Article: New visitor's center planned for Home & Studio

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DRN
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Post by DRN »

Having had the chance to review the proposed plan, I can't see why the existing house needs to be razed...some back of house functions could be incorporated to it as they are in the other (Anna's) house and the streetscape would be largely preserved. The second house is the perfect screening for this large intruder...some well considered and dense landscaping could do the rest. Planted steel grids on the facades could further the effort to deemphasize the bulk.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

If the two existing houses are available to this project, couldn't they together provide for the necessary functions ? Perhaps, if necessary, they could be connected to each other...

S

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

Exactly, SDR. The connection could be set back far enough from the front façades and insignificant enough
to preserve the image of separate structures, with some smart landscaping to help to fill in the scar.

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

Although I would not want to start a war with H&S over this, I do believe we ought to register our trepidation with the commission that is going to rule on it.

DRN
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Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

If the two existing houses are available to this project, couldn't they together provide for the necessary functions ? Perhaps, if necessary, they could be connected to each other...
The proposed building has its functions on grade to accommodate access by those unable to climb stairs, but as I indicated, some functions could be in a smaller new building attached to the houses in their rear yards, and some functions could be accomodated both of the existing houses. For as much as they are likely to spend on this, an elevator could be grafted to the back side of the house furthest from the H&S to get as many functions inside an existing building and further reduce the bulk of the on grade new construction.

JimM
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Post by JimM »

It's clear that what's primarily being presented as a visitors center is more so-if only mentioned in passing- an expansion of the Trust offices than for any specific needs of the H&S itself. Note the separate, discreet entrance to the Trust offices on the far side of the building.

Although this particular structure and cost consideration might not be the only answer to whatever they've considered their needs are, and with great appreciation for what the Trust has accomplished, if a new "corporate headquarters" of sorts is indeed necessary to administer their diverse "properties"... it doesn't have to look like one.

DRN
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Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

Are there spaces they could lease nearby for corporate offices? Lake Street? Amid the commercial patch a little west on Chicago Ave.?

Tom
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Post by Tom »

certainly in strong agreement with the arguments posted here.

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »



SDR
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Post by SDR »

The end of the second and last comment to the second article linked, seems to reflect the most sensible suggestions made in this thread...

The Chicago Tribune article doesn't stay up long enough to read it---for me.

S

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

If anything should be demolished, it should be the extension of the wall that wraps around Anna's house. That was not there when the H&S started the restoration, and was built only after they acquired Anna's important house, which adds historic context.

Big, Bigger, BIGGEST!! seems to be the trend in museums these days. This whole affair is egregious.

Perhaps, instead of spending millions on the Miesian addition, they might try to acquire the very large Victorian south of H&S to accommodate the flow of tourists. They could use a fraction of the money earmarked for the new building, and be well situated to make entering the Home by the front door, where all tours should begin, rather than hike from the backside of the property through the Studio(?) which is the wrong process..

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Yes. Is that house on the market ?

Time spent inside a local Victorian would do more to acquaint the visitor with what Wright was working against, than simply viewing such a house from the street ?

S

SDR
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Post by SDR »

That neighbor; Wright home at left. I had forgotten what generous front yards Wright and his Forest Avenue neighbors had...


Image

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

In addition to the comparison of early FLW and High Victorian, the neighboring house is connected historically to the design of one detail of the Wright Home. Built 8 years after the Wright House, the offensive presence of the building, snuggling up to its northern border, is what caused FLW to fill in the lower half of the windows in the dining room to avoid having to look at the northern broadside of the neighboring house. As is, the dining room is second only to the playroom in its refinement, but it is significantly different from what it would have remained, had the neighboring house not been built ... or had been a more pleasant prospect during dinner.

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