Goetsch-Winkler House STILL for sale !?

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SDR
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Post by SDR »

Yes -- with a sort of "honey-glazed" tone lacking in the original surface, if the photos are to be believed. I like it. This sort of mild coloration succeeds in bringing the odd mis-matched or weather-stained board "into line" with the rest -- which is why furniture manufacturers would much rather stain hardwood, than leave the color to the chances of a clear coat, as no two boards have the same color in nature.



After the weathering process has taken place on unfinished exterior wood surfaces, nature provides somewhat the same effect: the silver-gray of most appropriate exterior species blends the various individual boards quite well. It is only during the period when the weathering is incomplete that random water stains and partial graying mar the appearance of Wright's houses. I can imagine him explaining this to many a client, at some point. . .



SDR

outside in
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Post by outside in »

I certainly hope that whomever purchases the Goetsch-Winkler not only restores the trellis, but also strips off all of the icky solid-body exterior stain! I would hope that in the future owners would contact SOMEONE (FLWBC) before making this mistake...... this little house is one Wright's great works!

pharding
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Post by pharding »

I was told by a fellow Wright homeowner that the FLWBC endorses Sikkens stains. I cannot believe that this could be true. These long lasting stains basically turn the beautiful wood into a chunk of monochromatic plastic that is not reversable. The natural patina of stained wood in a non-uniform state is quite beautiful and consistent with a natural material.
Paul Harding FAIA Owner and Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, the First Prairie School House in Chicago | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Yes, certainly. Opaque (pigmented) stains will always hide the wood to a greater or lesser extent; only dye stains can alter the color of wood in a completely transparent way. I wonder what was put on Jacobs I ? Goetsch-Winkler has suffered for too long with that sad-looking finish (emphasizing every little flaw in the wood, which is the unintended result of painting ANY natural material. People even paint stone. . .).



Cabot oil stains are well-thought-of, apparently. (I'm still distrustful of water-borne wood finishes; their only advantage seems to be ease of use and low emissions.) Unfortunately, there is a widespread belief that SOMETHING has to be *done* to wood -- without the realization or perhaps reckoning that whatever is done to wood outside will have to be re-done over and over. Boat owners would know this. . .



Today I saw a new book on Louis Kahn's houses, published in Japan but with much English text and excellent color photos. Some of these houses have lots of exterior (and interior) wood finishes, still looking fresh and clean. The Fisher house has nicely textured vertical boards of cypress on its walls, fresh in color and kept finished (with what I haven't learned yet -- possibly oil) by its original owners, for forty years or more. So, it can be done.



SDR

archfan
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Post by archfan »

SDR wrote:I admit to living in a place where the median home price passed $500,000 last year, so $398 k for a Wright Usonian seems like a steal -- but really, why hasn't a Wright fan taken this opportunity ?



[snip]



SDR


GW has lots going for it, including the ravine below that ensures no one will block the view. But in contrast, for around $400K, a typical buyer can get a 3000 sq ft house with 3 1/2 baths, 4 bedrooms and 2 fireplaces. I think GW could fit in the great room of this house:



http://tinyurl.com/yzt5d6



Still, Michigan State is nearby, it sits on two acres and, well, it's GW. If it were 50 miles closer to Detroit, I'd be dead. Because I would buy it, and my wife would kill me!
Last edited by archfan on Mon Nov 27, 2006 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

outside in
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Post by outside in »

Sikkens is a great exterior stain, as it not only wears well, but protects the wood from the harmful effects of UV. I think the problem is that Wright never considered these homes to be the monuments that we do, and his concept of exterior finishes (linseed oil, cabots) did not stand up well over time. Pine, redwood and cypress all deteriorate unless treated in someway. Homeowners have tried nearly every conceivable finish to try to preserve the wood. Previous owners at the Jacobs I resorted to a dark brown creosote stain, which looked absolutely hideous. Weltzheimer redwood has been charred (a black, burnt finish) due to the wood's exposure to the sun. Sikkens has been used at the Jacobs I, Rosenbaum, Weltzheimer, Friedman and many others - it is probably the best that technology can give us right now, but it has to be applied carefully, as a standard mix gives an orange appearance. Leaving to wood to weather, as Wright recommended, will only result in deterioration, rot, and replacement.

Richard
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Post by Richard »

Sikkens has many products. In fact, maybe a few too many.



One of their series is called "Cetol SRD". It is an exterior translucent wood finish for siding, roofs, decks and fences. It is a penetrating oil and alkyd resin formula. It comes in several colors. It is not a stain. The pigment in the "natural" color is minimal. I am not an expert but I would assume that you need some pigment for UV protection.



Again (other post), the choices are between products which peel when failing and those which penetrate and do not peel. My guess is that the products which peel may protect slightly better but are much more difficult to maintain (they can retain water under the finish which is not a good thing). I prefer the penetrating products and choose to do a bit more maintenance rather than deal with peeling. With the penetrating products, as soon as you see some dampness on the siding after a rain, it is time to clean, prep and reapply.
Homeowner

Ed Jarolin
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Post by Ed Jarolin »

Has anyone noticed the finish on the deck and inside face of the railing

at the Pew house. Looks like they used a solid stain, at best, or deck

paint, at worst. Seems surprising considering the sensitivity shown on

the rest of the house. This surely must reduce the melding of inside and

outside space that Wright strove to acheive through continuity of

materials.

