Bill Boyd and the Keland House

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Mark Hertzberg
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Bill Boyd and the Keland House

Post by Mark Hertzberg »

Bill, a dear friend of mine, and steward of the Keland House died yesterday at age 97. My tribute is on www.wrightinracine.com

Mark Hertzberg
Mark Hertzberg

SDR
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Re: Bill Boyd and the Keland House

Post by SDR »

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plan and second text by William Allin Storrer
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photo by Thomas A Heinz

Mark Hertzberg
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Re: Bill Boyd and the Keland House

Post by Mark Hertzberg »

I asked Karen about the name of the house when I was writing my Wright in Racine book. She said it is the Keland House, the original name.
Mark Hertzberg

SDR
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Re: Bill Boyd and the Keland House

Post by SDR »

Yes---I was a little surprised at Storrer's choice for the name. I imagine that has had echoes from 1993 forward. Someone may have convinced him to depart from his earlier works, which list the house as Keland. I don't have any Storrer newer than the 1993 "Companion."

S

DavidC
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Re: Bill Boyd and the Keland House

Post by DavidC »


JChoate
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Re: Bill Boyd and the Keland House

Post by JChoate »

Looking at Storrer's floor plan I'm only seeing one bathroom in the bedroom wing (master bedroom). Is the unlabeled room beside the carport a guest/children bathroom?
Also, the carport location is strangely inconvenient to the kitchen/living/dining area as well as the uncovered entry door. I must be missing something or this drawing is incomplete (?)

SDR
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Re: Bill Boyd and the Keland House

Post by SDR »

Heh-heh. Well, Pfeiffer does point out, in the Monograph entry posted above, that this is a plan "unlike any other in the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. And he points to a lavatory near the entrance---though that certainly doesn't help those in the bedroom wing !

If it helps any, of the two Taliesin plans, one of them does show a multi-compartment bath off the hall, next to a servants' room with its own bath. So, this was meant (at one point at least) to be a three-and-a-half bath home.

It is odd that Storrer leaves those spaces blank---and one without a wall at the hall. Perhaps, like most others, he did not gain full access to the property; in any event, he did his best, perhaps, considering that the other Taliesin plan, published in the Monograph, can't be deciphered as to the content of those two spaces:


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Taliesin plan and view drawings on this page © The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York)

outside in
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Re: Bill Boyd and the Keland House

Post by outside in »

I'm afraid none of the plans depict the current state of the Keland House. I believe Jack Howe and TAA designed additions and numerous alterations to the original house in 1961. The carport was converted to a bedroom, an additional bedroom was added to the west of the playroom, and the four original small bedrooms (10x12) were converted to 2 bedrooms, one of which had a bath. A garage was added to the north with a small greenhouse off of the north side of the garage. I believe the kitchen was enlarged slightly as well, though even now its incredibly small.
I remember Karen telling me about her involvement in working with Wright. She mentioned that engineers at IIT (I think) informed her of misgivings about the radiant heat, so she opted for forced air. Later they had to rebuild all of the knee walls around the terrace and lectured to me "don't ever build brick walls with sand infill!" She also kept one of the original models of the house from Taliesin, which is probably still in the house. She was truly a most gracious and sophisticated person, but still very approachable.

SDR
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Re: Bill Boyd and the Keland House

Post by SDR »

The Keland kitchen appears on plans in a variety of configurations. In two of them it seems to be a two-part affair:


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outside in
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Re: Bill Boyd and the Keland House

Post by outside in »

Hello, the middle workspace plan is probably the closest, except for the "storage" immediately above the title "workspace" - the as-built rendition has an enormous sub-zero double refrigerator facing the peninsula, which is back to back with the bar on the other side.

SDR
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Re: Bill Boyd and the Keland House

Post by SDR »

Thanks. An unusual kitchen plan, in an unusual house . . .

While I have you, where do you stand on the use of "Usonian" ? Is Keland a Usonian in your view . . . ?

S

outside in
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Re: Bill Boyd and the Keland House

Post by outside in »

I think the term "Usonian" has been misapplied in many circumstances. The Keland House, and even Wingspread, for that matter, don't really fit the definition used by Wright. I believe the term should be applied to homes built by Wright that were modest in size, and not overly expensive. The prosperity (and relatively low interest rates) experienced by the US after the war resulted in many commissions that were much larger in scale for Wright and his associates. I would rather use terms like "a unique and particular way of building". In the end, wiring and electrical requirements eliminated the use of sandwich wall construction substituting 2x4''s laid flat, building officials demanded frost-proof footings down to 3 ft. or more, and better educated clients requesting components like insulating glass and sophisticated appliances and utilities whittled away at the idea of Usonia. However, Wright always seemed up to the challenge and modified his construction techniques accordingly. Its not unlike Bauhaus furniture morphing into expensive design for the wealthy. it seems Wright's homes followed a similar path. The Fredrick House in Barrington cost nearly $100,000 to build in 1959, when the average home in the US cost about $25-30,000 to build. Poor Seth Peterson was in for about $25k in 1959 for a 900 s.f. cottage. I think the term and his writings lost their validity somewhere along the way.

Mark Hertzberg
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Re: Bill Boyd and the Keland House

Post by Mark Hertzberg »

"Looking at Storrer's floor plan I'm only seeing one bathroom in the bedroom wing (master bedroom). Is the unlabeled room beside the carport a guest/children bathroom?
Also, the carport location is strangely inconvenient to the kitchen/living/dining area as well as the uncovered entry door. I must be missing something or this drawing is incomplete (?)"

Yes, the carport was opposite the kitchen, living room, and dining area, but adjacent to the living quarters. The carport became the master bedroom in the 1961 addition/remodeling by Jack Howe, when the garage was built. The carport was across the courtyard from the door leading to the kitchen from the courtyard. I was sitting in the courtyard one day with Karen when she pointed to the door leading to the kitchen, and referring to the carport, said, "And this is the door where the little woman (self-effacing, referring to herself), used to bring her groceries in!" I miss her (and Bill).
Mark Hertzberg

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