Lamberson House Restoration

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dtc
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:04 am

Post by dtc »

peterm,
Hearing your story about carpet removal brought back our nightmarish day of carpet removal at Dobkins. (which by the way was the next day after closing and the first thing we attacked, along with 90% removal of drapes.)
Fortunately Taliesin drew a carpet plan for Dobkins. Only in certain areas did we have to remove tack strips which were nailed into the mat. Most of the carpet was installed revealing the outside module of each space/room.
And we did not have grout filled module lines to contend with.
Congratulations on a fine job of bringing back a fine usonian.
We all look forward to your project of the fire box. When and how will you tackle it?

A perfect size Anatolian kilim on floor and fine placement of the Navajo on the wall.
Keep up the fine work.

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

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Palli Davis Holubar
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Location: Wakeman, Ohio

Post by Palli Davis Holubar »

WOW!

egads
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Location: Long Beach CA

Post by egads »

Palli Davis Holubar wrote:WOW!
I second that!

DRN
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

I'll third the WOW.
Finding the grout in the unit lines truly must have been an "F-bomb" moment...I feel for you. Your efforts are worth it; the house is looking good and the furniture and fabrics make it sing. Kudos.

peterm
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Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

dtc wrote:
We all look forward to your project of the fire box. When and how will you tackle it?
We look forward to it, too. I would say probably after the master bedroom and living room details are finished, (hopefully by the end of the year), we will work on the fireplace. There is an unrealized grate design which will also need to be fabricated, maybe by Stafford Norris's brother, who is a fine welder.

dtc
Posts: 739
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:04 am

Post by dtc »

Has the living room terrace mat been removed? It appears to have been replaced with gravel. If you pour a new mat, with dry shake color, and tooled module lines it will double the size of your living room space as originally intended.

Are you planning to rebuild the terrace walls?

I know you are having fun!

peterm
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Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

Ah yes, the terrace...

The terrace mat supposedly was cracked and damaged, as well as the brick terrace walls, so a gravel aggregate was poured instead and the wood railings replaced the brick.

Yes, we hope to restore that as well, and you are right, it will radically increase the feeling of spaciousness. Also, notice the third to last photo which shows the benches ending at the mitered corner glass window. Imagine more benches continuing on outside on the terrace. This is what Wright had in mind, with the benches becoming slatted at this point. This will blur the boundary even more between inside and outside and make quite a long bench, (about thirty five feet long!) We even thought of making these benches out of steel painted cherokee red for longevity's sake. We'll see when and if we get to that...

Slow and steady wins the race, or at least gets you a bit closer to the finish line...

dtc
Posts: 739
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:04 am

Post by dtc »

How many owners have occupied the Lamberson?

I guess a structure is considered lucky if each subsequent owner makes just one change let it be a minor or major alteration.

Well, as you know, it is your responsibility--- you are at bat making a significant difference.

Craig
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Location: California

Post by Craig »

This will blur the boundary even more between inside and outside and make quite a long bench
Love it. Just love it. The house couldn't be in better hands.
ch

peterm
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Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

dtc wrote:How many owners have occupied the Lamberson?

I guess a structure is considered lucky if each subsequent owner makes just one change let it be a minor or major alteration.

Well, as you know, it is your responsibility--- you are at bat making a significant difference.
I believe we are the sixth owners, and aside from the Lambersons, I think it is pretty clear that the changes which owners made inevitably took the house farther from Wright's vision.

You are right; it is our responsibility now. If we are lucky, with friends like SDR, (who did detailed shop drawings, translating sketchy and sometimes ambiguous drawings into something more concrete and legible) and Stafford Norris 111, carefully putting the puzzle pieces back together, we might see the house in a better state than 1951. That is, of course, assuming we don't run out of money!

When we sat in the house last week, we realized that with the triangular houses, the custom furniture is so critical to the experience of the space. Most other furniture simply does not work, and it is easy to understand why people might have felt uncomfortable in the house with their own stuff, (as evidenced in photo number one above).

Wright's furniture is as important as the roof and the walls...

P.S. This week the massive overgrown junipers blocking the view from the terrace will be removed. There is an amazing mature oak which is now concealed and the view beyond is superb...

Jeff Myers
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Contact:

Post by Jeff Myers »

PeterM: I am wondering if you knew about Preservation Grants. When you run out of money you can apply for a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Just wondered if anyone knew about that. Great job on restoring the Lamberson. One of these days i will get my own fixer upper and restore it to its original state. Right now I am helping my parents figure out what to paint the office.
JAT
Jeff T

dtc
Posts: 739
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:04 am

Post by dtc »

I often wondered why folks who have a traditional bent, a conventional aesthetic sense in their taste for architecture, furniture and the like are attracted to a Wright home.
Some actually buy the house and proceed to change/adjust/alter the design,
because they just want to---why not make a few changes and fixes to a Matisse? ("I kinda like it... but lets put a shape in this negative area or lets change this hue".)
Is it only human nature to make your mark, to bring what you are accustom to into the new space?
An attempt to feel at home??
To make it mine???
They just don't get it---these homes are more important than any owner. In fact the owner is nothing more than a caretaker, a steward.
Can you imagine taking something so thought out and designed by one of the most talented architects in America and changing it, so it looks like what one already has--- go figure.

peterm, be glad one of the previous owners did not brighten the interior walls of the place with a coat of fresh paint or filled all bed and head mortar joints to apply wall coverings.

I am not kidding when I suggest that all future prospective buyers of Wright's architecture must pass a screening test from the FLLWBC or some such agency, a panel of "aesthetic police". This disrespect of the uninformed has to stop, and sooner the better.

Furthermore there are plenty of traditional boxes for all of them, why do they need to mess with Wright's architecture?

dtc

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

The furnishings in Photo #1 of Lamberson would look horrid in a dingbat 60s Motel 6. When I visited Eppstein in 1985, the owners were proud as punch of owning a FLW house, yet were unaware of how dreadful the colonial furniture knockoffs from Colonial Furniture R Us looked with the frilly curtains. But in a country that regards Velveeta as cheese and Spam as meat, what else can one expect? Although, I must say, it's about time someone painted eyebrows on Mona Lisa. She's just gross!

peterm
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Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

My favorite detail in photo #1 is the tall corner cabinet hiding Wright's terrible mistake (the mitered glass corner).

The owner at this time was the local high school athletic director. He also was responsible for adding the metal garage (the design of which I guess just slipped Wright's mind). I guess the guns were his, and the ironing board his wife's...

Is there a better example out there of strange decor in a Wright house?

Sort of David Lynch meets Usonia.

"Damned good cherry pie..."

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