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If anyone has any additional information for us on this that would be most helpful to solving this mystery once and for all.
Google Zeigler and you get 8 million plus replies; Ziegler gets you 55 million.
Welcome to the forum, and keep in touch, please ! We are so glad to have another Wright property in good hands . . .
A Google search on "frank lloyd wright ziegler" immediately corrects to "zeigler", and most of the entries use the latter spelling, suggesting that it's the correct one. The Wikipedia article and Storrer's 1974 catalog, on the other hand, use "ziegler"
If the city has building records that far back you could check them. City directories might also help. Presumably he was attached to a church, and it might still be in business.
Wright's archives are at Columbia University. The Getty Center in LA has his letters and drawings on microfiche. When I was doing some research several years ago they were willing to mail paper copies for copying costs. Keep in mind that Wright or a drafter might have misspelled.
It's easy to see how the uninformed might guess at the Zeigler spelling, assuming they are pronouncing the name correctly -- ZEEgler. Thus the need for the cliched corrective, "I before E except after C, or when sounded like A as in Neighbor and Weigh."
I doubt that anyone is pronouncing the name ZAYgler . .. !
Nevertheless, the grade-school sing-song achieves its intended purpose, in the main, for English speakers wanting to spell unfamiliar words correctly.
Monolinguistic native speakers will always fail to understand perfectly, if at all, the languages of other nations; any help they can be given will be appreciated.
The accepted rule with spelling and pronunciation of personal (so-called proper) names seems to be that the owner of the name is permitted autonomy;
whatever he or she deems correct is expected to be observed -- in his or her case, at least. We await confirmation that the Zieglers spelled their name thus,
and that Mr Wright correctly labeled the drawings of their house. In the meantime I for one will assume that the Wright scholars got it right.
The fact is that, at some point, the owners of the subject house mistook the spelling of the original owner's name and no doubt propagated that mistake,
leading to the present state of affairs, online and elsewhere. The new owners will not be able to erase that proliferating misinformation -- but it is heartening
that they wish to get it right . . .
1910Ã¢â‚¬â€œ1911, Frank Lloyd Wright. 509 Shelby St.
Frank Lloyd Wright met thirty-year-old Reverend Jessie R. Ziegler and his wife Charlotte during a trans-Atlantic crossing in the summer of 1910. Wright later recalled making sketches for the ZieglersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ house while shipboard and then forwarding them to his Oak Park office. After the Zieglers secured a $4,650 mortgage they purchased a narrow lot near the new State Capitol in Frankfort and set about building a house according to WrightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s plans. The historian Henry-Russell Hitchcock claimed that the construction was unsupervised; a neighbor claimed it was supervised by a Frankfort contractor named Scott. Wright himself seemed to have forgotten about the Ziegler commission until a University of Louisville student asked him about it during a 1948 visit to Kentucky. When taken to the house, Wright recognized it as his design but complained that Ã¢â‚¬Å“someone took libertiesÃ¢â‚¬Â� after he saw the glass-fronted cupboards set in the chimney.
The house Wright designed for the Zieglers closely resembles his Ã¢â‚¬Å“Fireproof House for $5,000,Ã¢â‚¬Â� a design for Ladies' Home Journal from April 1907 that was also the basis for the Stockman House in Mason City, Iowa, and three Illinois houses: the Stephen M. B. Hunt House in La Grange, the Edmund F. Brigham House in Glencoe, and the Raymond W. Evans House in Chicago. Like those, the Ziegler house is wood-frame construction sheathed in plain stucco, with dark wood details.
The Frankfort house measures 33 x 27 feet with a semi-detached entryway. Although it is two-story house on a narrow lot, it is emphatically horizontal. The front of the house sits on a low podium topped by a low balcony with built-in planter boxes. Behind this are the five art glass doors that provide light to the living room. A shallow cantilevered balcony separates the two stories, with five casement windows paired to the five glass doors below. A dark, narrow wooden band extends beyond the balcony to wrap around the body of the house, further emphasizing its horizontality. The south, dining room side of the house is similarly arranged but with groupings of six art glass doors on the first floor and six casement windows on the second floor. A low hipped roof projects several feet beyond the walls below.
One enters the house through a semi-detached unit at the north side of the house and past a large, combination stair and chimney into the living room/dining room. Faced in pale Roman brick, the chimney is capped by a peculiar set of glass-fronted cabinets that Wright (during his 1948 visit) suspected were intended to hold air conditioning vents. The dining room and kitchen flank the chimney unit to the side and rear, with those cabinets dividing the spaces. The one-story sleeping porch off the dining room projects into the backyard, disrupting the harmony of the cubic whole.
Four art glass casement windows at the top of the rectangular volume of the entry/stairwell flood the space with light. Wright detested ceiling fixtures and instead mounted the necessary light directly on top of the balustrade, allowing illumination but not at the sacrifice of form. A tiny powder room is tucked into the rear of the entry hall/stairwell. A back stair gives occupants of the kitchen access to the upper floor without being seen in the dining or living areas of the open plan space. Two bedrooms and a sewing room are on either side of a large upstairs hall. Here, the chimney, visible in the master bedroom, is faced in red brick.
The current owners have carefully restored the house and added a dry stone wall to the backyard. The Ziegler House is a National Historic Landmark that is closed to the public but can be seen from the street.
Hitchcock, Henry-Russell. In the nature of materials: 1887-1941; the buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright. New York: Duel, Sloan and Pearce, 1942.
Langsam, Walter E., Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Reverend Jesse R. Zeigler House,Ã¢â‚¬Â� Franklin County, Kentucky. National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form, 1975. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC.
Sclarenco, Carl. A prairie house in Kentucky: Frank Lloyd WrightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s house for the Rev. J.R. Zeigler in Frankfort. Unpublished manuscript submitted to the Department of Fine Arts, University of Louisville, 1949.
I emailed the historical society to inquire about having our potential misspelled sign changed outside our home and it will, unfortunately be on us to pay the $1000 in the name change. Not happy about that as this should have been realized at an earlier date.
We will let you know what we find at the library! If I am wrong, I guess IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll also be changing my name on here.
See the attached for the 1910 Census and the 1912 Frankfort City Directory, which spell it with the e before the i.
Apparantly Rev. Zeigler did not live in the house very long, since he lived and died in Chicago in 1920.
One supposes therefore that he pronounced his name ZYgler . . . and that we should do the same ? This news will save Alicia a cool grand, in any event !
It wouldn't be the last time that Wright got a client's name wrong: an early presentation drawing for the Misses Goetsch and Winckler dropped the C from the latter's name -- for instance.
Lyn Cheney, wife of Dick, insists that the correct pronunciation of their name is with a long 'e' rather than long 'a'. That is not to say Edwin and Mamah used that pronunciation, but it is likely.
In Storrer's 1974 catalog, #118 is listed as the Frederick Nicholas House. By the time of the Companion, he had corrected it to Nichols.