Page 1 of 2

Wright Plus 2006

Posted: Mon May 22, 2006 7:35 am
by PrairieMod
Here is a little write up on Wright Plus 2006, which took place this past weekend: ... wrigh.html

We've heard some mixed feelings about the event this year and would love to hear from anyone that felt it was "the same old thing" or from people who had an excellent time. Would you change anything about the event or leave it just as it is?

Does anyone want to see the Davenport House on Wright Plus, once Mr. Paul Harding is completed? ;-)

Don't forget to vote in the poll we've attached to this posting!

Posted: Mon May 22, 2006 4:25 pm
by pharding
I was out of town last weekend. My wife went and was disappointed with the selections. Although she did say that the Isabel Roberts House was awesome.

Davenport should be available in 08 at the earliest for WrightPlus. In summer 07 I hope to do the front terrace, garage, FLW interior light fixtures, FLW furniture, and completion of the restoration of the exterior stucco/plaster. In 07 it will be available fund raising dinner or cocktail parties, and private tours for members of this board, if it does not become a burden.

I need sponsors. If someone, a government, or corporation, would like to be a sponsor please contact me. How does the E. Arthur Davenport House, Restoration sponsored by <YOUR NAME GOES HERE>.

Posted: Tue May 23, 2006 8:23 am
by PrairieMod
pharding wrote:My wife went and was disappointed with the selections.

This is what we've been hearing (and agree amongst ourselves) for the past few days. Many people were not at all pleased with the choices of homes. However, these sentiments are surfacing among the "hard core" group. It seems that the event had a very large turnout, so for new Wright Plus attendees it may have been an excellent time. ??

The Isabel Roberts house is indeed "awesome"! A wonderful design and remodel by Wright.

I think I can safely say that many of us here on Wright Chat would be eager to see the restored Davenport House in 2008.

Posted: Tue May 23, 2006 12:58 pm
by Reidy
What could it be if not the same old thing. OPRF has a limited number of Wright houses, and not all the owners are willing to take part. After about eight years you will have seen them all. I'm glad to get into them (some more than others) as often as I can, so the trip is always worthwhile.

"Something new" or "wow factor" are code ways of saying "Heurtley this year." I'd love to see it every year, but that isn't practical. Newly-restored houses, such as Davenport promises to be, also qualify, as would Moore, Winslow and Thomas if they came up. In the meantime I'm grateful for what we do get to see.

(One I wish they'd get is the brick Prairie-style by Spencer & Powers a few doors south of Wright's Ingalls house.)


Wright Plus 2006

Posted: Wed May 24, 2006 9:38 am
by Wrightgeek
My vote would fall somewhere between splendid and boring, pretty good but not great overall.

This was my fourth or fifth Wright Plus, I can't recall, and while it wasn't the best one I have been on, the weather could not have been more spectacular.

Without a doubt, the Isabel Roberts house stole the show for me; it alone was worth the time and cost of making the drive from Central Ohio (375 miles). Wished we might have seen more of the interior, i.e. kitchen and upstairs, but incredible nonetheless.

Hills-DeCaro was dazzlingly beautiful, an incredible restoration, but I had been fortunate enough to have seen it several years earlier.

I was not overwhelmed by the Chauncey Williams house; I think it was a little too early in FLW's stylistic developement process for me. Very happy that I got to see it to be sure, but I was personally more impressed by the exterior than the interior. BTW, what did everyone who attended think of the very unique river rock foundation treatment on this house?

We only had time to get into 6 of the houses, and of the non-FLW homes we saw, far and away the most impressive to me was the E. Probst house, which I thought was gorgeous.

Neither of the tudors did a lot for me, and we did not see the Barrett and Sloan homes. Can someone please post their impressions of these 2 homes?

Overall, after standing in line for 30-40 minutes at each house, it would be nice to see more of the interiors. As mentioned in an earlier post, I too would LOVE to see Heurtley, Thomas and/or Winslow on next year's tour, as well as the Ingalls house, which looks incredible from the street. I know Heurtley has been on before, just prior to my first visit, but I'm not sure if the other 3 have been shown within the last 10 years. Maybe a more seasoned veteran than myself can answer that?

Now that I think about it, I wouldn't mind seeing E. Cheney and the Wm. Drummond home (next door to the Isabel Roberts house ) as well.

Thoughts or feedback, anyone?

Posted: Thu May 25, 2006 9:43 am
by PrairieMod
I agree with comments made about the Chauncey home. I walked away wondering how Wright could have come off a masterpiece like the Winslow House and then create something so "experimental" as the Chauncey House. But, I suppose that it's just experiment.

The river rock foundation is indeed interesting and I chuckled a bit when I thought about a the image of Wright and Williams rolling a stone up to the site from the Des Plaines river. ;-)

Also, I concur that the Winslow, Thomas, Heurtly and Cheney homes need to be on the next housewalk. These would all make for a marvelous tour! Anyone here on the message boards involved in planning Wright Plus 2007?

Posted: Thu May 25, 2006 12:15 pm
by Mackintosh
I helped out at this year's Wright Plus. I know a lot of visitors were disappointed with the selections. They were also too spread out. I know they tried to get the Ingalls house but it just didn't work out. We had great weather. So you can't complain about that.

I believe someone missed the Barrett and Sloane houses. The Barrett house was a simple Victorian. It had the original 7 fireplaces with beautiful tilework. The Sloane house was a must-see! Sorry you missed it. The Georgian style house was huge with 12 bathrooms because the original owner invented the tankless toilet. The downstairs basement had a second kitchen and bar and movie theater. Then there was a tunnel with a thick fire door that connected the house with the coach house. I believe the coach house had more bedrooms, another kitchen, a wine cellar and gym. The backyard gardens were nice. But I don't think the majority of visitors come to see historic architecture like this. I believe most people just want to see Frank Lloyd Wright designs or similar prairie style houses.

