Richard Smith House, Jefferson, WI

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Laurie Virr
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Post by Laurie Virr »

It is my recollection there is a stairway at Taliesin in Wisconsin narrower than that.

outside in
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Location: chicago

Post by outside in »

c'mon people -it's just math!

cos 30 deg. = .8666 x 4'-0" (module) = 3.464 ft. = 41.6 inches

minus 1/2 wall thickness (masonry @ 12") = 6 inches
minus 1/2 wall thickness (wood @ 2-1/4") = 1-1/8 inches

Total Hallway width = 34.4 inches

Palli Davis Holubar
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Location: Wakeman, Ohio

Post by Palli Davis Holubar »

OutsideIn, your work is marvelous at the Richard Smith House and I am sure it is in its glory now. I would like to experience it again and my perception may change.

But it isn't just math: it is also sensory perception.

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

The math is correct, except that the unit lines, which are centered on wood walls, are flush with the interior of the masonry walls. So the net width would be 40.4", if the published floor plans are accurate. That was FLW's usual method, though not always: Suntop used center wall dimensions throughout, while Jacobs I, for instance, did not.

Wrighter
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Location: St. Louis, MO

Post by Wrighter »

I'm late to the conversation, but wanted to defend poor Smith. This house charmed me, though it's a quirky beauty to be sure. Like others here, I saw it on Wright and Like, and it was very crowded when I was there, which might explain that hallway experience. But I loved the carport, the relationship to the street--reaching out to it with the bedroom wing while also being set back in the main living areas. Loved, loved, loved the free standing shelves in the space between private and public wing.

Don't remember the kitchen, so I can't comment there.

I did find the dining room/living room to be strange. The fireplace was at the far left of the space, by the dining table, which seemed to put it a distance from the living area, where one might expect to enjoy the fireplace more (and need it in the winter, I expect). It makes sense to see the built-ins on the plans running the whole length of the space, uniting them. But I can't recall if these were extant. If they were, I don't remember them, and I want to say there may have been some kind of divider between living and dining? But as others have noted, there were a lot of houses on that tour, and I was in visual overload by the time I reached Smith.

I do remember liking the master bedroom, but thinking I'd never light a fire in that fireplace for fear of setting the bedclothes aflame. If ever a space called for one of Wright's custom beds without right angles, it was that one, if only for an additional measure of safety.

In many ways, a funny composition, but no less a beauty for it.

outside in
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Location: chicago

Post by outside in »

Image
The Masonry Wall at the Smith House is centered on the unit line....
Needless to say, the width of the hallway is pretty much standard - and its the 2x4 framing at the roof, and structural support system that leads me to believe that Wright was intimately involved with the design.
Unfortunately, pieces of the original furnishings were removed by an architectural history professor that was hired by Tom Monahan to go "in the field" and acquire pieces. Almost like being a mob "hit man"

peterm
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Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

A few details in this photo caught my eye which seemed unusual:

Image

The corner window to the left in the above photo: wouldn't this typically be a mitered glass window with no post at the corner?

Maybe it is the black paint, but I can't see what is going on at the chimney mass where it stops, and continues with what must be wood. Are there clerestories tucked in there?

Also, was the decision to not score the grid in the new floor based on economy, or other factors?
Last edited by peterm on Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Education Professor
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:10 pm

Post by Education Professor »

outside in,

It's unfortunate that some the original furnishings were picked off by the mob squad.......were any of the furnishings rebuilt during the restoration?

Thanks for posting the additional drawing......it's interesting that the restoration was confined the living room. Was this due to cost or because the bedroom wing wasn't in need of renovation?

Many thanks,

EP

Education Professor
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Post by Education Professor »

peterm,

I believe those are indeed clerestories above the workspace area......Storrer's drawing seems to indicate this and the third photo posted by outside shows them in a bit more detail.

I wonder if they have perf boards....?

EP

outside in
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Location: chicago

Post by outside in »

Image

Good spotting! - high clerestory windows in the kitchen but sorry, no perfs. I forgot about another nuance, the limestone pavers run through the entry and out onto the courtyard - scored concrete in living,dining room, kitchen, bedrooms, utility and bathrooms.

Education Professor
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:10 pm

Post by Education Professor »

outside in,

Thanks for the workspace drawing....this clerestory design is rather unusual among the Usonians.

I also appreciate the information about the limestone pavers....another unusual design feature.............

EP

peterm
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Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

Oh, so the "grooves" in the concrete were scored after the pour? I ask this, because it appears that the floor is smooth in the photo:

Image

outside in
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Location: chicago

Post by outside in »

Yes, the unit lines were cut into the slab with a cutting blade after the concrete had set and cured for a week or so - as they were in the slab that was removed.

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

Post by peterm »

Image


Maybe it's the light, but I am unable to see the grid on the floor in this photo, either...

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

peterm, the window isn't mitered because the window to its right (in the photo) is operable.

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