Article on Wright Houses in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Michigan

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SWSinDC
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 3:35 pm
Location: St. Joseph, MI

Article on Wright Houses in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Michigan

Post by SWSinDC »

I am delighted to report that the latest edition of Michigan History Magazine includes my article on the three Wright-designed houses in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Michigan, and the community leaders who were his clients -- Howard Anthony, Ina Morriss Harper, and Carl Schultz -- all of whom sadly did not enjoy the longevity for which Wright clients are generally known.

I unfortunately cannot share the article itself, but if you're interested in obtaining a copy, check out https://hsmichigan.org/store/back-issues/.

A special shout-out on this board to "gdf," the owner of the Harper house, for her gracious support of and assistance with the article!

SDR
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Re: Article on Wright Houses in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Michigan

Post by SDR »

Good news, SWS. I'll assume that, though the first listing on the linked page says "Michigan History 2016," that is the correct item to order---the January-February 2021 issue ?

S

DRN
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Re: Article on Wright Houses in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Michigan

Post by DRN »

Was there any mention of the dearly departed Snowflake Motel in St. Joseph designed by Wes Peters of TAA for Sahag Sarkisian?
https://www.claasshaus.com/blog/updated ... lake-motel

Christine and I spent a night in this lost gem during a 1999 road trip...despite years of little maintenance, it was still a thoughtfully designed little complex with unique and memorable guest rooms looking onto a courtyard. The roof framing was exposed in the rooms...Douglas fir 2x12's set /\/\/\/\/\/\/\ made for an elegant (if uninsulated) ceiling.

SWSinDC
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 3:35 pm
Location: St. Joseph, MI

Re: Article on Wright Houses in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Michigan

Post by SWSinDC »

SDR: Thank you. Yes, do not be thrown by the "2016" heading (which should probably say "2016 to present"). It is indeed the January-February 2021 issue.

DRN: The article does indeed end with a discussion of the ill-fated Snowflake Motel, which, unlike the Wright houses, no longer graces Southwest Michigan. Ironically, just south of the old Snowflake Motel property (which has long been available for sale), there are now multiple hotels thanks to a recent building boom in the area.

SDR
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Re: Article on Wright Houses in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Michigan

Post by SDR »

I look forward to seeing your piece. As a preview, here are the three houses in outline, using Storrer (1993) as a guide.

Howard and Helen Anthony, Benton Harbor, 1949, T.4901 (S.315); development of Maginel Barney design

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Dr Bradford and Ina Harper, Saint Joseph, 1950, T.5010 (S.329); development of Abby Beecher Roberts

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Carl Schultz, Saint Joseph, 1957, T.5745 (S.426); compare to Walton and Kinney

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Roderick Grant
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Re: Article on Wright Houses in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Michigan

Post by Roderick Grant »

SWS, Does Scott Elliott still own the Anthony House?

SDR
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Re: Article on Wright Houses in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Michigan

Post by SDR »

Curtis Besinger, "Working with Mr Wright---what it was like," pp 202-204:

(Summer 1949) "I spent much of my time in the drafting room that summer. Jack Howe was away most of the season; he was superising the construction of several houses in Michigan and would return to Taliesin on weekends to have Mr Wright approve supplementary drawings that he had done, such as those for cabinetwork and furniture. He also returned to do the presentation drawings of projects for which Mr Wright had done preliminary sketches." [The suggested sequence there is interesting ? SR]

Besinger continues:

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© 1995 Cambridge University Press

SWSinDC
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Location: St. Joseph, MI

Re: Article on Wright Houses in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Michigan

Post by SWSinDC »

Roderick: Scott does not own the Anthony house anymore. I am not certain when he and Eileen sold, but last I knew, they owned another piece of midcentury architecture not too far away.

