Frank Lloyd Wright's Palmer House by Grant Hildebrand

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Location: River Forest, Illinois

Frank Lloyd Wright's Palmer House by Grant Hildebrand

Post by pharding »

Another fine book by Grant Hildebrand has just been published. I would give this book a highly recommended rating. The Palmer House is one of Mr. Wright's finest houses of the period with a great client. Billy and Mary Palmer were committed to Wright's vision for their house and trusted ideas that were unique, even for FLW at the time, would work on their beautiful site. The design benefited from the very active involvement of Mr. Wright and a client that contributed some insightful ideas which made a superb design even better. Billy and Mary's ideas about rotating the building on their beautiful site resulted in what Jack Howe called the most successful integration of a FLW house with the site. Billy and Mary continued with the site development and interior furnishings after the building's completion to create an incredibly beautiful, holistic environment. Grant Hildebrand with Anne and Leonard K. Eaton were masterful in writing a very comprehensive history of the house. One of the many commendable features of the book are extensive notes describing the sources of the information. Too many recent FLW books mindlessly repeat text and information from other sources without using footnotes and notes to explain the source of the information. The book's beautiful photographs and drawings contribute to a great book about a great architectural work.

Michael Shuck
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Hildebrand's Books

Post by Michael Shuck »

I read Origins of Architectural Pleasure by Grant Hildebrand at the suggestion of some folks here on Wright Chat. What a great book! I thought it gave a well-organized explanation of how Wright did recognize nature's role in architecture. He is a humble writer who suggests throughout that book that his ideas and observations were exactly that. His ideas are actually brilliant.

What I want most, however, is to have someone discover HOW FLW came up with those initial concepts. I've read much of FLW's own writings and I have not yet come upon where he "discovered" the compression, tension and release theorem. How did he derive it? His many conversations with his Lieber Meister? Discovered it at the library? I wish I could find in his own words how he derived how using lowered soffets affected the psyche, etc.

I've ordered Hildebrand's new book. I can't wait to read it.

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Post by Deke »

I may have been the one that mentioned "Architectural Pleasure." I liked it so much I'm now reading "The Wright Space" (from my alma mater the University of Washington Press). As far as FLW's sources, I'm not sure there are any. If there were, FLW's weird prose sure didn't reveal it. I think the guy just had a natural intuition for what Hildebrand recognizes as instinctively pleasurable spaces.

What's remarkable is how far architecture has strayed from this emotional-instinctive basis for design to a more program-process driven paradigm.


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Post by EJ »

I just received my copy today...I'll post my report when I'm done with it...Hildrebrand's past works have been a bit too academic for me, fitting as he is a college professor. I guess that's what I get for being a dumb lawyer.
"It all goes to show the danger of entrusting anything spiritual to the clergy" - FLLW, on the Chicago Theological Seminary's plans to tear down the Robie House in 1957

Ed Jarolin
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Post by Ed Jarolin »

My review of this book is on Amazon. The short version is, WONDERFUL.

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Location: Lebanon, OH

Post by Collinst3 »

I could agree more (amazing). My favorite books are the ones on the individual houses and this is the best. Even without pictures, his discriptions make me "feel" what the home looks like. I expecially liked the framing model. Also, learned a few more things about usonian construction that I did not from the other 40 books I've read. Well done--I did not want it to end.
Tony Collins
FLW addiction recently fed by building a wright-inspired ranch designed by former senior Taliesin Fellow.

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Post by EJ » excellent book about one of Wright's best houses.

My favorite part was the picture of Wright eating corn on the cob. I'm assuming that's the dinner Sara Smith wrote about in her book.
"It all goes to show the danger of entrusting anything spiritual to the clergy" - FLLW, on the Chicago Theological Seminary's plans to tear down the Robie House in 1957

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Post by RJH »

I just got finished reading this book. Once I picked it up I couldn

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