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In this first entry hall photo, one can see Wright's characteristic spindles that were omnipresent in his works of the mid-1890's, as well as the horizontal board and beaded batten that was used on Sullivan's brother's house on the South Side of Chicago. the entry hall columns are articulated to a partial height, as the abstract spindles at Charnley second floor
This is the shot of the reception room, which I believe was used as a doctor's office when this photo was taken. Although the ceiling/trim arrangement is a is fairly mundane, the important detail is the height of the base which conveniently matches the height of the window seat (not used on Charnley, but on the Albert Sullivan house)
Then there is the library at the end of Living Room. The grain of the wood matches the Tabasco Mahogany used in the Charnley House Dining Room, and the cabinet trim profiles are very similar - also shares similarities with the Blossom House of the same period.
The dining room is last, and this varies from most Wright interiors of the period. Its painted, but it may have been the second owners doing. The columns at the left are very inventive for the period, and the wood paneling matches the Charnley Board and beaded batten. The bracket top rail is unusual, and its difficult to determine if that was original. It may have been added as a plate rail by the second owner, as the brackets do not seem to relate to the width of the boards.
Credit for finding this remarkable house, though, should be given to Barbara Walter. She is gifted historian and a prominent member of Preservation Racine. Walter was the first to cite it as Corwin and Wright's work. We all owe her a debt of gratitude for her hard work and perseverance for her pioneering work in putting the pieces of this puzzle together.
Later on, Walter took her findings to John Eilfer for review. I would like to suggest that someone contact Eilfer for his thoughts regarding Corwin and Wright's collaboration.
Since you are relatively new to Wright Chat, you may be somewhat surprised to find that our "outside in" here on the forum is actually the renowned restoration architect himself, John Eifler.
Just thought you might be interested to know.
BTW, great work on the Ross and Adams residences, John, and thanks for keeping those of us here on the forum updated and well-informed on the progress of both projects.
By the way, I realize that you initially expressed skepticism regarding the authorship of the William Heald house, but my offer for you to take a tour still remains open.
You may have me confused with another poster here on the forum, as I have yet to express my opinion on the the authorship of the Heald Residence or any of the other 28 commissions in question, and I have not done so for a number of reasons. First of which is although I am an avid fan of architecture in general, and FLW and his followers in particular, I am neither a scholar nor an expert in the field. And while I have had the pleasure to experience dozens of Wright's built works in person, I will leave the issue of determining the provenance of these works to the true experts in this field of study, many of which we are priviledged to have as members here on our Chat Board.
As to your very gracious offer for a visit to tour the Heald Residence, I would love to take you up on that on my next visit to the Chicago area, at your convenience of course. Although I live in Central Ohio, I do manage to get up to the Windy City 2-3 times per year. When I plan my next visit to the area, I will be sure to contact you well in advance in the hopes that a tour can be arranged.
Thanks again for the invite, and I'll look forward to following this thread, and hopefully seeing the Heald Residence in the not-too-distant future.
This is another house that WAS wants to attribute to FLW, even though the drawings carry Corwin's name. WAS comes up with a goofy rationalization for this one also that ignores known facts. WAS's strategy of attributing a commission to FLW because "it looks like" and pontificating that his conjecture is fact is wrong. It is even worse when he self-certifies his conjecture as being fact. In this case even if FLW contributed to the design and there no certainty of that, ultimately it was Cecil Corwin who may incorporated those ideas into his project. Or Cecil could have seen drawings or a completed project of FLW's and then incorporated it into his design. Architects have incorporated design elements and details from other architects for time eternal. I can walk through Chicago and look at buildings in the modern period and identify the likely sources. With WAS's approach many beautiful buildings by Skidmore Owings and Merrill, would be credited to Mies van der Rohe.
There are well established academic standards for conjecture and theories versus something that is proven to be fact. I admire the research that WAS does along with that off his associates. I find theories and conjecture about FLW to be interesting. What I find to be wrong, and I know the FLWBC sees it this way also, is to pass off conjecture and theory, as fact.
I am staying away from "looks like" Wright's work, or "conjecture," etc. These are two factual documents from the period.
I agree that the 1890s work is wrongfully under appreciated. From the Winslow Stable on, there is a direct line of development that led ultimately to the first design for Sherman Booth, including Rollin Furbeck, Wm. Martin, Fricke, Tomek, Robie and the second Booth design, as well as unbuilt projects. Husser evolved into Coonley.... and so on. This is a very important period in FLW's development and needs study.
I believe that this type of study would be incredibly fascinating. There are a numerous Adler and Sullivan design elements that were used by FLW and gradually edited down as FLW's Prairie House design vocabulary evolved. The Davenport House has a fair number of Louis Sullivan details that make up a wonderful part of the Davenport House story. FLW borrowed from other architects in addition to Louis Sullivan. There were also aesthetic ideas that Wright developed on his own and then discarded on later projects. The Prairie House didn't just suddenly happen. The new and innovative ideas evolved over time with hundreds of iterations including sketches, design ideas that were published in the LHJ, borrowed ideas from other architects, innovative design ideas in response to unusual demands from clients, and as is the case with every architectural firm for time time eternal, the employees contributed ideas. However all things considered there is FLW at the center of it all with a willingness to experiment with client funds and a drive to do great architecture.outside in wrote:The intent of posting the photos was to open a discussion concerning the design elements of this house which make many (including me) believe that Wright was involved, and to hopefully begin a discussion as to the connections to other works of the same period. As you can see, the continuous horizontal picture rail is already prevalent, as are the early board and beaded batten. The entire trim system is developing beyond that used at the Charnley House. Personally I am fascinated with this stage of Wright's career, as each house illustrates his development of architecture and interior design. The period of 1892-1898 is usually dismissed as "developmental" but this is the same period wherein every architect is struggling with Victorian vs. Arts and Crafts. Wright was very deliberate with his work. It would be interesting to arrange architectural elements in a time sequence to see development of what eventually became "prairie".
Not only did FLW use LHS as a source of inspiration, he also got a lot out of his brief association with Joseph Lyman Silsbee: LHS mostly ornament; JLS mostly form. Hickox represents a stripping away of what he learned in the 90s down to essentials.
One should be wary of placing too much importance on all the early work. Blossom exists because the client wanted a Colonial design, as did McArthur. Nathan Moore, a Tudor fantasy...with a porch! Bagley had certain requirements, Geo. Smith apparently did as well. Much of what was done in the early years should be boiled down to details, while ignoring certain overall considerations FLW may not have had control over.
The more fascinating era is between Oak Park and Willey, when FLW was seemingly at odds and ends, looking for new forms to revitalize his work. It was during this period that he turned the burned out shell of Moore into a Sullivanesque fantasmagoria. What inspired this indulgence?
These drawings appeared in a show mounted by Fischer Fine Art, of London; the show of "architectural drawings and decorative art" (glass, furniture) traveled to Frankfurt, Zurich, and Vienna in 1985-6.
William Allin Storrer photos of Moore I and II: