FOR SALE / FLlW Legacy Program House

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EJ
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Post by EJ »

I like the house. As was mentioned elsewhere, it is much preferable to the standard housing fare that is out there. The problem with houses like these is that they are too expensive compared to alternatives in the market. In other words, why spend $790k on a house like this when you can have a 4500 sq foot McMansion for the same money? You must be a true believer to invest such money into a house like this.

I do agree that the white walls must go.

Actually, truth be known, this house, while lacking in 100% FLW authenticity, may be more livable than the real thing.

Houses like this are deserving of some FLW pedigree, but not 100%. There needs to be a grading system to designate degrees of authenticity.
"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

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Thanks for the excellent diagnosis, Doug.

Here's the Newman plan:
Image

Here's Brauner:
Image

Paul Ringstrom
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Post by Paul Ringstrom »

Once again... for those of you who think the Legacy program is awful, just ask yourself: Is this better architecture than the ubiquitous McMansions that are the current alternative vernacular construction? Shouldn't we celebrate, instead of denigrate, someone who has attempted to build something better than the current norm? Do we real estate consumers only have a choice between "perfect" Wrightian architecture or the current soul-less boxes heaped upon us by the local developer? Isn't there room for those of us who would like to live in a Wright-inspired space? If we don't encourage ordinary people to take that leap to aspire to something better will the current dismal situation ever improve?

Also, as most of you know Legacy homes have been designed and built under the provisions of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation for building Frank Lloyd Wright residential unbuilt designs and have been classified in three ways: Classification #1 "An Original Design by Frank Lloyd Wright�; Classification #2 "Based on an Original Frank Lloyd Wright Design�; and Classification #3 "Derived from a Frank Lloyd Wright Design". This residence has been classified by Taliesin Architects and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation as: “derived from an original Frank Lloyd Wright Design". Each classification carries a different percent of entitlement fees based on the total cost of construction and Taliesin Architects' services. In 2002 Classification #1 percent fee was 27%, Classification #2 percent fee was 23% and Classification #3 percent fee was 20%. These fees have gone up since 2003, making building a Legacy house in 2007 cost possibly above one million dollars. This house for under $800K is great buy for a FLLW fan. Also to be noted: For its urban location it is unusual that no other homes are visible from its wonderful hilly wooded 1.5 acres site near the University of Cincinnati.

The original name of the house was the Newman House. The house was to be built for Professor Newman of the psychology department of Michigan State University at Lansing in Lansing, Michigan in 1939. There were to be six Usonian homes to be built. The project was called Usonia I . Only the Goetsch-Winkler was built. (See John Sergeant’s book: Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian Houses- pages 51 & 78 .)

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Newman plan above; Newman elevations and perspective below. All, from Monograph 6.

Image
(note stacked cut-out boards in two upper elevations)

Image

I agree with Paul's comments. It's a little difficult to see this house as the prototype for the subject of the thread. . .

SDR

pharding
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Post by pharding »

EJ wrote:...Houses like this are deserving of some FLW pedigree, but not 100%. There needs to be a grading system to designate degrees of authenticity.
How about "in the manner of Frank Lloyd Wright"?
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

SDR
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Post by SDR »

I would like that. I wonder how long it will be before thoughtful English is no longer understood. . .?

SDR

pharding
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Post by pharding »

Paul Ringstrom wrote:Once again... for those of you who think the Legacy program is awful, just ask yourself: Is this better architecture than the ubiquitous McMansions that are the current alternative vernacular construction?
Rather ersatz Frank Lloyd Wright, one would be better off hiring a talented small architectural firm with a track record of design excellence to do a beautiful, modern home that is appropriate for our time and technology. In addition the architectural and engineering fees would be less than those of the Legacy Program. Plus the clients would achieve something that is tailored to his/her needs and lifestyle.
Paul Ringstrom wrote:Shouldn't we celebrate, instead of denigrate, someone who has attempted to build something better than the current norm?
Mr. Wright had nothing but contempt for those that ripped off and lobotomized his ideas. I believe that he would not hold this house in high esteem.
Paul Ringstrom wrote:The original name of the house was the Newman House. The house was to be built for Professor Newman of the psychology department of Michigan State University at Lansing in Lansing, Michigan in 1939.
This house looks nothing like the Newman House regardless of the claims of the folks at Taliesin. The Newman House was quite special and a well-designed architectural work by a great architect. This house is certainly less than that. The Legacy Program works well as an income generator. It certainly is not a generator of quality architecture worthy of carrying Frank Lloyd Wright's name. When I see a building like this with Frank Lloyd Wright's name tagged onto it, I have even less respect for the Legacy Program and the judgment of those that peddle the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright. This building is just another fine example of the glaring shortcomings of the Legacy Program.
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

hypnoraygun
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Post by hypnoraygun »

Okay I realize this is a bit off topic and I know we have beat this horse into a pulp, but.........

