Otto Bollman house

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SDR
Posts: 20196
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Otto Bollman house

Post by SDR »

On the Schindler Walker house thread recently we looked at the architect's obscure Zacsec residence. Much was made, in a linked article, of the so-called "butterfly plan"---a term apparently applied to an L-shaped plan in some quarters abroad.

Now we find another obscure L-shaped house, this time from Schindler's near contemporary Lloyd Wright (1887 vs 1890), built for the father of another Lloyd Wright client, builder Henry Bollman (1900-1972). Otto Bollman (1857-1940) hired Lloyd to build him a house, on Broadview Terrace in the Hollywood Hills. The house still stands, hemmed in by other residences:

https://www.google.com/maps/@34.1100715 ... 376!8i2688

Images are scarce, but they are out there---almost half of them at one online source (see middle of page):

http://schindlers-westons.blogspot.com/ ... -otto.html


http://www.historicplacesla.org/reports ... e068504c77

In the latest issue of Journal of Organic Architecture + Design, devoted to the Samuel and Harriet Freeman house of 1923-25, Kathryn Smith writes, "[Lloyd] used concrete block extensively as a decorative motif on the Otto Bollman house (1920-21, Hollywood); but he did something different for his son, Henry (1922-23, Hollywood)."

That something was a precursor to the Textile Block found at the Storrer, Freeman and Ennis houses. Lloyd: "I had done the [Henry] Bollman house in cast block similar to the Millard house and in looking for some way to get it to hold together and coordinated, I worked up this core system. Father saw it and saw that this concept could be worked into a total system, so he put me in charge of his first total-system house, the Dr. Storer house."

(Donald Leslie Johnson makes a whole book out of that sentence, his 2013/2016 "On Frank Lloyd Wright's Concrete Adobe." Those who wish to learn how Grosvenor Atterbury, Walter Burley Griffin, "knitlock," the Natco Company, and Milton Dana Morrill contribute to the story of Wright's Textile Block adventure shouldn't miss this recent addition to the library.)

But what of the Otto Bollman house ? Alan Weintraub supplies the only substantive description of the house---and he doesn't mention concrete block used "extensively as a decorative motif." I guess that trim to the concrete street wall qualifies . . .


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© 1998 by Alan Weintraub

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As a postscript to the story, I can add Kathryn Smith's note 26: "It is continuously repeated that Otto and Henry were brothers. This is wrong. Otto was 43 years old when Henry was born! Biographical data from databases, ancestry.com. Please see my article, online: Kathryn Smith, "Wright Time, Wright Place: Henry Bollman House, Lloyd Wright Masterwork," architectureforsale.com, 2018."

S
"As a former copy editor, I always feel I am defending the person whose name is being misspelled, not attacking the person who misspells it." Ronald Alan McCrea (1943-2019)

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10571
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Re: Otto Bollman house

Post by Roderick Grant »

I believe the Otto Bollman House exterior did not last long at all. A later owner obliterated the pattern of the exterior completely, losing much of the sense of the design along the way. While I would hesitate to call the use of concrete block in Otto's house "extensive," the interior shot above shows a block fireplace. Frankly, I cannot recall any other use of the ornamental system in the house. But it has been some decades since I took the elevator up to Broadview Terrace. Henry's house has more block work.

It is worth noting that the block and rebar on Lloyd's work was quite different from what Frank developed; Lloyd just tried to connect the blocks to the wood frame of the house, not construct a concrete house. He did the same with his house, the Derby House in Glendale, and Sowden: none are structurally concrete, but wood frame and stucco with block elements accentuating the apertures. Same is true about Alice Millard's Studio.

Henry's house was on the market a few years ago. It is located in the "flats" about a 5-minute walk from my place. The block elements, columns in the garden court, still survive, while those on the west balcony are long gone. HB has a more conservative plan and detailing, but is likely to keep its appearance (now that the unwonted intrusion of a large 'family room' replacing the garden has been deleted) closer to original than OB. The hillside location of OB requires a lot of walking and climbing to obtain, there being no auto-navigable access above the rows of garages that flank Hightower Drive at the base of the hill.

SDR
Posts: 20196
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Otto Bollman house

Post by SDR »

I was very surprised to see Google leave the pavement ("street" in the US, though the term means "sidewalk" in Great Britain).

S
"As a former copy editor, I always feel I am defending the person whose name is being misspelled, not attacking the person who misspells it." Ronald Alan McCrea (1943-2019)

SDR
Posts: 20196
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Otto Bollman house

Post by SDR »

I haven't found a term or phrase that would bring up examples on Google---but the Otto Bollman house is a prescient example of a recent trend, the use of the same material, detailed to appear identical, for the walls and the (visible) roof of a house. This has been seen in places other than the U.S., in recent years. The material is often, but not always, wood.

If the house was painted "blue and jungle green," would the darker color in the photos have been the green ? There are so many blues, and greens; it would be nice to know for certain what those colors were.

S
"As a former copy editor, I always feel I am defending the person whose name is being misspelled, not attacking the person who misspells it." Ronald Alan McCrea (1943-2019)

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10571
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Re: Otto Bollman house

Post by Roderick Grant »

Whatever they were, they were changed long before I first saw it.

SDR
Posts: 20196
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Otto Bollman house

Post by SDR »

Since what could be the original siding materials are visible on the building in the Google view, perhaps it's not too late to determine what those colors were.

Looking more closely at the last photograph above, light-colored boards alternate with rows of shingles, random in width, in two different shades . . .

I should add that, in the wall-and-roof cladding mentioned earlier, those surfaces are often "rain screens," permeable material mounted onto waterproof building envelopes. Lloyd's house looks gives an appearance suggestive of that, but this may not be the case. The roofing has been replaced with more conventional surfacing.

House is centered, light gray roof: https://virtualglobetrotting.com/map/ot ... ew/google/

S
"As a former copy editor, I always feel I am defending the person whose name is being misspelled, not attacking the person who misspells it." Ronald Alan McCrea (1943-2019)

SDR
Posts: 20196
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Otto Bollman house

Post by SDR »

The principal historic model of monolithic cladding in American residential building would be the cedar shingle.

Here's an updated or alternative use of this material:

https://www.dezeen.com/2018/06/25/bates ... armsteads/

S
"As a former copy editor, I always feel I am defending the person whose name is being misspelled, not attacking the person who misspells it." Ronald Alan McCrea (1943-2019)

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