Wallace E. Pratt House

Texas USA

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The Wallace E. Pratt House, also known as Ship On The Desert (sometimes hyphenated), was the residence of Wallace Pratt in what is now Guadalupe Mountains National Park in far western Texas. Pratt, a petroleum geologist for the Humble Oil & Refining Company, had previously built the Wallace Pratt Lodge in McKittrick Canyon a couple of miles to the north in the Guadalupe Mountains. Finding the cabin site to be remote and prone to being cut off by flooding, Pratt started construction of a new, modern residence on the east slope of the mountains. Work on the residence started in 1941. The house was designed by Long Island architect Newton Bevin, who lived for a time at the site with his wife, and built by contractor Ed Birdsall. Work was stopped by World War II, but resumed in 1945 and was completed the same year. In contrast to Pratt's rustic canyon cabin, the house, which Pratt named the Ship On The Desert, is an International Style house with horizontal lines and extensive glazing. Only wide and long, the house provides broad views to the east over the plans and the west to the mountains. The majority of the house is on a single level, with a "captain's bridge" over the dining room giving access to a rooftop terrace. A detached garage contained a guest bedroom. Apart from glass, the predominant material was local limestone in several shades. Pratt and his wife, Iris, lived at the Ship On The Desert until 1963, when Pratt's health dictated a move to Tucson, Arizona. The house was donated to the new park along with of lands in the northern part of the proposed park by the Pratts between 1959 and 1961. It was used as a residence for National Park Service employees, and has been determined to be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The house is occasionally open for tours sponsored by the National Park Service.

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Wallace E. Pratt House


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  • Pets Allowed
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  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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