ABOUT THE OWNERS: past and present
The Alcoa Carte-Free Home is currently on its fifth owner.
Built by contractor, Fred DeBlase in 1957, the house (which was intended to be sold on completion) failed to find a buyer. This may have been attributable to the cost (Alcoa Care-Free homes cost considerably more to build than Alcoa and their independent contractors expected--a fact that eventually led to lawsuits--more detail on the ARCHIVAL page) and/or because the design at the time was so unusual and unfamiliar. The result was that DeBlase and his family occupied the house until his death in 1988.
The house was then purchased by Richard Miles. I know nothing about Miles, except that he passed away in 2013. He sold the house to Rochelle Stoler in 1999. Stoler was responsible for changing the carport, hitherto unenclosed, into a garage. I believe she was a potter/ceramicist too, and she outfitted the storage room at the rear of the garage as a studio, with wiring for kilns, an independent heating and hot water system, and sinks.
Stoler, in 2007, sold the house to Michael Linsner and his partner, Steven Plouffe. Linsner and Plouffe deserve the credit for undertaing a major restoration of the property and the house, reclaiming many of its original details and unique attributes, updating kitchen, bathrooms, and appliances, and bringing the property back to its original glory. They also did extensive landscaping, creating magnificent plantings throughout.
In 2014, I bought the property from Michael and Steve. Because of their amazing work, almost nothing in the house's principal living area and the gardens needed to be addressed. I did, however, undertake a major renovation of the basement of the property, turning it into a photo studio and gallery space. Views of this can be seen on the BASEMENT/STUDIO page.
My name is Nigel, and I am a theatre director, designer, writer, photographic artist, and photography collector. Originally from South Africa, I have been living in Rochester since 1996. To find more about my "day-job" as the Russell and Ruth Peck Artistic Director of the International Theatre Program at the University of Rochester feel free to visit the Theatre Program website.
I am a serious collector of 19th century, vernacular, snapshot, and fine art photography, and a photographic artist. For more information on my photography collection, feel free to visit my website and the BASEMENT/STUDIO page of this website. For more information about my own photographic work, please visit my fine art website.