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Wright designed three homes himself and approved the architectural plans of the other 44, which were designed by architects including Paul Schweikher, Theodore Dixon Bower, Ulrich Franzen, Kaneji Domoto, Aaron Resnick and David Henken â€“ an engineer and Wright apprentice.
As for cost, there would have to be a sliding scale, it seems, assuming a continually rising cost of land, construction, and bank loans over the period 1935-1959. To be fair and consistent, would it not be necessary to compare the cost of each house against the average cost of construction of a house of equal size, built in the same locale, in the same year ?
To Peter's point, Usonia II is the only instance of Mr Wright being asked to consider the merits of other architects' work, is it not ? While we are happy to include similar work by others in the collection of homes we call "Usonian," as Wrightians don't we typically reserve the term, its definition(s) and numbers, to Wright's own work ? Don't we assume that the OP's question was directed at his work, rather than to all houses which might be called Usonian ?
Later in the chapter:
" The Usonian home became more akin to a consumer durable. One client admitted "I wanted one of the old boy's masterpieces before he died. I figured it couldn't help go up in value after his death-- like an artwork. "
The chapter concludes with the "32 simple and basic design ideas" from House and Home magazine, 1956, as exemplified in photos and captions of the Zimmerman house.
Usonian or Organic? Or both?
Perhaps it should work like this: the questioner gets to name his or her own definition, and apply the numerical answer to that definition of the term. Thus, on this thread at least, Unbrook will decide what makes a Usonian, whereupon the do-bees will get to the books and come up with an answer. How's that ?
On page 183, Appendix A, "A Spatial Analysis of Usonian Homes", Sergeant writes:
"Any experience of Wright's domestic designs of the 1937-1950 period shows a remarkable sense of naturalness and ease, yet conceptual rigor..."
He seems to draw a line at the year 1950, whether arbitrary or not.
"'Usonian' is a term usually referring to a group of approximately sixty middle-income family homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright beginning in 1936 with the Jacobs House."
I think the "middle-income" term is an interesting qualifier to the discussion.
It goes on to state:
"The 'Usonian Homes' are typically small, single-story dwellings without a garage or much storage. They are often L-shaped to fit around a garden terrace on unusual and inexpensive sites. They are characterized by native materials; flat roofs and large cantilevered overhangs for passive solar heating and natural cooling; natural lighting with clerestory windows; and radiant-floor heating. A strong visual connection between the interior and exterior spaces is an important characteristic of all Usonian homes. The word carport was coined by Wright to describe an overhang for sheltering a parked vehicle."
Again..Wikipedia is an imperfect resource, but I thought this was of interest to the discussion and may provide some options for clarification.