Homes Built before Wright died

To control SPAM, you must now be a registered user to post to this Message Board.

EFFECTIVE 14 Nov. 2012 PRIVATE MESSAGING HAS BEEN RE-ENABLED. IF YOU RECEIVE A SUSPICIOUS DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS AND PLEASE REPORT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION.

This is the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's Message Board. Wright enthusiasts can post questions and comments, and other people visiting the site can respond.

You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, *-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed). The IP address of all posts is recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. You agree that the webmaster, administrator and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time they see fit.
Post Reply
Ed Jarolin
Posts: 277
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:06 pm
Location: Wyoming

Homes Built before Wright died

Post by Ed Jarolin »

I thought about putting this under the thread about designs built after Wright's death, but thought it deserved a separate discusion. I ran across several mentions of Wright's lack of direct involvement with some of the later houses.



In Curtis Besinger's 'Working with Mr. Wright', he writes that "while some houses came almost completely from Wright, others were derived from earlier designs and still others were designed by senior apprentices, subject to Wright's changes".



Apprentice John Geiger states, "the last ten years of his life he was very much involved with the Guggenheim and that was his goal, to get that building built. A lot of other things fell by the wayside. By 1949 or 1950 he was very little involved in the houses except for special cases." He adds a recollection quoting FLlW as saying that sometimes a design issued from his studio "without benefit of clergy."



I'd be interested in others input on this subject.

JimM
Posts: 1542
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:44 pm
Location: Austin,Texas

Post by JimM »

Many interesting things here, and an area that would be fascinating to learn more about. However, with a precedent of not exactly being forthcoming, illumination sadly can not be expected from Taliesin; still the best probable source other than those who had left but have not shed light on attributions for one reason or another.



I tend to believe there is evidence determining which houses may not be "genuine" (beyond the obvious), and also that having the control to do so, Taliesin has (incorrectly) deemed many good enough to be attributed to Wright.



If true, it does not change the fact there are questionable attributions, which I felt long before being aware of the degree of apprentice involvement in later houses. The list most likely includes most of the remodels, and others that look more like later TAA houses and others "designed" since Wright died.



It is likely Wright was involved to some degree, if only to sign his square. As Ed points out, at his age and considering all the pressure and difficulties with the museum, many designs slipped by that were regrettable, probably to Frank more than anyone!

Deke
Posts: 692
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:18 am
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Post by Deke »

I'm also interested in this subject as I suppose anyone is who dives into the great pool of FLW work and every so often comes across a design that doesn't seem to fit, or convey the refinements of most of the work. If you look at enough Wright work, I suppose you can feel in your gut when a particular design doesn't quite jibe. And you wonder, what happened there? This is a gross generalization, but I find some of his more circular designs fall into this category. And didn't he built a pre-fab design with horizontal battens that seems very off the mark. Who still living would or could review those busy final ten years and provide more accurate attribution? Most firms today keep records of who worked how many hours on a given project in order to bill the client. I don't suppose FLW did that?

Deke

Ed Jarolin
Posts: 277
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:06 pm
Location: Wyoming

Palmer House

Post by Ed Jarolin »

After reading "Frank Lloyd Wright's Palmer House", it would seem this

is one of those latter day "special cases" of heavy Wright involvement

with a residential commission: if there was ever any real doubt. Here

we get the story of Wright, at the height of his powers, working with the

ideal clients to produce the ultimate organic jewel.



The mention of the Palmer's teenage daughter, Mary Louise, dancing to

rock music, presumably Elvis, in that wonderful living room brings the

house to life and puts a smile on my face. The picture of Wright chowing

down on corn-on-the-cob does the same.



Definitely one of the best of the individual house books and a must have

for any Wright fan's library.

pharding
Posts: 2253
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:19 pm
Location: River Forest, Illinois
Contact:

test

Post by pharding »

test
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

Palli Davis Holubar
Posts: 1036
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:14 am
Location: Wakeman, Ohio

later designs from Taliesin

Post by Palli Davis Holubar »

Several points for consideration:



Taliesin was a school, a one room school. A one room school that had to earn money to keep the lights on.



Apprentices of different ages and experience levels in drafting, building, and working with Wright.



Wright was an aged teacher...think "been there done that".



So many Usonians were sited on lots that didn't offer challenge that commanded his interest. Usonians were houses not mansions that could be playgrounds of the mind.



Very important is the fact of the owner-built process. The finished structure has to be related to the actual Taliesin plans. Was the building faithfully executed as an organic whole, with or without an apprentice on-site? Tafel remembers the admonition Wright said to Howe about too much detailing on working plans. (Paraphrased, I don't have attribution at my finger tips) It was " Any good carpenter will know what to do."



I am actually very interested in these decision- making moments in the life of a house building project. When is an uninformed or unconsidered choice made just to get the job done, to move into the house, to quit paying rent elsewhere. When is a decision made out of sheer ignorant visual thinking? When is a decision made that fails to flow with the organic vocabulary, due to an insensitive or arrogant imposition of a different aesthetic will?

JimM
Posts: 1542
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:44 pm
Location: Austin,Texas

Re: later designs from Taliesin

Post by JimM »

Palli Davis Holubar wrote:When is an uninformed or unconsidered choice made just to get the job done, to move into the house, to quit paying rent elsewhere. When is a decision made out of sheer ignorant visual thinking? When is a decision made that fails to flow with the organic vocabulary, due to an insensitive or arrogant imposition of a different aesthetic will?


Obvious answer... too often. Which is why some question the occasional attribution, and is also one of the most fascinating aspects of Wright; that by shear force of will he completed so many unique buildings, that even today with benefit of recent architectural history and a more widespread appreciation of design, would be astounding for almost anyone.

Palli Davis Holubar
Posts: 1036
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:14 am
Location: Wakeman, Ohio

Post by Palli Davis Holubar »

The strength of FLW visual ideas and the impact of the whole is so strong that it can survive the occasional poor delivery or subtle detail lost in translation from plan to structure. Like a beautiful face that has scar.



For example, the perforated screens at the Weltzheimer-Johnson House (1948). They aren't the "Wright" ones, but they do not destroy the power of the space, the joy of the dancing light and shadow. We will never know how the original Wright/Taliesin perforated screens would have played with light and shadow; but the Weltzheimer/Ted Bower "kitchen table" collaboration design does not corrupt the whole sense of the House.

JimM
Posts: 1542
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:44 pm
Location: Austin,Texas

Post by JimM »

Palli Davis Holubar wrote: the Weltzheimer/Ted Bower "kitchen table" collaboration design does not corrupt the whole sense of the House.


Ted lives nearby, and we've talked about Westheimer (and his distain for his Taliesin experience!), but he never mentioned his part in the screens; I'll have to ask him about that. His own small home is delightful.

Post Reply