The 1963 Martha Weiser House is an outstanding example of an architect-designed modern Contemporary residence in Boulder County. Martha "Ricky" Weiser, a local environmental activist and actress, and her husband commissioned family friend and local master architect L. Gale Abels (1927-1995) to design the house among the sandstone outcroppings of what is now the White Rocks State Natural Area in rural Boulder County, around eight miles northeast of the City of Boulder. Many of the house’s architectural elements are direct responses to the surrounding landscape, including the low-pitched butterfly roof, visible roof beams, relatively open floor plan, combination of wood and stone, interior courtyard, large and often unusually shaped window expanses, and deep overhanging eaves.
Close up of the home as it looks today
As it appears from afar, atop the natural rock outcropping
Martha Weiser in 1985
Backstory and Context
Martha "Ricky" Weiser and her family moved to the Boulder area in 1953, where she promptly became a community activist, the first female director of the Shakespeare Festival, and member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. This location for a home was chosen because of the family's interest in falconry. The Weisers chose L. Gale Abels, a Harvard trained architect, to design a home that would accommodate their love of falconry, nature, modern architecture. The home was completed in 1963. During construction, it was adamantly made known that the rock cropping upon which the home stands and nearby environment would not be damaged while also providing an excellent view of the city of Boulder. Besides an enclosure to the upstairs porch that was added a few years later, the rest of the home appears as it did in 1963. Today the National Parks and renters maintain the home. Currently is under review for its nomination to the National Parks Service.