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Isaia / VC Morris Report

Posted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:56 pm
by Reidy
Checked the place out this weekend. They could have done much worse.

The most salient change is the uniform pale grey that has replaced Aaron Green's 1990s color scheme. It looks cold and flat in photos but is, under the new LED lights, appealingly warm. A future occupant who wanted to bring the previous colors could do so; the worry is that the occupant wouldn't, because leaving things the way they are is cheaper. In particular, the dome at the back was gold-leafed, which presumably would have to be done over from the start.

The clothes racks are for the most part off in the side rooms or on the top tier of the spiral. The only one in the main space conforms thoughtfully to the circular plan. The portholes are uncovered, serving no display purpose.

The worst aspect of the new regime is the easiest to undo: the hateful euro-pop soundtrack that they presumably think will help move $475 shirts and $325 (per shoe) sneakers. It totally ruins the awe that one can fell on entering one of Wright's main fooms. This one, during the Xanadu era, was among his greatest, up there with Unity Temple and Johnson Wax. Not any more.

As Gertrude Lawrence said when she first saw the script for Private Lives, nothing in it that can't be fixed. ... 4/_a__9431

Posted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:54 pm
by SDR
Thanks for the report. Doesn't sound -- or look -- too bad ? Anyone who would paint a leafed surface should be banished.

I'd not noticed Wright's half-round molding, used on the walls and as a room base. Most of the important bits and pieces seem still to be there.

Too bad about the sound track. Are there discreet sound-canceling earbuds, yet ? You could always lip-read the assistant, or just talk louder than anyone ? That'll speed things up . . .


Posted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:31 pm
by Reidy
PS: they are, like the previous occupants, quite hospitable to beauty-lovers who clearly aren't going to spend any money.

Posted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:06 pm
by SDR
Well, that's nice, anyway.

Locating a photo of the space with the gold dome intact is proving most difficult. I thought I saw one, not long ago; must have been dreaming.


Posted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:19 am
by Roderick Grant
It has been 22 years since I saw the space when Xanadu was there. The dome at that time was still gold leaf, but it had become very discolored. The one thing I noticed about that space is that the acoustics were affected by the dome. Standing, sound of any kind almost hurt one's ears, but seated, as was the original intention, the problem disappeared.

Posted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:45 pm
by SDR
DRN contributes a view of the dome:


Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:41 pm
by Roderick Grant
DRN's photo of the dome is as I recall it. As can be seen, the gold leaf has degraded considerably, yet aesthetically it looks better than the newly-painted dome. Isaia should have left well enough alone.