Article: 'FLW-designed home' - Valley Center, CA

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DavidC
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Article: 'FLW-designed home' - Valley Center, CA

Post by DavidC »


SDR
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Re: Article: 'FLW-designed home' - Valley Center, CA

Post by SDR »

Thanks, David. What a curiously coy---and ill-informed---story, from a representative of a local museum no less. I looked for a link to more illustrations, but alas.

A page from the same museum provides more, and apparently more accurate, information. The only obvious error is the insistence on calling this house, and other work by the architect, "Prairie Style."

https://www.vchistory.org/historical-si ... ght-house/

Indeed John's very first architectural commission could be called Prairie, as it apes his father's work of the period quite well. But it was the last time he would design in a borrowed vein (see illustration below). I turned to my John Lloyd Wright reference, a slender booklet containing a chronological list of John's work. There the Merrill commission is found, with a 1959 date and the title "Wonder-Y Ranch (Merrill residence)."

John Lloyd Wright's practice moved from Indiana to Southern California in the middle of 1946 (the same year that "My Father Who Is on Earth" was published); the remainder of his career was spent in Del Mar, an oceanside town near San Diego. The forty-five works---roughly two-thirds of his built output---on the list, most of them houses, were constructed at Del Mar, Escondido, San Diego, La Jolla, Los Angeles, Rancho Santa Fe, Oceanside, Thousand Oaks, Pauma Valley, Whittier and other nearby towns and cities, with outliers in Illinois, Minnesota, and Texas.

After working with his older brother Lloyd in San Diego at age eighteen, in 1910, John struck out on his own, drafting for two firms. At the second of these, successful Los Angeles architect Harrison Albright gave him a house to design. The 1912 Wood residence was the result; he is said to have taken the Grace Fuller house in Glencoe, Ill, his father's work, as his model. Seeing the house as it was being constructed "[gave me] the closest feeling to worship I had ever known," he later wrote.

His next commission would not occur for another dozen years . . .

Wood residence, Escondido, CA, 1912.
Image

SDR
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Re: Article: 'FLW-designed home' - Valley Center, CA

Post by SDR »

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sd ... story.html

More from Robert Lerner, historian:

"Valley Center also was home to the offspring of two famous racehorses. In 1958, Merrill Ranchos bought Mr. Wonderful, one of 108foals of Seabiscuit, and then the ranch was renamed Wonder Y. It’s no longer in existence.

One of Secretariat’s offspring, Lady’s Secret, lived at ValleyCreek Farm. Lady’s Secret was the 1986 Horse of the Year and diedin 2003.

And in 2004, Juan Aguilar bought a granddaughter of Seattle Slew and named the filly Atzimba.

Valley Center even has a Frank Lloyd Wright connection. Lerner said Wright’s son, John, designed a Valley Center house in 1959, the year his father died, following his father’s concepts.

“You walk up to the property, and right away you know this is a Frank Lloyd Wright house,” he said.

A photo of the house is on exhibit at the museum, but its owners do not want the address made public, Lerner said."

SDR
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Re: Article: 'FLW-designed home' - Valley Center, CA

Post by SDR »

Oddly, while Mr Lerner states that the address of the Merrill house is withheld at the owner(s)' request, the street address is in fact given on the museum page I linked above.

This address, found on Google Maps, places the property across the street from "Agape Ranch Dog Sports." Locating that business on the satellite view, one finds a house across the street, visible on the left in this image:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/N+Lak ... 116.971432

Access to the house from N Lake Wohlford Rd is not immediately clear. The house sits above the road to the west, behind a bluff that obscures it completely from the road.

S

SDR
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Re: Article: 'FLW-designed home' - Valley Center, CA

Post by SDR »

Tracking down Willis H Merrill of Valley Center, Escondido, CA, has proved frustrating. There is very little online, and no other photo of his house has emerged.

https://www.modernsandiego.com/people/john-lloyd-wright

https://www.modernsandiego.com/JLWright.html

https://www.modernsandiego.com/article/ ... -san-diego

Mr York provides a useful local history for the Wrights, father and sons. He commits two errors, confusing the Jester and Lykes projects, and misstating the location of Long Beach, John's place of residence prior to 1946: it is in Indiana, not Illinois.

York follows the Wright apprentices who, sooner or later, would populate the San Diego area, describing their time and/or interactions with Wright and their subsequent work and careers.

