Question on house visits re upcoming trip to New England

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flwright
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Location: Saint John, New Brunswick

Post by flwright »

My apologies to the Bairds, I guess...

...but, Wright did encourage homeowners to do some of their own work. Did Wright ever make a post construction visit to Baird to witness the masonry? Is it really as bad as I think it is? Being there in person always has a different feel than the pictures might depict.

Are there any other famous homeowner do-it-yourself fails that come to mind?
Morgan

peterm
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Post by peterm »

Well, it appears to be level and plumb. If it weren't for Wright's exacting standards and unique method of raking the horizontal joints, I would say that this looks like an adequate execution of brick and mortar.

The vernacular brickwork emphasizes the rusticity and downplays Wright's modernist rigor.

Wrightgeek
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Location: Westerville, Ohio

Post by Wrightgeek »

Although I can't specifically recall the house, I believe that there was a Usonian Automatic designed by Wright where the future owners of the house were making and assembling concrete blocks to construct their new home. Then Wright showed up on the jobsite and told them that they needed to dismantle all of the the work they had done prior to his inspection, because it was not up to his standards.

I'm pretty sure it was one of the Galesburg Houses, and if I had to stick my neck out and make a choice, I'd say that it may have been the Pratt Residence. Can anyone back this story up, or add some additional insights?

DavidC
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Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Post by DavidC »

flwright:

We were told by the current occupant that the large mortar size was an on-site decision made by Cary Caraway, one of the overseeing apprentices (the other being Edgar Tafel).

Storrer's "Companion" says, "Caraway suggested the very thick application of mortar between brick courses to align mortar with the recessed batten of the wood walls; the mortar is not raked, but filled to the brick surface".

Photographs seem to possibly over-emphasize the wide mortar issue. While it certainly is striking to see the mortar in person, for me it lost a lot of it's visual power rather quickly as I focused on richness and beauty of the home's architecture.

Also, the wood - for the most part - is in very good shape. There are areas of water damage that need restoration, though.


David

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

Baird isn't the only house of that period with brickwork of this nature. The great Lloyd Lewis House used the same technique to a very satisfactory end. Also, the little Euchtman House seems to have been built the same way. Perhaps FLW was trying a new style of masonry? Any others?

peterm
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Post by peterm »

Or did Cary Caraway just get a little carried away ':roll:' with the mortar...

The perfect alignment of mortar joints with batten heights must have always been enormously difficult for the builders.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

As I'm fond of saying, "So easy to draw. . ."


Lloyd Lewis residence:

Image


Image

Scrubbed or tooled after mortar just a bit more than Baird ?

SDR

Jeff Myers
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Post by Jeff Myers »

Lewis is such a grand design..... I like the perf. I wonder what or if Baird were to of had a perf...

I like the wood Board and Batten divider screen in the Dining area.
Last edited by Jeff Myers on Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
JAT
Jeff T

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »

Jeff:

No perfs at Baird.


David

Jeff Myers
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Post by Jeff Myers »

Thanks for clarifying david.

I was putting it as what IF Baird were to have a perf. I guess this was before perfs were designed for Usonians.
Last edited by Jeff Myers on Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
JAT
Jeff T

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »

Some Usonians before Baird that have perfs (or plans for them):

Schwartz
Pope
Affleck
Auldbrass
Manson
Geotch-Winkler (early plans)
Bazzet
Pauson
Newman (unbuilt)
Garrison (unbuilt)
Van Dusen (unbuilt)
Lloyd Lewis


I'm sure Palli could fill in those missing from the above list.


David

Palli Davis Holubar
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Location: Wakeman, Ohio

Post by Palli Davis Holubar »

Don't forget Rosenbaum! Other additions are:

Preliminary perspective and section drawings (12/36) of Hanna show a simple single shape perf repeated in the tower clerestory and Wright's calligraphic hand: "perforated boards".

Plan and section sheet (9/1/39) for Armstrong have notations for vertical flush (presumably) perforated boards.

Another Lansing house, the Hause Project included perfs in the "classical" style of the other unbuilt houses (except Panshin).

The first Brauner scheme had perforated boards (8/5/39).

The Carlson Project, Below Zero House, had perforated boards ; called "ventilating boards".

The L. N. Bell Project.

The Nesbitt Project included extensive perforated boards in stacked continuous running pattern.

I also believe the Edgar F. Mauer Project had perfs.

I'll check my files and see if I have missed any others.

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