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SDR
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Post by SDR »

Anyway -- Patrick J Meehan's "Truth Against the World" (Preservation Press, 1992) has some of the editor's own photos of various Wright structures, including the Erdman houses. Here is Mr Meehan's list of the Erdman 1 and 2 designs; he says there were two more Erdman types, none of which were built.

The six Marshall Erdman Pre-Fab 1 designs actually constructed were the William Cass residence, Richmond, New York, the Frank Iber residence, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, the Arnold Jackson residence (second design), Madison, Wisconsin, and later relocated in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin (see "Mid-'50s Frank Lloyd Wright Prefab House To Be Relocated," Architecture: The AlA Journal, Vol. 74, No.3, March 1985, pp. 32, 37, and 42. for a I Clrnplete account of this relocation), the Joseph Mollica residence, in Bayside, Wisconsin, the Carl Post residence in Barrington Hills, Illinois, and the Eugene Van Tamelen residence, Madison. Only two Marshall Erdman Pre-Fab 2 designs were actually constructed-the James B. McBean residence, Rochester. Minnesota, and the Walter Rudin residence, Madison.


Image Van Tamelen.
This is a 16" vertical module, isn't it. . .?

Image Van Tamelen L.R.
I'm not comfortable with this ceiling pitch, for some reason.

Image


Image Rudin.
"The exterior was originally cream ochre with blue battens."

Image Rudin.
"Frank Lloyd Wright called it a 'one room house'. . ."

Image



Image McBean.
Carport, left.

Image McBean.
I assume this is a 24" vertical module.

Image

Plans from W A Storrer's "FLLW Companion"

SDR

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Don't miss the stone veneer samples on the previous page ! Up next: examples of Wright's classic stonework. . .

SDR

googieagog
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Post by googieagog »

I do like your first photo set, SDR, and your idea for projecting random sleepers is a good one. But to me, the stone colors are too pale and the mortarless joints too contemporary for a Usonian look. The colors and joints of the second set, being period, work better. I've looked into this for hardcape at my place. At the big box home centers and local stone yards, there's nothing affordable in natual or cast that really works. To me, for new "Usonians" brick or concrete block is the way to go, on both price and appearance. Of course, if you want a design that is based on Wright but looks more 21st century, then none of this matters and the contemporary examples will work fine. It's all a matter of taste.
Dan

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Hmm -- interesting point. Of course, none of the earlier samples shown is like anything Wright ever did, thought the latter ones come closer. There are many examples of random ashlar that others have used that seem to evoke his signature recipe -- though usually without the projecting stones. He himself did not always use that detail, in fact.

I just think that those five Palm Springs examples show that stone veneer can be both original and convincing as stonework. With that as a basis, we can look for something more Wrightian, if we like.

I agree that the best choices for a modern-day Usonian are probably brick and Block. But I like to explore all options, looking for other masonry walls that seem Wrightian -- or at least "real" -- as architectural meat, for the potatoes and salad that is to accompany them in this present-day feast. Some of the richest of his Usonian-period houses have stone masonry: Hoffman comes immediately to mind.

Image photo by Richard J Herber

RJH
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Post by RJH »

The stone is called Yonkers Granite and the most beautiful stone I’ve ever seen in any Wright design. From what I found on the net, it doesn’t mean it came from Yonkers, NY but was a type of granite that is only found in Westchester County, NY. It is hand chipped. Tom Heinz states in one of his books that Wright saw the stone contained mica chips. He then had Schmacher design a gold fabric for the house that contained specs of shiny material to simulate the mica chips. The fabric is now out of production.

Hoffman certainly blows any Prairie style house out of the water.

It would have been considerate to ask for permission to use the photo. No need to remove.

googieagog
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Post by googieagog »

Agreed, Wright's stone work is gorgeous and marks his best Usonians. I'm not sure that will work in a new subdivion, but that depends on your target price. If price isn't a factor, the wood, stone, brick or concrete sand should be native to the place.
Dan

SDR
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Post by SDR »

So, I'll post a series of examples of Wright's own special contribution to the world of ashlar. As far as I can tell, this was first seen at Taliesin North (as Wright called it, after Taliesin West was built; Taliesin East is the name occassionally given to the New York address). Wright refers, in his autibiography, to the look of the natural ledges of stone in the vicinity of Spring Green, as an inspiration to him.

Here is the first example. I will let readers identify subsequent entries, offered in approximately chronological order; I hope to make them increasingly difficult to name. This one is from Taliesin III and is an easy one; where in the complex is it found ?


Image

SDR
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Post by SDR »

I'm going to continue with a series of images of Wright's and others' masonry work, but I don't want to sidetrack this excellent discussion of the larger question: what would a modern-day neighborhood of Wrightian homes look like ?

I almost wrote "development" or "tract" (sometimes misspelled "track") but neighborhood seems friendlier. Or don't Americans want "neighborhoods" any longer ?

This was SWSinDC's original question: ". . .which ONE of Wright's built designs would be your basic model, and what would you expect to list it for?"