SWSinDC
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 3:35 pm
Location: St. Joseph, MI

Re: Article on Wright Houses in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Michigan

Post by SWSinDC »

I can share an interesting sidenote that I found about Ina Morriss Harper, which did not make it into the final published article:

Harper's unique middle name – with two S's – was her paternal grandmother's maiden name. Her last name raises a certain curiosity as well, in light of her Alabama roots. That is because, from 1920 until his death in 1934, Harper's father had his medical practice in Monroeville, Alabama. Students of American literature may recognize Monroeville as the hometown of author Harper Lee, and as the inspiration for the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, where Lee's celebrated novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, is set. Fans may also know that "Harper" was actually the author's middle name. What may not be as well known is that Lee was given that middle name in honor of the pediatrician Dr. William W. Harper, of Selma, who was credited with saving the life of her sister, Louise. It is not clear whether that Alabama doctor named Harper was related to Alabama-born Dr. Ina Morriss Harper. But it is noteworthy that Harper Lee was born in Monroeville in 1926, at the same time that Ina's father, Dr. George H. Harper, had his medical practice there.

Oh, and today, January 11, is Ina Morriss Harper's 123rd birthday!

SDR
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Re: Article on Wright Houses in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Michigan

Post by SDR »

I received my copy of the current issue of Michigan History yesterday and just finished the enjoyable article therein. Among the revelations it brings is the fact of a fourth Taliesin-designed residence in the Twin Cities. In the section on the Carl Schultz house we read, "In 1963, the Schultzes hired [TAA] to design an addition to their house, as well as a home next door as a wedding gift for their daughter."

Naturally, this raises questions: What does that house consist of ? Are there other instances of a TAA design placed within sight of a Wright-designed house ? Is there a call for a proper monograph on the work of the successor firm ?

S

DRN
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Re: Article on Wright Houses in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Michigan

Post by DRN »

During the Grand Rapids FLWBC tour in 2013, the Schultz house and the TAA designed Warren house were open to the Conference attendees. Susan Jacobs Lockhart was on the same tour bus as Christine and me and noted that the Warren house's designer David Wheatley was “her ex”. Pat Mahoney's description of the Warren house in the Conference tour notes states that Wheatley was TAA's site supervisor of the Snowflake Motel construction in 1961, and this familiarity with the area led to his selection to design the Warren house.

A thread in which Mr. Wheatley is discussed and the St. Joseph house mentioned:
http://wrightchat.savewright.org/viewto ... t=Wheatley

juankbedoya
Posts: 224
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:30 am

Re: Article on Wright Houses in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Michigan

Post by juankbedoya »

SDR wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:12 pm
I look forward to seeing your piece. As a preview, here are the three houses in outline, using Storrer (1993) as a guide.

Howard and Helen Anthony, Benton Harbor, 1949, T.4901 (S.315); development of Maginel Barney design

Dr Bradford and Ina Harper, Saint Joseph, 1950, T.5010 (S.329); development of Abby Beecher Roberts


Carl Schultz, Saint Joseph, 1957, T.5745 (S.426); compare to Walton and Kinney

Image
Do you have a bigger picture of the floor plan? This is very very small

SDR
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Re: Article on Wright Houses in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Michigan

Post by SDR »

Here you go---from the horse's mouth, as they say:

https://library.artstor.org/#/search/Wr ... =1;size=48

S

juankbedoya
Posts: 224
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:30 am

Re: Article on Wright Houses in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Michigan

Post by juankbedoya »

SDR wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 6:01 pm
Here you go---from the horse's mouth, as they say:

https://library.artstor.org/#/search/Wr ... =1;size=48

S
Hey, thanks... this is the first time I can see this plan... very very interesting resolution..!!

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Article on Wright Houses in St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, Michigan

Post by SDR »

The Schultz plan has been compared to the Erdman 1 plan. The functions are placed differently, and the entry opening and the fireplace both switch positions---but the forms are remarkably similar, and different from other Usonians, in particular the semi-encircled dining space and the pair of rooms to the right of the main volume.

The Erdman plan came first; perhaps (and accounting for a different program from the client ?) the Schultz plan is a re-thinking of the Erdman design, providing for a more efficient and pleasant entry path and introducing a guest or master suite, or a home office or even a workshop, that is isolated from the living and bedroom spaces, without significantly enlarging the plan.

The Erdman kitchen is unusually large for a Usonian---one of the nods to convention that the design incorporates ?


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