Article: Prairie house in Memphis

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DavidC
Posts: 8122
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:22 pm
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Article: Prairie house in Memphis

Post by DavidC »


SDR
Posts: 20290
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Thanks, David. Cool house -- and early, at 1912 -- no matter what they call it.

For those wondering (after reading the above piece) what the "Lauderdale Mansion" might be, this post will perhaps settle their minds: the author's own home seems to be a subject for his fertile and slightly cracked imagination . . . !

http://www.memphisflyer.com/AskVanceBlo ... on-i-guess

SDR

Macrodex
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Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:11 pm

Post by Macrodex »

I think any learned Wrightian could tell that is not a Wright-designed house from the outset.

SDR
Posts: 20290
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Certainly. The point, I think, is that the citizenry of Memphis -- and, I expect, any other American city or town -- couldn't be nearly as sure of that.

To my eye, at least, the house beats many another quasi-Prairie effort, of any era. A minor detail like the masonry posts at the sidewalk, with their perfectly projecting caps, speaks volumes about the sensitivity of the unknown architect. The structure seems entirely undecorated, relying only on subtle battering of the stonework -- more Craftsman than Prairie, perhaps -- and a well-considered unity of roof detail (for instance), and pleasing proportions overall, to carry the aesthetic load.


Mr Lauderdale's asides, meanwhile, amuse me:

"My own residence’s “low-slung� architecture, a standard design element of many Frank Lloyd Wright homes, is the unfortunate result of the whole house settling because of termite-riddled beams, and the building’s distinctive curves are nothing more than warped vinyl siding."

SDR

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

Post by Roderick Grant »

There were pre-WWI houses like this all over the country, much more in the Craftsman Style than Prairie. There is even one in Pipestone, MN, my old home town. (My brother almost bought it for his retirement house until he got a whiff of the basement.) All the characteristics of the current example that recall Prairie -- low roof pitch, large overhang, windows in rows -- were also present in the Craftsman houses (or is it "Craftsperson"?) What emphatically discredits the involvement of FLW or any of his gang is the rigid symmetry of the front facade, a habit that he gave up in the 1890s.

SDR
Posts: 20290
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

The continuous eave line, surely, and the low-pitched hipped roofs are what distinguish this house from the typical Craftsman and lends it the Prairie character it seems to possess ?

SDR

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