SDR

1000 posts ! :shock:

Deke
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Post by Deke »

This is such an interesting topic...and I've always felt the spacial magic of the Usonians isn't necessarily dependent upon the use of materials. Certainly new technologies like termopane windows and SIP panels should be explored. The demonstration house built in NYC for the 60 Years exhibition might be a jumping off point as it used plywood instead of cypress planks for the wood elements. While it's tempting to look at Usonia I or II as prototypes, they consume a lot of land and are sprawl-inspiring. I'd rather see something like the...what was it called...cloverleaf...plan? By keeping the plan the same economies of scale could be employed. And wasn't there an earlier Prairie style development workout out that turned the same design at 90 degree angles to it's neighbor?

Deke

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Yes there was. It's called the Quadruple Block Plan (1900; published in Ladies Home Journal, Feb 1901):

Image

As published in Wasmuth; Scheme A (left) and B (right).



Here's a detail of a drawing of Suntop Homes (Cloverleaf, the Ardmore Experiment, Quadruple Housing), Ardmore, PA, 1938:

Image

SDR

SDR
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Post by SDR »

For better or for worse, Americans seem never to have accepted the obvious economy and sensible land-use of the "terraced" (that is, attached) home, as the British have called it. ("Semi-detached" is a duplex, "detached" is our single-family dwelling, as you learn by watching BBC entertainment programming.) With our ample if not endless acreage here, it just seems like unnecessary crowding, I suppose. But it certainly looks good, when you consider the all-too-present alternative: block after block and row after row of (now oversized) homes, each carefully distanced from its neighbors by whatever yardage is left over. How much more attractive, not to say cost-effective, to join two walls and get some larger forms going, with a more generous side "garden" (Brit.) left to enjoy, each family to its own.

One modern-era American architect after another has proposed some version of this kind of planning, but it just won't "take." The LA postwar youngsters at least built some full-lot landscape schemes, that made maximum use of the available footage. But only "low-income" developments forced the issue of duplex housing back upon the electorate, in the 'sixties and 'seventies -- as I recall it.

With fewer units per block, Wright's early scheme requires more paving per dwelling, and/or fewer houses per acre -- not an attractive proposition for the landowner. And, rather than moving the houses to within shouting (yelling, partying) distance of each other, better to actually build two together, with a good soundproof wall between ?

Perhaps Suntop gets it right. Of course, the pinwheel is just a formal fillip; these homes could be built as two, three or more in a row and still partake of formal variety and cohesiveness, both. . .



SDR

Johnzerd1
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Post by Johnzerd1 »

This is a facinating subject for me, around 3 years ago I did a cost breakdown on building A Seth Peterson type Cabin, south of San Antonio on a bluff overlooking the River, using sips panels and a sips roof, and I remember the costs coming in right at $40,000 using myself as the GC... I still am planing on building on the site but think I am going to go a little larger for my retirement home ...

SDR
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Post by SDR »

I wonder how many have seen this: Case Study #24 (unbuilt) by Jones & Emmons (1961). The unique feature of this development is that
each house is sunk into its bermed lot, thus providing privacy and noise abatement. It takes a minute to co-ordinate the section to the plan,
and to correctly read the model photo. . .

Image

Image The section looks in the direction of the carport.

Image


MPR, off the carport, is a multi-purpose room, which would make a good home office or guest suite. The
plan abounds with gardens and terraces.

SDR

Ed Jarolin
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Jones & Emmons

Post by Ed Jarolin »

From "Blueprints for Modern Living: History and Legacy of the Case Study Houses".

"Case Study #24, an unrealized 260-house tract, represents the program's foremost statement about multiple suburban housing. It was sponsored by developer Joseph Eichler of Eichler Homes, Inc., the force behind numerous modern housing communities in Northern California. Seeking to extend his concept to Southern California, Eichler purchased the former Robert Taylor-Barbara Stanwyck ranch, a 142-acre parcel of land near Northridge, California, and engaged the office of Jones and Emmons, with whom he had collaborated frequently on previous projects....

The master plan for Case Study #24 called for decreasing the size of individual lots in order to provide a community-owned park and recreation center. including greenbelts and facilities for swimming, barbercuing and horseback riding. Lack of support for the concept of collectively-owned facilities, however, caused the Los Angeles City Council's Committee on Zoning to deny approval for the project. The land was subsequently developed as a conventional tract....

The rejection of Case Study #24 dealt a tremendous blow to prospective buyers, who had already researved one-third of the homes precisely because of the community concept and because of their inability to afford the purchase and maintenance of house on larger lots."

Somewhat similar to the problems encountered by the various Usonian developments. Usonia II, East Lansing, Michigan, fell to lack of financing for the unconventional architecture and planning. If memory serves, Parkwyn Village and The Acres, Kalamazoo, Michigan, went ahead only when the clients obtained financing though their employer.

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »

Johnzerd1 wrote:This is a facinating subject for me, around 3 years ago I did a cost breakdown on building A Seth Peterson type Cabin, south of San Antonio on a bluff overlooking the River, using sips panels and a sips roof, and I remember the costs coming in right at $40,000 using myself as the GC... I still am planing on building on the site but think I am going to go a little larger for my retirement home ...

On our stay at Seth Peterson this past year we noticed that the finished ceiling was composed of 4x8 sheets of plywood. Another possible 'savings' (in material and labor) over the installation of a dimensional lumber ceiling, as is seen in many Usonians.


David

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