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John Howe: "Grabow House"

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:25 pm
by jay

Re: John Howe: "Grabow House"

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:54 pm
by SDR
A description of the house is found in Hession and Quigley, "John H Howe, Architect," p 181:

"Frank Lloyd Wright designed three houses that stand in Rochester, Minnesota. The Thomas E and Betty Keyes House (1951) attracted the attention of Mayo Clinic neurologist Dr Jack Grabow and his wife, Gloria, when they were looking for an architect to design a home for their family. After visiting a 1970 exhibition of Howe's drawings at the Sons of Norway building in Minneapolis, and liking what they saw, the Grabows hired Howe to design their home. The house, which is built of brick and cedar and planned on a rectangular module, features tall expanses of south-facing glass. The living, dining, and kitchen areas of the house flow together and are united under a vaulted ceiling. A bedroom wing, which intersects the house at a right angle, is recessed into the earth to the north. It is further sheltered by a roof plane that stops just short of contact with the ground.

"The Grabow house was the first of seventeen commissions in Rochester for Howe . . ."

© 2015 by the Regents of the University of Minnesota

S

Re: John Howe: "Grabow House"

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:28 pm
by juankbedoya
The exterior of this one reminds me some way the Louis Fredrick house.

Re: John Howe: "Grabow House"

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:19 pm
by SDR
Heh---well, it could be that U-shaped mitered-board affair in the porch---that's straight from Mr Wright (see, for instance, the Lovell house---though this one is upside-down, making it Howe's own ?). With some flitch plates inside it would make a dandy little moment frame ?

The material palette and coloring is reminiscent of Frederick, isn't it . . .

S

Re: John Howe: "Grabow House"

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 8:00 am
by DRN
The living room has a spatial relationship with the dining room that reminds me in a way of Wright's Price Jr. house in Bartlesville.

A link to Grabow floor plan:
https://umedia.lib.umn.edu/item/p16022c ... %29&page=6

...and the perspective:
https://umedia.lib.umn.edu/item/p16022c ... %29&page=6

The plan and perspective confirm the sliding doors of the living room are original. Howe noted somewhere I read that the cost of custom made windows and doors became out of reach by most of his clients in the 1960's leading him to move toward commercially available units. This act preserved construction budgets enough to allow the custom trim and other millwork necessary for the total work of art.

Re: John Howe: "Grabow House"

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 8:53 am
by DavidC
Very nice house. Thanks for posting it. Howe did good work here. I wonder if the lally column in the carport is original? If so, it's too bad they didn't put in a beam to be able to span across the area.


David

Re: John Howe: "Grabow House"

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 9:52 am
by Matt2
A great design. As good as anything by the master. What is the history of that section of skylights, where one side of the gable roof is extended. It's an interesting trick.

Re: John Howe: "Grabow House"

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:38 am
by SDR
As was the case, often, while Mr Wright was alive, Howe continues to draw cars parked in a garage or carport as if their doors didn't need to open . . .

But his floor plans are more persuasive than most of those created during the Wright years, by virtue of their use of color---a practice that he may have initiated at Taliesin in the final decade ?

S

Re: John Howe: "Grabow House"

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 12:53 pm
by Roderick Grant
DRN, thanks for posting the floor plan. It is lacking in the Hession/Quigley book.
David, Lally columns look rather utilitarian, but in this instance, I think it is just fine. No need to overbuild.
Matt, that "trick" is somewhat questionable in my view. It seems to be unnecessary, even redundant. The light from the clerestories doesn't seem to do much for the passage from entry to living room. Moreover, it is actually a complication of the intersection of the lower roof of the living areas and the upper roof of the bedroom wing. It is not the slope of the roof over the garage/kitchen/dining & living room that is extended, but a reorientation of the bedroom wing roof from gable to shed. The bedroom wing has its own clerestory windows consisting of the NE slope extending over the SW slope. Check Google.

Re: John Howe: "Grabow House"

Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:24 pm
by juankbedoya
woow I really loved this house... the built in furniture, plenty of storage...