With the drawings provided by Taliesin, is it even POSSIBLE to have done this, or other FLW homes correctly? Like I said, I know we have talked about this 100 times, but could it be done right if the proper person was working on the project?? Just curious..

I wonder who didn't follow through here.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

I'd guess there are just too many reasons to update the designs and too few people willing to pay "more for less."

SDR

JimM
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Post by JimM »

Maybe I'm missing something, but who other than FLLW can do a FLLW "correctly"?

Attributed houses left more to apprentice resolution than Wright, for one reason or another, have become increasingly apparent. This may explain the similarity of their execution with the Legacy's.

The "better than what's out there" point is not at all germane to authenticity, only to style. Any number of houses easily embody the "style" of Wright, but few the substance. Unfortunately, most apprentice's, in the past and to this day, failed to achieve the benchmark of substance. Who would expect them to?

Any client passionate about architecture as artistic expression would not go the Legacy route any more than the majority of Wright's clients would have gone elsewhere. Too many "starving" architects out there needing a break.....

RJH
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Post by RJH »

Rather ersatz Frank Lloyd Wright, one would be better off hiring a talented small architectural firm with a track record of design excellence to do a beautiful, modern home that is appropriate for our time and technology. In addition the architectural and engineering fees would be less than those of the Legacy Program. Plus the clients would achieve something that is tailored to his/her needs and lifestyle.
Pick up any housing related magazine over the years and you’ll see tons of material on “modern houses.� The only problem is NONE of them can compare to a genuine Wright masterpiece. If you find that one firm that can successfully “pull it off,� make sure to give me a call because I want to know.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

I don't believe that Wright was the "only" modern architect -- not for a minute. Each of the well-known architects of the movement had something of his own to contribute -- and there were many talented architects who didn't make the pages of the professional magazines, as well. It is undoubtedly true that the majority of them found inspiration of the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, which is significant -- but I don't believe that we would have lacked a vital domestic native architecture in the twentieth century, in his absence.

It doesn't make our hero more heroic, to claim that he had no competition -- does it ?

SDR

EJ
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Post by EJ »

Pick up any housing related magazine over the years and you’ll see tons of material on “modern houses.� The only problem is NONE of them can compare to a genuine Wright masterpiece. If you find that one firm that can successfully “pull it off,� make sure to give me a call because I want to know.
I agree. I think it was in the Frank Gehry movie that someone said something to the effect of if you ever meet an architect at a party, the first thing you should do is hit him, because 99% of what they produce as a profession is s**t.
How about "in the manner of Frank Lloyd Wright"?
Actually what I was thinking about was a "Grade 3 Frank Lloyd Wright Structure" Grade 1 would be structures desigined and built by Wright in his lifetime that have not been siginicantly altered. Grade 2 would be structures that have been altered, etc. I think a lot of Wright structures have lost a lot of their flavor, if not some character from alterations that they should not be full 100% Wright designs either.
"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 »

Once again we find ourselves going round and round as to the relative merits of faux Wright vs. real Wright.

Perhaps we can agree that the magic of Wright's work is the result of several factors. The spatial 'flow' between areas within the building as well as the relationship of these areas to the larger context of nature. The use of certain materials which evoke an almost subliminal response of what? Comfort, rightness, a womblike serenity. Put your own label on it. Then there is the marvelous complexity of the work. The almost endless array of new things to discover, that sense of something new around the corner. Certainly the various aspects of Wright's magic have been analyzed over and over again.

Can anyone seriously contend that any of the immitators have given us the sense of wonder we experience in one of his houses. Here I am defining immitators as those designing in the 'manner of Wright', as some have proposed calling it. The attempt to use the accepted Wrightian materials in the typical Wright manner. I am not speaking of those like Lautner who quickly developed their own unique ways of acheiving the wonder by using different means. Is it really surprising that the immitators and immitations always fall short. The true artists seek their own expression of the 'thing', the immitators try in vain to use the accepted forms to achieve their ends.

That is not to say that a 'brick for brick' copy, if one could do it, would not give use the same experience as the original. Another performance of a classic by a different orchestra as it were. However, this is not what we get. There always seems to be the temptation to tinker. Change something here, cheapen a material there. Hence the inevitable disappointment. The nice try, but no cigar moment when we realize that, "it's ok, but just isn't what it should be".

Are the immitations better than the standard dreck out there? The McMansions, the tract houses? Certainly. Just about anything would be better, would it not? Does that mean they're art? No, it does not. The great, or even really good architect, should find his own means of expression. As Wright himself said "great art can be no restatement".

pharding
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Post by pharding »

RJH wrote:.... The only problem is NONE of them can compare to a genuine Wright masterpiece. If you find that one firm that can successfully “pull it off,� make sure to give me a call because I want to know.
Current houses by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, James Cutler, Thomas Phifer, Steven Holl, Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen, and others are light years better than any of the Ersatz Wright Houses licensed by Taliesin. There are many others that I could name.
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

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