Erdman Prefabs

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SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

I would have been pleased to see the architect begin with #2 and 3 types, and leave out Mr and Mrs Average Homebuyer from the start. Could it have been
Erdman who led Mr Wright in the direction of mass-market design ?

I suppose the sales of the respective types might give the lie to that suggestion. But the #2 is downright ungainly, in most images I've seen, while the untried
#3 could have had real appeal for the modernist segment of the market -- which clearly was the apple of Mr Wright's eye from the beginning, in 1935. I
realize the #3 is essentially a chopped-and-channeled #2, with the same compositional ingredients -- but Wright had learned long ago that lower was better,
hadn't he ?

SDR

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Following a site visit, DRN provides new material on Erdman type 2:




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SDR
Posts: 19640
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Dan wrote:

"The house was very loft-like. The continuous band of windows is perceptible from many vantage points, particularly because of the lack of permanent
partitioning. The accordion doors at the second floor parapets and the accordion enclosure to the bedroom at the top of the stair all contribute to the
"one room house " concept and that of the roof providing shelter rather than enclosure. There are those who think of the Erdman Prefabs as other than
bespoke Wright designs, which they are, but Erdman 2 is fully Wright, just Wright using an imposed grammar to its best potential. It is a great design,
and I think Erdman 3 could be as good if built.

"I think Mr. Romero could do Erdman3 virtual justice as he has with the Larkin Building....its pieces and detailing are known, it just needs to be configured."


Matt
Posts: 430
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:24 am

Post by Matt »

How pre-fab'd were these homes? What elements were made in some factory and just put together on the site?

It is strange that Wright never embraced more prefab possibilities akin to Schindler's post and panel system which made all kinds of sense to me. Wright could have had his army of apprentices banging out insulated wall panels and truck them to the site.

DRN
Posts: 3985
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

The Erdman Prefabs would be more accurately described as precut kits, akin in some respects to the Sears, Aladdin, Gordon Van Tine precut houses of the early 20th century. The Erdmans used some nationally available catalog products such as Andersen windows, Pella and/or Modernfold accordion partitions.
Some early brick and board Usonians were panelized with exterior wood walls shop built and delivered to the site...the original Sondern house was an example (see pics of panels being delivered at this link):

http://wrightchat.savewright.org/viewto ... 6f14ac02c1

SDR
Posts: 19640
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

As JChoate alludes to on the linked page, Wright's mitered exterior corners would represent one big challenge to the shop fabrication of large wall sections. Only a giant horizontal panel saw, or a dedicated stationary milling device,
could hope to make perfect miters on the laminated board-and-batten walls; I have never seen such a machine. Mitering one long and wide board at a time, and applying it separately to the house, results in what we often see: rows of
rusting nails at the corner, and various degrees of gapping where boards either did not originally meet, or have warped and shrunk in the years since construction.

Laminating the wall sections in the shop, with adhesives, and then cutting the miter, has the potential to eliminate most of those flaws.

That only leaves the problem of connecting that miter securely, in a weather-tight manner, in the field . . .

SDR

jay
Posts: 291
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 8:04 pm

Post by jay »

A question for chatter KevinW:

Would you say the Bob Beharka designed house that you own was influenced by the Erdman Prefab #2?

If so, I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts of the similarities and differences between them....

Paul Ringstrom
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

DRN
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

keywords: Erdman, Prefab, Prefabs

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