Comments? More info from anyone who has been there?

pharding
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Monuments and Stain

Post by pharding »

outside in wrote:...I think the problem is that Wright never considered these homes to be the monuments that we do, and his concept of exterior finishes (linseed oil, Cabot's) did not stand up well over time. ...
I agree that FLW never considered these houses to be monuments that would last forever. He was committed to getting his innovative work built first and foremost. What architect could have a successful career with only paper architecture in FLW's time? FLW used every tool in his impressive tool box to get the building built. He used his immense personal skills; relationships with the clients wife; truth stretching; tight floor plans; tight vertical dimensions (together with tight floor plans which resulted in tight, economical building volumes); cost effective building materials when required; risky structural and technical leaps of faith; an optimism that sketchy working drawings could be built by a competent contractor to yield a lasting building; a contract that that limited his liability to the amount of his fee; and the technology of his day. If FLW was concerned about creating monuments he could not have been as prolific as he was and his income would have suffered accordingly. FLW considered the Coonley Mansion to be one of his greatest works in his first golden age, the Prairie period, and yet he was not interested in going back and working on alterations on this important building. FLW aspired to greatness and immortality and yet in terms of his buildings on a physical level, he lived "in the moment".



Undoubtedly FLW's budget skin was his wood board and batten system. The Davenport House is predominantly clad in old growth Cypress. It was originally stained with Cabot's creosote stain. After 106 years the house has virtually all of the original wood more 2 feet above grade. Within two feet of grade 95 percent of the original Cypress is intact. The creosote stain protected the wood exceedingly well for most of the 106 year life of the house. The exterior wood was never painted. Stain is far superior to paint, a surface film, because it can breathe and allow moisture to pass through the exterior finish system. Whereas paint traps any moisture that gets within the wood or behind the paint within the wood. This leads to rotting of the wood. In addition to the aesthetic virtues of stain, stain is far superior than paint in performance as an exterior finish system.
Paul Harding FAIA Owner and Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, the First Prairie School House in Chicago | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

outside in
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Post by outside in »

yes, but did wright specify the creosote stain on the Davenport House?

Most of his works from that period (willits, bradley, henderson, hickox) were stained with an oil-based Cabots transparent stain, which tends to break down over time. Creosote was used primarily for roofing shingles. It may have been the owner that decided to protect the wood in this manner.......

pharding
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Davenport Stain

Post by pharding »

The close-out documents listed Cabot's Stains as a supplier. We had samples of the wood siding tested by Cabot's technical laboratory and Welsh Color and Conservation which identified the original stain as a Cabot's cresote based stain. As I recall, and I could be mistaken, that Cabot's only made creosote based stain in 1901 for exterior applications. Their creosote based stain was their claim to fame and the product that launched Cabot's Stains. Their creosote based stain was widely specified by New England architects for "shingle style" residences. It was exceptionally durable. It relied on robust chemistry and is no longer manufactured. In place it had a hint of transparency. Cabot's semi-solid stain is a very good match with a custom black/brown coloration. Unfortunately multiple coats of semi-solid stain will look like solid stain over a period of time. Because of this and three types of wood that we had to contend with we used the following Cabot's products in these locations.



Original in-place and salvaged Cypress board and batten siding which we stripped this summer: Cabot's semi-transparent stain.



Limited amounts existing cedar board and batten siding which was patched into walls in the 80's and which we stripped last summer; Cabot's semi-solid stain applied normal. Eventually it will be replaced with old growth Cypress after other more pressing issues are addressed.



Recovered old growth Cypress which will be used on the west facade, including the reconstruction of the 1901 bay, and on the reconstructed fascias: Cabot's semi-solid stains applied with a dry brush in a light manner.



We are striving to replicate the original finish and avoid having it look like it has solid stain applied to it. Solid stain looks too much like paint.



We have multiple fragments of the original cedar shingles which we will have tested to determine the originqal finish system, if any, for them.





As an aside, the interior stained wood trim was finished prior to its application to the walls.
Last edited by pharding on Mon Nov 27, 2006 6:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
Paul Harding FAIA Owner and Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, the First Prairie School House in Chicago | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

SDR
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Post by SDR »

[Responding to the justified complaint about the expanded width of this thread, there is an experiment that only the author of the "offending"

post could accomplish, that would be instructive: edit that post by breaking the long URL link in the middle, jumping to the next line. If

there is no space made at the break, the link should operate. It would be interesting to see if this would reformat the thread to its former width. In

the meantime, all posters can linebreak their posts after every second line in the posting box, which will make their posts fit within the normal

page width.]



archfan ? Welcome to the board -- and thanks for the help !



SDR

outside in
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Post by outside in »

thanks Mr. Harding, for explaining the origin of creosote stains. Mr. Cabot evidently did a great thing by perfecting the addition of creosote to an oil-based stain, and even managed to produce a variety of colors! I was only aware of roofers dipping shingles in the product, which I'm sure greatly increased the life of each shingle. Now the question is whether or not the original product came in different levels of transparencies, similar to many of today's products, i.e., transparent, semi-transparent and solid body... It was also interesting to note that Cabot switched to a linseed-oil based product in the 1920's.

pharding
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Cabot's Stain

Post by pharding »

It came in one transparency. In today's line of Cabot's Stains it was equivalent to semi-solid according to the director of their technical staff.
Paul Harding FAIA Owner and Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, the First Prairie School House in Chicago | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Do you MIND. . .?!!! :roll:

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