New Book on The Pope-Leighey House

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Stevenr
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:13 pm

New Book on The Pope-Leighey House

Post by Stevenr »

I'm pleased to share with our forum that my new book, Frank Lloyd Wright's Pope-Leighey House, has been published by the University of Virginia Press and will be available at the end of September. The genesis of the book was my first meeting Loren Pope in 2001 when I was working at Pope-Leighey. He was ninety years old but had an ironclad memory regarding his relationship with Wright during the design and building of the house for he and his wife Charlotte. Loren was kind enough to share with me many of his stories about the house, which was completed in 1941. Shortly before his death in September, 2008, Loren and his family gave me his house files which included drawings, correspondence with Wright, building specifications and Loren's memoirs. I decided to include much of this material, most of it never published, in a new book with the University of Virginia Press. The book starts with the initial correspondence between Pope and Wright in 1939 and continues through its design, building and the eventual selling of the house to Marjorie and Robert Leighey in 1946. It continues with the houses first relocation in 1965 and its second re-building in 1996. I've also included much new information regarding Marjorie Leighey's critical role in saving the house along with recently located oral histories of apprentice Gordon Chadwick and master carpenter Howard Rickert.

There is a book launch event on September 28 at the Pope-Leighey House , http://www.woodlawnpopeleighey.org/events and a book signing and reading at Fallingwater, November 13.

The book will also be available at Taliesin West in October.

I hope you enjoy the book.


Last edited by Stevenr on Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SREcklund
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Post by SREcklund »

Good to hear - I've had it on order via Amazon since March 2nd, and look forward to seeing it!

Tom
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Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

Congratulations on your book. In it do you go into any technical details of the construction of this house or is the narrative mostly about the human story around it?

Stevenr
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:13 pm

Post by Stevenr »

It was a bit of a challenge to provide a balance between the technical and the human side of the story, since they are both such strong topics. The book does however go into a good bit of detail on the challenges that Loren and Chadwick (the apprentice) had during construction. (the roof cantilevers, building on a grid, sandwich wall construction, etc.) Also the inclusion of some recently located oral history interviews with Chadwick and Rickert (the builder) provide new perspectives on the design and construction. Loren's files contained Wright's specifications for the house, which I've included, and provided (for me) a really fascinating examination of Wright, from a technical aspect, during that period.

Tom
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Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

Thank you.

Mark Hertzberg
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Post by Mark Hertzberg »

Congratulations. The cover photo is lovely. I am jealous of the documents you had access to! I am working on a book about the Fred B. Jones house and estate (Penwern / 1900-1903) and we have yet to find any correspondence between Messrs. Wright, Jones, and/or Henry Wallis, the developer.

Mark Hertzberg
Mark Hertzberg

Stevenr
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:13 pm

Post by Stevenr »

Mark,
Thank you. I've long admired your Wright work. Good luck with your research.
Steve

Mark Hertzberg
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Post by Mark Hertzberg »

Thank you for your kind words. Who shot the cover photo?
Mark Hertzberg

Paul Ringstrom
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Post by Paul Ringstrom »

Stevenr,

Now that the book is complete, will you be donating the archival material to the FLW Archives?
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

Stevenr
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:13 pm

Post by Stevenr »

Mark, Cover photo is from a Washington Post article , which my publisher purchased. Tracking down photographer could take a little time , if you'd like me to pursue

Stevenr
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Post by Stevenr »

Final location of Pope-Leighey research material has not yet been decided.

Mark Hertzberg
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Post by Mark Hertzberg »

That's OK, Steven, I was just curious. As an ex-newspaper guy I'm glad "we" were the source. I gather, then, that he or she did not get credit on the jacket?
Mark Hertzberg

Stevenr
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:13 pm

Post by Stevenr »

Publisher handled the specifics. I'll check and let you know.

Stevenr
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:13 pm

Post by Stevenr »

Len Spoden of Vienna , VA. is the photographer for the front cover of my book. All credits included of course.

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »


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