S

SDR
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Re: Article: 'FLW-designed home' - Valley Center, CA

Post by SDR »

Finally, we have this biography of J L Wright, an essay written by historian Ann Van Zanten and originally published in 1982 by the Chicago Historical Society---the "source" I mentioned above.

https://www.incredibleart.org/links/jlw ... right.html

S

Paul Ringstrom
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Re: Article: 'FLW-designed home' - Valley Center, CA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

SDR wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:58 am
The 1912 Wood residence was the result; he is said to have taken the Grace Fuller house in Glencoe, Ill, his father's work, as his model. Seeing the house as it was being constructed "[gave me] the closest feeling to worship I had ever known," he later wrote.
According to Thomas Heinz in his FLW Field Guide: "It is unlikely that Wright's design for Grace Fuller was ever realized, as suggested by others, as there is no evidence in the property records of her building or owning land. She was a librarian in Glencoe. It has been suggested she may have been a relative of Darwin Martin."
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

SDR
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Re: Article: 'FLW-designed home' - Valley Center, CA

Post by SDR »

Yes; I had the idea, though not sure from where, that it was a project---though both the Monograph and Taschen suggest that it was built.

S

Roderick Grant
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Re: Article: 'FLW-designed home' - Valley Center, CA

Post by Roderick Grant »

I knew someone - possibly H. Allen Brooks - who recalled seeing the Fuller House in his youth.
Storrer says the house was well-known by John H. Howe prior to his association with FLW.

That records of Grace Fuller cannot be located could be as simple as a misspelling of her name. It might have been, for instance, Gladys Feller? Relying on the non-existence of a record proves little if anything. Bureaucrats can be messy.

SDR
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Re: Article: 'FLW-designed home' - Valley Center, CA

Post by SDR »

Wood residence, Escondido, CA, 1912, John Lloyd Wright
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Grace Fuller house, Glencoe, IL, 1906, Frank Lloyd Wright
Image

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© The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York)

SDR
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Re: Article: 'FLW-designed home' - Valley Center, CA

Post by SDR »

That's two Wright clients named Fuller, whose houses both disappeared. The Welbie Fuller Usonian of 1951 was demolished by hurricane Camille in August of 1969.

The roof overhang of the simple and compact Grace Fuller house is one of Wright's most generous; it varies in width between front/back (4'-0") and sides (5'-6").

The exterior design feature of large corner piers with rectangles of decorative trim appears first on this house--if the Martin Gardener's Cottage, possibly not by Wright, is ignored. A similar decoration is found on the Sutton house of the year before---though not at a corner of the structure---and twice earlier in the form of rectangular trim folded around the solid corners of a house (Hoyt, and Brown, both 1905).

Following Fuller, the solid corner decorated thus is found in 1907 on the Stephen Hunt version of the "Fireproof House for $5000"---though not on the illustrations for that project, where the piers are unadorned. Finally on the Stockman residence of 1908 (another "Fireproof" clone) the trim frame, this time doubled concentrically, again wraps the corner.

S

DRN
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Re: Article: 'FLW-designed home' - Valley Center, CA

Post by DRN »

To my eye Grace Fuller has some similarities to the DDMartin Gardener’s Cottage adjacent to and to the west of the estate proper.

https://www.google.com/search?q=darwin+ ... 75&bih=553

Paul Ringstrom
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Re: Article: 'FLW-designed home' - Valley Center, CA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

SDR wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:09 pm
Following Fuller, the solid corner decorated thus is found in 1907 on the Stephen Hunt version of the "Fireproof House for $5000"---though not on the illustrations for that project, where the piers are unadorned. Finally on the Stockman residence of 1908 (another "Fireproof" clone) the trim frame, this time doubled concentrically, again wraps the corner. SDR
I have a copy of the Stockman House blueprints and the corner piers were drawn as identical to the Stephen Hunt House, Wright made a rough pencil addition to the drawings that changed them to the as-built double wraparound design.

SDR: Do you have a street address for the photo you provided above?
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

SDR
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Re: Article: 'FLW-designed home' - Valley Center, CA

Post by SDR »

Photo found on Pinterest:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/339669996 ... 7gg0mE5ZtD

I'll see if anything shows up on Fifth Avenue in Escondido . . .

S

SDR
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Re: Article: 'FLW-designed home' - Valley Center, CA

Post by SDR »

Well, well . . . even Pinterest can be forced to cough up some useful data---once in a while ? 455 W 5th Ave, Escondido.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/200+W ... 17.0802655

And now we can read John's watercolor rendering as showing a semi-circular entry porch---like the one on Daddy Frank's first-floor plan of the Grace Fuller house, or in the first perspective (Mahony's work ?) of that house, where it is an enclosed space---which is what we see at the present-day Wood residence . . .

Because the house is on a corner lot, the side and rear of the house can be seen from the street as well. Hooray, Google.

S
Last edited by SDR on Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

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