Lautner's Sheats-Goldstein & Concannon Residences

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Wrightgeek
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Location: Westerville, Ohio

Lautner's Sheats-Goldstein & Concannon Residences

Post by Wrightgeek »

I saw some information about the Concannon Residence today in PrairieMod's daily email. After reading the disheartening story about the demolition of Concannon, I clicked on a few links in the story and came across this video, which for some reason I found oddly intriguing, so I am sharing it here for ohers to see and comment on.

http://vimeo.com/30456390

I was in the house in 2006, and it was an amazing, almost surreal experience. At that time, work had just begun on the expansion project, and the project architect, Duncan Nicholson (who worked with Lautner in the latter part of his career), was our guide on the tour of the property. No mention was made by anyone that in order for the expansion to occur that another Lautner building was sacrificed. Based on the photos I have seen, this seems to have been a real tragedy.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/1000journa ... 343936006/

BBuck
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Location: Fort Worth

Post by BBuck »

I spent some time on these photos and the video earlier today. The Concannon home is (was) very interesting on many levels. I never knew these houses were so close together. While Mr. Goldstein is rather eclectic to say the least, I was confused as how one can be so passionate about one home (Sheats-Goldstein) and not the other. I always thought two heads to be better than one.

With funds like that, why not save them both? Concannon would have made a very nice guest house and a break from The Big Lebowski.

I guess I missed my chance on being a rock star or a real estate mogul. I need a new cowboy hat. Damn!

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

Post by peterm »

Somehow, it's easy for me to understand the eccentric client. But why Lautner would so easily agree to destroy one of his own creations is a bit more mystifying...

Wrightgeek
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Location: Westerville, Ohio

Post by Wrightgeek »

peterm-

Lautner died in 1994, and from what I could figure out the remodeling of Concannon seems to have started in 1995, with the demolition taking place in 2002. So unless I totally missed something, I don't think Lautner had anything to do with either the remodeling or the demolition of his Concannon Residence.

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

Post by peterm »

Oops... I guess not. I should read more carefully before I post!

Wrightgeek
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Location: Westerville, Ohio

Post by Wrightgeek »

peterm-

Don't sweat it.

BTW, thanks for the great photos of the Grant Residence; it looks as though you had a great visit. I'm looking forward to seeing the Grant Residence this fall at the FLWBC Conference.

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

Post by Roderick Grant »

I believe Goldstein is a lawyer. Lautner designed a wonderful office for him in Century City featured in "John Lautner: Architect" pp 240-241.

The Flikr photos of Concannon show it as rather bleak with its black and white obsession and minimal furnishing. I hate the Darth Vader kitchen. The photos in the book (108-111) show it in a much better light. Tragic loss.

Architexan
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Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:32 pm

Post by Architexan »

There has been much written on the Concannon Residence recently since the first article appeared on Archinect. Some new information has come to light after the articles partial story a series of responses by the owner James Goldstein and architect of record Duncan Nicholson (former Lautner Apprentice).

In response to the article Architect Duncan Nicholson writes:

“The Concannon house was demolished because John Lautner was asked and agreed to design another building on its site. The question as to whether or not the house should or should not have been demolished is a non sequitur. The new solution desired by Jim Goldstein and envisioned by John Lautner is the apparent evidence that both men agreed with the decision to build anew.

John's boss' s boss famously stated "Form follows Function." I will riff on Louis Sullivan's dictum and state that Fact follows Fiction. The ruminations back and forth in this blog while interesting, merit a deeper understanding of the circumstances that led to my old boss's decision. Consider, that John's book had recently been published. After many attempts over the years, with various publishers, Artemis Press agreed to take it to print. As he had done for each house, John described the Concannon design and arranged the images graphically surrounding the text. My memory of that time in the Lautner office, was that since the project was finally recorded for history, it was agreeable with John to begin again on the site, especially since the home had lapsed into disrepair.

The architectural photographer and preservationist, Richard Nickel once said that "the enemies of building's are rain and stupid men." Architects endeavor to protect Clients from the elements but providing protection against ever-present ignorance or negligence is impossible. In 1992 the greatest Pacific cyclone ever recorded to hit Hawaii bore down on the Islands and toward Kuaui in particular. The owners of the Concannon house, were living on Kauai when Hurricane Iniki smashed through their property. The storm financially devastated them. After the storm, they sold the Concannon house to Jim Goldstein in order to marshall their resources. As Jim gained ownership he found that the the building had fallen fallow from the past owners absence and neglect. This circumstance influenced his decision to visit John Lautner about a new design.

