Prairie House Confusion

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allwrightythen1
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri May 26, 2006 11:42 am

Prairie House Confusion

Post by allwrightythen1 »

I've been trying to weed through the SPAM and catch up on the posts I've missed the last few week. There's been some interesting topics here and there and lots of energetic discussion points. I noticed something in regards to one of the more frequent contributer's sign off that bewildered me:



Paul Harding FAIA

Owner and Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, the first Prairie School House in Chicago and its suburbs




Why would the Davenport house be considered the first Prairie School House in Chicago and its suburbs? Isn't there a few Wright houses that pre-date the Davenport house (Willits, Henderson or Thomas) that are considered Prairie School? I would love to hear what the rationale is behind this statement.

outside in
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Post by outside in »

Don't forget the Bradley and Hickox Houses in Kankakee!



It seems that every FLW house was the first for something - and these ongoing claims really don't mean much after awhile.

pharding
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Prairie House Confusion

Post by pharding »

allwrightythen1 wrote:Why would the Davenport house be considered the first Prairie School House in Chicago and its suburbs? Isn't there a few Wright houses that pre-date the Davenport house (Willits, Henderson or Thomas) that are considered Prairie School? I would love to hear what the rationale is behind this statement.
Fair question. It is my understanding that Willits, Henderson, and Thomas Houses all followed the Davenport House. The Ward Willets plan and construction technology builds upon the Davenport House. The Bradley and Warren Hickox Houses are in Kankakee which is not a suburb of Chicago.



For the sake of accuracy what I am going to do is to ask a friend in Phoenix to visit the Taleisin archives and look up the dates on the drawings for the Henderson and Thomas Houses. It is likely that I will need to research the building permits for Henderson and Thomas to see when they were actually built. The Davenport dated drawings carry the date of January 1901. Drawings for the first iteration of the Davenport House are undated. The Davenport close-out documents are dated early November 1901. In the meantime I will change the signature to One of the Earliest Prairie School Houses.
Paul Harding FAIA Owner and Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, the First Prairie School House in Chicago | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

allwrightythen1
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri May 26, 2006 11:42 am

Post by allwrightythen1 »

I think it will be interesting to see what your research unfolds in regards to the dating of Davenport vs. Henderson & Thomas. Next to nothing is really written about or studied in regards to the Davenport House and its place in Wright's cannon of work. If it does fit in before Henderson and Thomas, then it helps fill out the chronological path of development in Wright's Prairie Style and adds much more significance to the home. Please keep us posted!

pharding
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Post by pharding »

Dates on the working drawings:

E. Arthur Davenport House: January 1901.

Frank Thomas House: September 14, 1901.

Henderson House: November 1901.

Ward Willets House: June 1902.



"The Small House with Lots of Room in It" was published in the Ladies Home Journal in July 1901. A good question is whether this preceded the Davenport design or was Davenport design the precedent for it. If anyone has any information please contact me or share it with us.



I reverted back to my previous signature which was accurate after all.
Paul Harding FAIA Owner and Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, the First Prairie School House in Chicago | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

karnut
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Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 12:45 pm

P Harding

Post by karnut »

Iwould love to see some of Mr. Hardings designs,Then I would know if he had anything to offer besides talk.

pharding
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Paul Harding's Credentials

Post by pharding »

karnut wrote:I would love to see some of Mr. Harding's designs, then I would know if he had anything to offer besides talk.
Fair question. Please track down Architecture of the Gods Book II by Michael Crosbie. In there you will find three of our award winning projects. The work of our firm has received 35 design excellence awards, including 11 from the American Institute of Architects. After being nominated by AIA Chicago, in 2004 I was one of 81 architects from across the US to be named Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Of this select group I was one of approximately 20 to be so honored in the design category. I was commended for "advancement of the profession of architecture". I received my Master of Architecture Degree from the University of Pennsylvania where I received a Fellowship for Travel and Study in Europe. Prior to starting my own firm in 1985 I was a Senior Architect at Murphy/Jahn and Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. Currently I am Chair of the National Advisory Group for the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art, and Architecture with a constituency of 5,000 architects, liturgical consultants, and clergy.



With our restoration of the Davenport House, we have done some remarkable restoration work that contributes to a better understanding of the design and technology of the early Prairie Houses by Frank Lloyd Wright.



I hesitated to post this, but you asked.
Paul Harding FAIA Owner and Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, the First Prairie School House in Chicago | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

Reidy
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Post by Reidy »

Most histories I've seen call Willits the first Prairie house. As I understand the term it carries two requirements. The first is the plan: centering on a fireplace with 2 - 4 wings of a cross opening around it. The second is the exterior look: a long horizontal line with a gently-peaked hipped roof and one predominant color. Davenport would pass the first test, but the exterior, with its two-tone banding, bay window (unless that was part of the later remodel) and sharply-peaked roof, has more in common with his youthful Shingle-style and Victorian houses. Thus I'd vote for Willits.

pharding
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Post by pharding »

Mr. Wright in his book, A Testament, talks about The Prairie Houses as falling into two types, a gable roof type and a hipped roof type. His statement about this also shows up in another book or paper that he authored, possibly his autobiography. After Mr. Wright himself, the highest regarded author on the Prairie Houses is Grant Carpenter Manson. In his book, Frank Lloyd Wright to 1910: The First Golden Age, he states that the first built Prairie Houses were the Bradley House and Warren Hickox House in Kankakee. Both are of the gable roof type. Manson's book was the result of two campaigns of concentrated work, 1938 - 1940 for his Harvard doctoral dissertation on the Prairie Houses, and 1953-1957 for more material on the book itself. Mr. Wright took a liking to the Chicago native who grew up near the Husser House. Mr. Wright was personally interviewed and consulted in these two periods. He also made his personal records available to Grant Carpenter Manson. For me this is sufficient documentation that the Davenport House is a true Prairie House.
Paul Harding FAIA Owner and Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, the First Prairie School House in Chicago | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

JimM
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Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:44 pm
Location: Austin,Texas

Re: Paul Harding's Credentials

Post by JimM »

pharding wrote:
karnut wrote:I hesitated to post this, but you asked.


You are too gracious, and it's unfortunate you felt the need to legitimize what anyone who has read your posts would assume regarding your intentions, experience and credentials.



Very impressive, and the rude comment enabled me to learn more about you. Perhaps "karnut" should stick with NASCAR.

karnut
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 12:45 pm

P Harding

Post by karnut »

Come on Paul post a picture of your best,No speeches !!!!. As Mr. Wright stated. The problem with Architecture is Architects!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

karnut
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 12:45 pm

Nascar

Post by karnut »

I think it"s time to buy more Nascar stock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. what do you think Jim M.

KevinW
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Mr. Harding

Post by KevinW »

If I may add my two cents.....Mr. harding, it has been my understanding that one important feature of this forum was to discuss actual preservation of a Wright building. In the couple of years I have been posting here, you have been most active in this feature. I for one thank you for your generosity in sharing information, and also in your efforts to ask the forum for information.
Last edited by KevinW on Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
KevinW

flwright
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Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Post by flwright »

Agreed.
Morgan

Richard
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:29 pm
Location: Illinois

Post by Richard »

Also agreed 100 %!



PS the taunting is tiresome.
Homeowner

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