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SDR wrote:My impression has always been that the dining chairs of the 30's-40's were appropriate to those houses, and that Wright considered plywood as one of the new materials of the age;
Those are really good points, and true. I still have to believe that (cost aside) Wright would have preferred furniture to have been crafted out of the better species often found in most Usonians. Quality and comfort would have followed, as in the higher end Usonians. Many modest Usonians have beautiful wood interiors and some have a mix of veneers and plywoods. Wright was not thrilled with pine at Jacobs 1, but it was appropriate and economic.
When well made (as intended), the plywood furniture was a perfect match for most utilitarian usonians, and brilliant. Wright always adapted the latest technologies where he could use them; a critical factor in the success of his art taking form from his visions. His curiosity, and the constant experimenting and searching sets him apart, not to mention a few buildings built here and there.
Regardless, quality furniture would have been too costly an indulgence in most cases. The veneers and plain plywoods were a perfect compromise.
pharding wrote: I can fully appreciate the major impact these simple moves on a modest 2,050 square foot house on a 50' wide suburban lot.
These are aspects of Wright's genius that amaze me. Not only to treat every house as a work of art in the manner he did, but to also place importance on its direct relationship to the environment. Such considerations were almost unheard of in his time, or even today for that matter. He was well ahead of the power curve from very early on.
I've never really taken Broadacre too seriously, other than for its advanced realization that planning should be very important. As Twombly said, it is probably true that only Wright could have lived in a world of his own design. Few artists gain and keep such control over there art-especially difficult with architecture. That is a debt we owe those who commissioned these houses.