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This really interested me and appears to be an exact replica of the bird houses designed for the Martins.
Has anyone seen this replica in person?
Aerial photos of the restored complex do indeed show a quartet of these "birdhouse sculptures" in place. https://imgur.com/a/aXOxQ
Wright's elevations drawings show a single example, aswarm with birds---or, on a companion elevation, a planter dish in its place. (The aerial photos reveal another satisfying detail: all around both houses, inverted-pyramid rainwater receptacles can be seen set in the ground beneath the corners of roofs.)
An 1908 Henry Feurmann photo shows the short sides of the birdhouses; the second pair can just be seen beyond the roof.
In a 1970 Blathazar Korab photo, a single birdhouse is seen repositioned as a low ornament to the landscaping on the street side of the house
A Yukio Futagawa photo seen in Monograph 2 (1987) likewise shows not one but two of them, there. This photo gives what is likely the best close-up view of these original pieces; the stone seems to have taken on a pale golden tint at this point. The twin rows of raised squares on the birdhouses is matched on the planter dishes by similar rows, these indented rather than raised.
A color photo found online shows a birdhouse perched in its proper place, atop a pier of stone and brick, offering a suggestion of an appropriate means of mounting and displaying the available copy, indoors or out: a replica pier or plinth of the correct material and hue ?
© 2020, Martin House Restoration Corporation.
Illustrations © 2009 by TASCHEN GmbH, © 1986 A.D.A. EDITA Tokyo Co., Ltd. and by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
I might have to think about adding one to the collection. I wonder if birds here in Texas would find this type of house to their liking.
I'm going to suggest that the replica is one-half full size, based on the sketched-over image on Wright's elevation drawing. That drawing contains a clue: at left is the measurement 3'-9", the height of an opening, and it makes the birdhouse roughly four and a half feet or a bit more. The replica is 2'-4" high.
I can imagine a garden layout with an allée arranged between a pair of low stone-capped brick walls---exactly the shape of the twin walls of the conservatory that rise above the roof at Martin---with four of these replicas placed in the appropriate places at the ends of those walls. Planting beds on each side, perhaps, leading on through the garden to a pool, a seating area, or a wooded glade. Or maybe the walls could be moved far enough apart to serve as the frame of a patio or terrace, with the bird-houses again placed at its corners. Could these replicas be fitted with concealed light fixtures, turning them into garden lanterns ?
I also think a smaller version would be successful.
I wonder if you could put candles inside? Maybe the holes are big enough to stick your hand trough to be able to place and lit candles. They would look beautiful at night. Either way I think you could have concealed lighting installed. They remind me very much of the Japanese lanterns you see in gardens so they idea for lighting seems appropriate.
I have also thought that if Wright had the access to all the types of lighting we have today he would have used it.
You could even have a tea house in the garden with a birdhouse at every corner.
I very much like your suggestions for layout. They would look wonderful in any of those arrangements.
It might look nice inside the house as piece of sculpture.
As functional bird houses, I doubt any martin would have given them a second thought. The material and the lack of security would probably have made them uninhabitable. Most likely FLW knew that, and wanted them to remain empty and clean.
At Ennis, the master bath structure is 18'8" (14 blocks) tall. The interior ceiling height is only 8'. Above is attic space never intended to be accessible, but which has an opening 16"x48". Wouldn't it be wild to fix that up as an aerie for a falcon? It could feed on the massive flocks of pigeons that fill the skies of Los Angeles and decorate the land below.