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Guest article by Daniel Barron

In this guest article, Daniel Barron, the son of Robert and Cleoanne Barron, writes about his childhood home, the Robert H. Barron House.

In 1960, Robert and Cleoanne Barron contemplated a larger, child-friendly home for their growing family, as they had three children, but planned having three more. They therefore retained Jack Cawston, the architect of the Barron Building, to create a feasible blueprint of their designs. In a forward thinking manner, Robert and Cleoanne pictured a high-ceiled bungalow, with a large central, open concept core that would give their children room to play.  The galley style kitchen on the south side of the open area was designed with a long counter space where six children could sit side by side on counter stools.  The core was illuminated by banks of high windows along three sides of the two-storey high roof.  To open and close the windows, Robert designed a unique tool that stretched high enough to reach them.  Robert also created a film projector room within the furnace room at the east side of the core.  On weekends, he would bring home movies from the film exchange that he would screen for the family and the children's friends. At the west side of the core, was a roomy stone-floored play area that included a sunken sandbox for a time. The children could spread out in that area to do potentially messy art projects such as finger-painting. The west side of the core was expanded in a renovation several years later when Robert and Cleo had the summer-use outdoor patio enclosed for year round barbeques and recreation. The family enjoyed a large wooden tea house in the backyard, that was perfect for outdoor snacking, summer sleepovers and daydreaming. 

Other innovative features of the Barron home included: 

-  a mirrored exercise studio adjoining the master bedroom 

-  a master bedroom bathroom with two separate double-sinked galleys, with an adjoining shower connecting them at the far end

-  a master control for all the home's lights, located beside Robert and Cleoanne's king-sized bed, that Mrs. Barron could press if she had a safety concern

-  a "disco," complete with a mirror-ball and modern hand-painted walls in bright, paisley design 

-  a sunken, tiled bathtub for the children in which Robert bathed up to four of the children at the same time

The following video shows the house under construction in 1962: