Question on house visits re upcoming trip to New England

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Jeff Myers
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Post by Jeff Myers »

look on the bottom elevation....

Really a lovely house and really great pictures David.
JAT
Jeff T

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Plan shows barred vertical slot window at dining table; photos show one near fireplace in "mother's" room; elevs show both.

Yes, a chimney is sketched in on an elevation -- I guess that's what you refer to, Jeff ?

SDR

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »

SDR wrote:Wonder if this is the only small Usonian with three fireplaces.
That is exactly what we were told (true or not) while there.


David

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Text from Monograph 6. No mention of fireplaces for heat. . .



Image

peterm
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Post by peterm »

There are just so many amazing Usonian houses. The condition of the exterior wood at Baird looks fantastic. I wonder what the secret is?

SDR
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Post by SDR »

It would be good to know the history of care of that exterior. One suspects that long-term effective treatment -- whatever it might be -- is the secret to the survival of unpainted exterior woodwork. Pew and Lewis show considerable deterioration (no matter how picturesque) -- though portions of the airborne Pew exterior would be a lot harder to access than would Baird !


Image Pew

Image Lewis

Reidy
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Post by Reidy »

Thanks for the photos. I've never seen interiors of Baird.

One Usonian owner told me that her secret for exterior wood was Minwax. This was in California, where the climate is less stressful than in New England.

DRN
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Post by DRN »

TnGuy:
Your pics of Baird made my day. I think you have made the first complete photo record of this house...and what a house it is. I am quite taken with how simple and cozy it is, as well as how well it has been maintained.

It is interesting to contrast this house with Goetsch-Winckler of the same era...both are for northern climates, both use the same grammar, both have good communication between indoors and outdoors, but Baird gives me more a sense of cozy home and shelter whereas Goetsch-Winckler seems more of an open pavilion with some "pockets" of closure. My perceptions are based only on viewing drawings and photos of both, however. Thoughts?

Could this have been a manifestation of Wright's read on the respective clients?

Jeff Myers
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Post by Jeff Myers »

While I modeled Goetsch-Winckler I did feel a cold stark feeling in the home,even though furnishing it did help some. Baird seems very cozy and warm to me.

So in what I am saying Cold I meant as in how the feel of the furnishings seems to not fit with he scale but flows nicely whereas warm meant seemed nicely furnished and to scale and flows nicely.
I like the 2 homes and respect the designs.
JAT
Jeff T

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »

DRN wrote:I am quite taken with how simple and cozy it is, as well as how well it has been maintained.
Your read is spot on. Baird is very intimate and warm. Wright obtains quite a lot through the use of varying ceiling heights, uplighting, clerestory, strategically placed inglenook, off-center hallway, multiple fireplaces, wood inside and out, brick (though the mortar width is rather large - and not recessed), and glass. I'm very, very fond of this small Usonian.


David

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

There are a couple of sources for Baird interiors, an old (1976) Global Interiors #10, pp 86-91 includes 5 interiors (1 color), and FLW Selected Houses #6, pp 144-151 with 4 b/w interiors, one of which is the brick-walled alcove between the living room and sanctum built to accommodate a spinet piano, perhaps the only such nook in a FLW house; there were accommodations for grands, like Blair, but not spinets.

When comparing Baird and G/W, it should be kept in mind that G/W was not only a house, but a studio where the owners painted, requiring a more open space. But it's true, Baird is a cozier house.

If the current owner of Baird is the second one, who inherited the house from Baird, he is in the building industry, which may account for the better maintained exteriors.

flwright
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Post by flwright »

Agreed. Seeing the inside of Baird is a nice treat; I've always admired in plan the little piano alcove combined with the double-sided fireplace that separates the sanctum from the living room. Looks very cozy.
TnGuy wrote: Baird has been restored more in the inside than on the outside - with plans to continue in the future. Zimmerman is in amazing condition.
Maybe its because I've been doing a lot of masonry projects at the office lately, but it appears that someone at some point tried to "restore" the masonry by repointing the brick but did an absolutely dreadful job. Either that, or the original mason thought this was supposed to be back-up brick. Its like staring at a train wreck and being unable to look away -- I could hardly focus on anything else! These couldn't be original could they? It is going to be hard to bring those joints back to something acceptable. Compare these fat "mudpie" joints to the crisp, pencil-thin joints on Zimmerman.

From the photos, however, the wood cladding appears to be in fairly decent condition, minus some soiling. TnGuy -- am I correct from your on-site observations?
Morgan

Reidy
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Post by Reidy »

The story I've heard is that the Bairds did the work themselves and the bricks have always looked that way.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

The mud-pie brick mortar certainly stands out more in color photos, somehow -- Futagawa's earlier photos (mentioned by R Grant) seem to be all monochrome. The failing (which I am guessing is an "original sin") at least has the saving grace -- a considerable boon -- of being uniform throughout. . .

SDR

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Futagawa photos. . .

Image
Piano niche in brick


Image
Piano niche at far left

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