The project was schematically designed by John in the Spring of 1994. By the fall he was dead. Two meetings occurred over the course of that Spring and Summer, with each giving more definition to the design of the Tennis Court and to the adjacent Guest House. Many years past before the project was taken up in earnest and much circumstance and thought occurred between those years. Two major factors occurred with design implications in the early years of this decade. First, a geological investigation found that the original Lautner Schematic had planned for the Eastern portion of the Tennis Court to be built upon ground that had thirty feet of fill beneath it. Instead, Andrew Nasser, Lautner's long time Structural Engineer and avid Tennis Player, recommended a post tensioned structural slab with eight large diameter reinforced concrete caissons. This approach would eliminate any chance of court surface cracking due to ground settlement. The second factor influencing the design was that Jim had lost his lease to his Lautner designed office located in a Century City office tower. An existing law firm in the building desired to expand vertically and won the right to take over two more floors beneath their present space. They had the muscle and Jim lost the lease after an expensive, lengthy and valiant effort to preserve his office for future generations.

Considering these circumstances, I suggested to Jim that the new structure necessary to build his court would allow for a home office to be built underneath it. Since then, other programmatic requirements have organicaly arisen over time and they have been incorporated. The designs have been instituted in the same way as John taught me, in that; the answer is always to be found in the problem. From this, ideas are created. Jim and I still work the same way as we did when I worked with him and Lautner as project architect. This has been the ongoing alchemy on the job for over the past thirty years. Whether it was me or one of the other Lautner trained project architects before me, we have all exercised the carefulness, exactitude and ideals that John taught us to practice with. “

Tom
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Post by Tom »

Nicholson's not only a good architect he's a good writer. That pairing doesn't often come round.

peterm
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Post by peterm »

"...the answer is always to be found in the problem". Was that Buddha or Lautner speaking?

Architexan- Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Understanding the context helps to appreciate what motivated Lautner, Goldstein, and Nicholson.

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

Post by Roderick Grant »

The history of the decline of Concannon helps to understand why the house was demolished, but calls into question what we in the FLWBC are doing here if all that's needed is to design, build, record, demolish and "build anew." Perhaps the same logic could apply to the David Wright House: It was designed in one fell swoop as a concept for building in the Southwest, built, recorded, and now will probably be demolished so Meridian can "build anew." FLW had little interest in preservation, even of his own work, but does that mean we are on a fools' quest trying to preserve it? I hope not. Frankly, Architexan's lengthy post sounds a trifle defensive to me.

DavidC
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Re: Lautner's Sheats-Goldstein & Concannon Residences

Post by DavidC »


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

Re: Lautner's Sheats-Goldstein & Concannon Residences

Post by Roderick Grant »

Job doesn't dawdle, does he?

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Re: Lautner's Sheats-Goldstein & Concannon Residences

Post by SDR »

Indeed. Wonder where he is located. Probably LA---but who knows. There are many more images in his videos than one imagines have been published. And with the Elrod video they are now in acceptable form as regards resolution (focus, or sharpness).

S

Rood
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Re:

Post by Rood »

Architexan wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:16 pm

.Considering these circumstances, I suggested to Jim that the new structure necessary to build his court would allow for a home office to be built underneath it. Since then, other programmatic requirements have organicaly arisen over time and they have been incorporated.

The designs have been instituted in the same way as John taught me, in that; the answer is always to be found in the problem. From this, ideas are created. Jim and I still work the same way as we did when I worked with him and Lautner as project architect. This has been the ongoing alchemy on the job for over the past thirty years. Whether it was me or one of the other Lautner trained project architects before me, we have all exercised the carefulness, exactitude and ideals that John taught us to practice with. “
The concept and idea that solutions to a problem are to be found in the problem itself, was not original to Lautner, but to Louis Sullivan. From his Tall Buildings Artistically Considered, published in 1896:

"It is my belief that it is of the very essence of every problem that it contains and suggests its own solution. This I believe to be natural law. Let us examine, then, carefully the elements, let us search out this contained suggestion, this essence of the problem."

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