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Wooden Usonian Gate ?
Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:22 pm
Did Wright ever design a wooden entry gate for any of the Usonian houses. I realize that most were built on large lots with no real need for an entry gate but just wondering if maybe someone has record of one. I have seen lots of his metal gates but cannot remember a wooden one.
Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:49 pm
Auldbrass, David De Long, page 194 (main gate) and 176 (secondary gate).
Oboler, Mono 6/266.
Walker, Weintraub/Hess "FLW MCM" pg 140.
Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:20 pm
Also Bott, Mono 8/222, but there is no reference to a gate in the published drawings, which suggests it may have been added after FLW died, since Cornelia's working drawings are dated 1960.
Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:38 pm
There exists a gate design in wood for the Rubin house. Unfortunately It was never built, a good looking design as I recall.
Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:35 pm
Thanks for the examples Roderick and thanks for the tease DTC. I am trying to design a fence and gate to go from my house to the side property lines. On the side I wish to build the gate right now is about 10 feet. I want to put a gate in it large enough for me to walk through or push the snow blower through. I love his metal gates and the horizontality of his wooden gates but I have an issue to deal with. We have a pool in the back yard and as such must by code have a fence 6 feet high and not be climbable. This rules out all of the designs I have seen so far. The hunt continues.
Thanks again for the examples thus far.
Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:51 pm
Check out <laurievirrarchitect.com> On the sixth page is an interesting (and I suspect a not too costly) fence.
Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:06 pm
Here are two photos of fencework shared by Laurie Virr.
Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:25 pm
Oboler gate, Mono 6:
photo by Guanche
Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:31 pm
There are two kinds of gate, perhaps: a more or less ceremonial entry gate, and a utility gate. Either gate can be a part of a fence. The Wright gates we're looking at are of the first type. A utility gate can be made to blend seamlessly with the fence it's a part of, simply by being made of the same material and in the same pattern as the fence.
While we can expect Mr Wright to give us primarily horizontal lines in a fence or gate, and while this configuration inevitably raises the question "can the fence or gate be easily surmounted by climbing," I believe it's safe to say that gaps of less than 3/4" would provide no toe-hold sufficient for climbing.
Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:45 pm
Back in 1982 I was visiting an uncle in Carmel and took a morning walk to the Pacific shore. I came upon this gate and stopped in my tracks. I was early in Wright studies and knew nothing of the Walker House. But I knew whose work this had to be. It's very nice to see it again.
Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:50 pm
It's quite unusual in its asymmetry -- by virtue of the slanted top edge. I haven't quite figured out the motive for that feature. Perhaps the left-hand wall needed to be higher than the one on the right ?
Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:16 am
Oboler as built is more interesting than as planned. The two halves are reversed, with the vertical, lapped boards following the cant of the adjacent walls. At the bottom, where there are two boards on the elevation, the built gate is open, with a single, slender board spanning just above the bottom of the gate, held in place at the center by three short, vertical (canted) boards that just barely overlap the lowest horizontal board. The very top board of each gate, near the center where they meet, jogs 90 degrees upward about a foot, then turns back to the horizontal. The space created is fitted with three slats on each side made by turning narrow boards edgewise.
Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:30 am
Laurie- Your gate design is quite unique. The layering and asymmetry are very imaginative, and the composition reveals its structural logic nicely. I don't believe that I've ever seen anything quite like it. Is there any steel used which is not seen in the photos?
Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:46 pm
Paul R contributes this photo of a gate at the Bott residence.
I am never comfortable when I see so much leverage applied (via gravity) to such a short hinge.
I wonder if this is a steel gate.
Posted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:52 pm
If Bott is wood, and it's hard to tell under the paint, it would need major structural support to survive. I'll ask Don Hoffmann, he'll know.