friend's son, and mildly distant relative, Richard Homer, they created the firm of Homer and Willauer Architects and designed new houses at Prouts, to include Maynard, Meck, and Rockefeller which are presently exhibited at Harmon's Market Gallery.
By David O. Willauer, grandson of Arthur O. Willauer
Richard Wellington "Dick" Homer(1927-2013) graduated from Proctor Academy, received his Bachelor of Arts degree in industrial design from Alfred University, and received his master's degrees in engineering and architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He married Roxanne "Rocky" Jones in 1953. Dick worked as an architect for more than 50 years, designing commercial, residential and marine projects. While with The Architects Collaborative, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he worked on numerous projects, including the Pan Am Building in New York City (now, the Met Life Building). Dick’s grandfather Eleazer Bartlett Homer was the Architect for Southwest Harbor Public Library and designed family residences in Southwest Harbor.
Arthur Osborne (Oz) Willauer(1908-1978) graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy and received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Fine Arts from Princeton University, and Postgraduate at Harvard University. He married Alice Lowell Homer in 1934. His architectural career included working on the design of the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, TX and B-29 Bomber Plant in Marietta, GA. Later he worked for Wirtz, Calhoun & Willauer, Architects, in Houston, TX, Franzheim-Mills, Architects in Washington, D.C. and Little & Russell, Architects in Boston, MA. His father Arthur Ebbs Willauer was also an architect with New York firms Waid and Willauer, and later Willauer, Sharpe and Bready.
In the 1960s, Dick Homer and Oz Willauer collaborated on the designs of many residential homes--some of which are featured in this exhibit--at Prout’s Neck, including the Hallward, Maynard, Rockefeller, Sprague, Smith, Meck and Talbot residences. These designs featured strong horizontal lines accentuated by broad decks and overhanging roof designs, taking advantage of views, geography and open spaces. Other features of these designs included large windows and posts spaced at four foot intervals, glass-filled gable ends extending to the roof peak and use of natural materials. Ozzie’s son Charles (Chip) Willauer later decorated most of these same residential interiors.
Thanks to Susi Homer and Brad Willauer for helping to make this exhibit possible.