The Winslow house was on the first Wright Plus back in 1974 and hasn't been on since. I would love for that house to be on someday. I believe the Thomas house hasn't been on in a decade. The Cheney house was part of the Ten by Wright in 1999. I believe the William Drummond house next door to the Isabel Roberts was on the 2002 Wright Plus. I know they had the Robert Spencer's own house that year too.

I know that they alternate areas for each Wright Plus. So they usually have River Forest on every 4 years so it shouldn't on again until 2010. I can't wait to see the Davenport house when the restoration is finished. I hope it is on that year if not sooner.

I believe next year should be concentrated on the Forest Avenue area. Who knows if they will get Heurtley or Thomas? But those houses will definitely be a big attraction.

Maybe they should do another Ten by Wright? Or maybe the organization can have another tour of the Chicago's North Shore like they did in the 80's? Or Chicago's Hyde Park and Kenwood near Robie House? Who knows? But they need to liven it up and have better house selections to make sure people keep coming back.

Posted: Thu May 25, 2006 12:36 pm
by Roderick Grant
I have seen the interior of Thomas. The glass is spectacular, but the house is not all that great. If you got into the entry and not beyond, that would be enough. I suspect the same is mostly true of Winslow; the entrance and dining room are the only significant interiors. The most interesting detail of Williams is on the exterior, the original design of the dormers, one of which survives. More than getting into Cheney again, I would like to see that important house totally restored with appropriate furniture and no billiard table in the living room. The two houses I would most like to see inside are Baker and Glazner. And Isabel Roberts is the one I would most like to own!

Posted: Thu May 25, 2006 12:59 pm
by JimM
Roderick Grant wrote:no billiard table in the living room......And Isabel Roberts is the one I would most like to own!

I can't imagine owning a house like Cheney, and not attempting a liitle more respect even if a B&B (is it still?. And when will those retaining walls be restored; were not talking the scope of Martin here. I have only seen it from the outside, but like with many Wright homes, I cringe when I see those photos of billiard tables, the op art in Boyton, Mies chairs, and other "decor' that makes one wonder what some owners see in owning a Frank house to begin with, at least indicated by their apparent personal taste. I don't think the Henrendon furniture brings anything to the party either.

Having spent more than a few hours outside the Davidson house, I agree these variants of Roberts were some of his most successful, timeless and livable designs, especially through the use of scale in comparatively small houses.

Posted: Thu May 25, 2006 5:28 pm
by A Wright Homeowner
Jim - Comments regarding personal taste tend to deter certain homeowners from opening themselves to public scrutiny.

Posted: Thu May 25, 2006 6:18 pm
by archibuff
I thought Wright Plus 2006 was very good. I particularly like the non-FLW's, as there is so mcuh FLW photographic material out there it is great to be surprised by a house that doesn't have the replicated dining room furniture from the home and studio and other standards. I'm sure it is not too easy to coax homeowners into the process.

I recall gawking around the Winslow Home as part of a Wright Plus tour in the early 1990's Wasn't it on then?

Posted: Fri May 26, 2006 8:53 pm
by JimM
A Wright Homeowner wrote:Jim - Comments regarding personal taste tend to deter certain homeowners from opening themselves to public scrutiny.

I can understand that, and I probably exhibited some shallow thought there. But then again I would say the same about what is usually found in a "normal" house!

Wright homes can be unforgiving, but are also perfect for complementary furnishings when done "Wright". I suppose I just don't quite understand how one could admire Wright's art to the point of financial risk and ruin, and not show the same sensibility for furnishings-which does not necessarily require a rich mans budget given the financial burdens these houses may be to some.

Posted: Sat May 27, 2006 9:58 am
by A Wright Homeowner
I hope I am not alone in believing that "sensibility" means repair and restoration take priority over furnishings.

Purchasing a Wright home may come with an implicit moral obligation to preserve these special places. However, there is no corresponding obligation to furnish the home to housewalk standards - or in any particular way, for that matter. If such an obligation existed, only the fabulously wealthy could afford to live in Wright homes and there would be far fewer of them today.

Posted: Sat May 27, 2006 12:35 pm
by pharding
I am grateful for the generousity of any Wright homeowner to open their residence for tours regardless of whatever furniture that they may have.

Posted: Sat May 27, 2006 2:16 pm
by JimM
A Wright Homeowner wrote:there is no corresponding obligation to furnish the home to housewalk standards - or in any particular way, for that matter. If such an obligation existed, only the fabulously wealthy could afford to live in Wright homes and there would be far fewer of them today.

Restoration surely trumps furnishings in the grand scheme of things. That still doesn't explain the disconnect between the architecture and furnishing choices made by SOME owners. You don't have to have a credit line at Cassina or order every high priced lamp and accessory sanctioned by the foundation in order to complement the architecture. Or even have anything with a Wright connection for that matter. No big deal, I just don't get it.

"Sensibilities" is clear enough to me; chrome tables and Mies chairs are not "sensible" in a Wright home. What's not logical about that? Seems odd that almost obsessive restoration methodology is so important, yet furnishings that visibly alter the experience are, eh, no big deal-just pull up that chair made of alder branches and have a seat next to that Saarinen table. After all, furnishings aren't important in a Wright home.

There was a reason Frank snipped off the bottoms of pictures of the Coonley interiors... his teeth ached looking at the furniture!