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The funny thing about having, say, $850M, is that previously highly limited options become limitless.
So, letâ€™s say I did hit it big. What would I buy?
1) I lust after the Ennis House. Partly because it has had such a troubled history. Itâ€™s like a lost, sick puppy. I just want to make it safe and loved. I also rather like the house. That long hall is incredible, and people who have actually been in the house report that it is much nicer in person than the somewhat forbidding images. Of course, there is also the Freeman House, another lost, sick puppy...
http://www.redfin.com/CA/Los-Angeles/26 ... me/7132740
2) Iâ€™d also want to negotiate for a duplex apartment in Price Tower. Iâ€™d restore it to all its 1950s glory, and would enjoy cocktails and stimulating conversation while overlooking the world (well, Bartlesville).
3) I also lust after a post-WWII Wright. But which one? There are so many incredible homes to choose from, although the Harold Price, Sr. house is especially alluring because, even for Wright, itâ€™s so distinctive:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thompsonph ... 740595024/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Harol ... ,_2010.JPG
4) Another dream is the extraordinary but crumbling William Adam-designed Mavisbank House in Scotland. Because the entire interior of this Palladian Villa is gone (with almost no documentation was to what it looked like), I would restore the exterior but retain minimalist architect John Pawson to do the interior.
5) Yet another fantasy is snapping up the Pope Villa, in Kentucky. This was a long forgotten Benjamin Henry Latrobe design. The house went through radical, detrimental changes, until a devastating fire in 1987 revealed that the original design had somehow remained somewhat intact. Mostly, I like the idea that if people asked: Who designed your house, I could answer: Benjamin Henry Latrobe. I mean, how often can one say that? And, shouldnâ€™t every house have a rotunda?
And, who knows, if the economy gets any worse, perhaps this sweet pile may become available:
Anyway, during these fantasy excursions my mind races with the infinite possibilities, but the homes above tend to stick in my mind.
Money no object, what would you buy?
Living in the Chicagoland area, I'd like to buy the Vosburgh summer residence in Grand Beach, Michigan and restore it ... open the porches back up etc.
Finally, if we're really dreaming, I'll take Walker in Carmel, CA ... perhaps more for the dramatic site than anything else.
As for non-Wright, I'd also take Fay Jones' "Stoneflower".
http://www.dgunning.org/architecture/Mi ... sburgh.htm
Walker, of course, is well known to Wright Chat.
1. Bob Beharkas house to us is as close to perfection as we can imagine. When we are home, we enjoy every second, and when we are away, we miss it. This is such a special place.
2. Fawcett house..love the site, the house itself is such a great plan, the design is both simple yet dramatic. Just a stunning house, in a wonderful community.
3. Willets in Highland Park, I've always been obsessed with that perfect prairie house.
4. The Allen Paul house by Aaron Green...tiny and perfect in every way, and is all original. I dont think they would change a light bulb without calling Aaron first.
There's more, but this was off the top of my head.
My favorites are small houses on fantastic, often difficult sites. Walker by Wright and Wild Bird (before the recent renovation) by Mark Mills are my favorites. If the site is rugged, I prefer the house finishes be a bit rugged as well.
The latter is a private home. I have seen the outside of Allen-Lambe, and while it is open to the public, it is by appointment, and I have yet to be able to coordinate one of my visits to the city with the 10-day advance notice required. But maybe soon!
As it took a lifetime for the Old Man to shake all those dream houses out of his sleeves, how could I choose one -- or a half dozen -- on one day, or in one year ?
Might I not see the Sun and the Moon in this one, or that, only to find, in another season, that I really preferred those -- or had forgotten yet another gem or two, altogether, the first time around ?
How could you choose between Willits and Robie ?
Between Freeman and Storer ?
Between Jacobs I and Jacobs II ?
Between Sturges and Pew ?
No. I'll keep my options open, and my dance card unbesmirched. A new dream, another photograph, and I'll be off on a different tack, suddenly in love again with an old friend whose existence I had all but forgotten. So many houses, and so little time . . . !
Majestic Fantasy indeed...
If you can have a reproduction of a Gustav Klimt painting on your wall, why not a reproduction of a Wright home on your property ? Some will claim that each work of architecture was created exclusively for one client, on a specific site; true, in the first instance, with exceptions -- but what architect wouldn't leap at the chance to see another iteration of a favorite work, if a client could be found for it ? Wright did just that, repeatedly, reorienting the structure as necessary to suit the new condition. He was perhaps careful to keep the lie alive that each work is created only once, but certain designs were employed several times over, with minor variations, as in those houses based on the Maginel Wright Barney prototype. . .