Unbuilt home--Ludington Michigan

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Jeff Myers
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Post by Jeff Myers »

Penfield II is probably a good late (unbuilt) work. I have never seen the Donahoe Triptych in full before
JAT
Jeff T

JimM
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Post by JimM »

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dkottum
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Post by dkottum »

Thanks all for the comments on Stracke and my defense will rest with a couple thoughts.

The most offensive element appears to be the chevron windows. They are somewhat weird but do not stand alone among the forms of the building. What's the alternative if the client insisted on natural basement light, portholes?

Without a quality comparison to Fallingwater, the arrangement of fireplace, seating, dining, and terrace are quite similar. Take a look.

If the heat from the fireplace is uncomfortable to diners, they must have roasted in Willey. If Hildebrand's assessment of Wrightian space is correct, the fireplace opposite the outlook is correct. The fireplace along the path of living space entry is to me its weakest feature, but is a tradeoff to its excellent sense of presence in the space.

The lifted window in the second bedroom serves to relieve the low ceiling height.

I would not like to buy heating fuel for this north-facing building in Wisconsin. Did FLLW sign off on this as is, or was it shelved before it was he had a final look?

doug k

Education Professor
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Post by Education Professor »

Stracke reminds me of an "exaggerated" version of the Peterson cottage in some ways.........

Speaking of Stracke being a "suspect" design, how about the George Prout House project (T4811, Columbus, Indiana)? It is a most unusual early Usonian design. The roof points downward on each end of the house and contains a series of windows in between the rafters. Any thoughts?

EP

Jeff Myers
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Post by Jeff Myers »

Always wondered what Jones 1929 1 looked like before it was changed to what was built.
JAT
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Tom
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Post by Tom »

(Permit a small rant: In the Bachman-Wilson youtube video the narrator, the architect/owner presumably, states that in her Wright house she loves living "at one with nature." !#*%*#$%. Or to put it politely, what a load of crap. Thanks for listening and apologies ahead to anyone offended.)

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Just one of the many clichés used when trying to express the inexpressible. Be glad she wasn't a realtor . . . !


S

Tom
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Post by Tom »

That's for sure.
Last edited by Tom on Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

EP, the Geo. Prout Project (T74, 1945) has a reasonable claim to authenticity. Though the roof may seem a bit outre, it was a design FLW used a few times in the post-war years, mostly projects (Muehlberger T138, 1947), but also one built version (Fasbender Medical Clinic T500, 1957). For Prout, it was intended as an acoustical shell for a music studio. But more generally, it was a new way to design a roof. The plan of Prout is closely related to the Keys House (T278, 1951), which in turn derived from the Cooperative Homesteads (T467, 1942) for Detroit auto workers.

Palli
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Post by Palli »

This roof type was earlier employed as an acoustic shell on the live-work space for the Mary Waterstreet Project, 1941 (T4109 page 465 FLW 1917-1942) design. Mary Waterstreet was another artistic refugee to Wisconsin and the building was designed for intimate performances and as a rehearsal space for her big city acting jobs. It had perforated boards on the clerestory windows but the most interesting feature would have been the terrace doors that folded out of the way like right and left curtains to enlarge the seating area.

NOTE: Roderick above is using page numbers from FLW 1943-59 not Taliesin Archive numbers. Although not everything in the Monographs are in these recent collected works books, they at least list Archive numbers and have an Index for page numbers.
Last edited by Palli on Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

Finding things in the Monographs can be frustrating. FLW seemed to seriously dislike indexes, an attitude which continues at Taliesin. Why? Who knows?

Palli
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Post by Palli »

Yes, frustrating, isn't it?

I think Wright wrote narratives, as a story-teller, not as non-fiction. I can't read any of his printed words without hearing voice. We are supposed to take his life as a whole, not pick it apart using that dreadful timesaving device an Index!

Education Professor
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Post by Education Professor »

Roderick and Palli,

Many thanks for the insightful comments about the evolution of the Prout design.

EP

Rood
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Post by Rood »

Perhaps a final word or two about Stracke.

Someone pointed out that the fireplace is not in the usual location for a Usonian house ... as part of the workspace mass. While that may be true, the second Usonian (the Lusk House in Huron, South Dakota) had it's living room fireplace located at the far end of the room.

The fireplace location was also criticized as being too close to the dining table: potentially too hot, someone suggested. I don't know, but ten-twelve feet doesn't seem too close to me. Susan (Jacobs) said their family often huddled close around the fireplace on cold winter nights in the first Usonian. Indeed, as children, she said they often raced back and forth in the living room in an attempt to keep warm. Together in the office on a particularly cold winter day at Taliesin West she and I did that ourselves, and I learned first-hand how effective that simple ploy can be, this despite the fact that big logs were burning in the fireplace. Perhaps we have become accustomed to efficient standards of central heating... but Usonians were always on the cool side.

However, from the perspective of the conservation of energy, a fireplace on an outside wall is not very practical in a place like Wisconsin. Inevitably heat is lost through the wall, heat that should more effectively remain inside the structure. And yet, many of the fireplaces at Taliesin violate that simple rule.


On the point of the chevron glazing patterns reaching from the workspace down to the lower floor rooms ... I must agree that they don't seem at all typical of Wright's work. Evdently Stracke was a difficult client ... his house went through several iterations, the second a full five years after the first. It's only a hunch of mine, but I wouldn't put it past Mr. Wright to suggest changes in the first design (which are penned on the drawing), and then telling Jack Howe to see to it.

I've looked through some of Jack's work, and it's quite startling to see how often he employed variations of chevron designs in his houses and in various glazing patterns, some for his own house. Several house designs even have triangular shaped windows protruding from walls, somewhat similar to Stracke. For one example, see the house for Mr. and Mrs. Horace F. Hardy ... second floor bedrooms. Two of the most peculiar window designs I have ever seen.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Ah -- well that's a useful observation. Can we credit this design to Jack ?

I was going to comment that the drawings appear in the usual Taliesin format, with module increments clearly marked and a pleasant variety of line weights present, among other familiar elements. We've explored the authorship of presentation drawings, but haven't (to my recollection) addressed the possible distinctions between different working-drawing "hands." Could this pair of sheets be ascribed to Jack Howe as well ? If so, that would provide further evidence of his involvement with this commission.

SDR

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