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Clark also located a number of disturbing photos showing the house in a ruined state, with piles of junk and wood trim ripped out. I can't remember the date of the photos or the name of the photographer. That poor house has been to hell and back.
That's a scary picture. Amazing to see how far the living room has come since then. As for the models, I'll shoot and post some pics ...Reidy wrote:One of those photos, which used to be on display in the living room, dates from Lloyd's 1946 remodel. It establishes that the crews ripped out the wood trim and piled it up in the middle of the room without bothering to remove the Japanese screens.
A letter between Aline and Frank, dated 1923, after all construction work had been completed, addressed a hanging curtain, similar to the one over the living room skylight (Wendingen, 152; Smith, 118), for the 'skylight' in the library. The plans called for what is now a light fixture to be a skylight (Mono 4/253 top section; Kathryn Smith 82), which would have addressed the problem of daylight in the room. That they were talking about making the curtain that late in the process, two years after completion, tells me the skylight was indeed constructed, and perhaps the curtain was intended to deal with the glare of too much sunlight. Two aerial photos taken indicate something in the area, although the shots are too distant to be certain (Hoff 35, 1921; Smith 162-3, 1922). Other photos indicate that whatever was on the library roof had been removed no later than 1923 (Hoff 52,1924; Smith 132, c. 1923-4). There is a 1923 aerial showing detritus just out of the loggia doors, and a skylight-less library roof, which could be when the light was eliminated, perhaps for leaking? I cannot find the source of that photo, but it is published somewhere. As far as I know, there has been no effort to investigate the structure to determine whether or not the skylight was built.
The divider between entrance and music room was a problem for FLW or RMS, seemingly. A few designs were tried, and more than one actually built. In 1980, two art glass, frame-less panels were stored in the basement below the kitchen. It was assumed that they were from a 1940s-era version of the divider. I pointed out that they were actually from the double doors leading from Aline's bedroom to the balcony, and Ginny had them installed in their original place (Hoff 95).
The entrance tunnel was not built according to FLW's plan (which is published). The west wall structure should be the same as the east wall, with battered columns holding up the roof instead of those cubic chunks of concrete. The west columns would have been intersected by a continuous, high lintel with 8" wide openings on either side of the columns piercing the privacy wall. The lower portion was built as designed. Imagine a cross-section of the tunnel; as built, the west wall is perpendicular while the east wall is battered about 10 degrees. FLW would never have done that. RMS must have redesigned the west wall. Between the columns on the east side, the heavy wood screen is another RMS intrusion. FLW designed an open rectangle of thin wood to frame views of the garden outside the dining room (which Lloyd stuffed with 29 hibiscus bushes!), with a bit of decorative fuss at the columns. This was all meant to draw the visitors' attention to the garden, away from the private west yards. At the end of the tunnel, instead of solid concrete slab doors, there should have been brass and glass worked into the design which would have obviated the need for the "door knobs" that Aline insisted upon. RMS designed the brass work for the doors (or gates as they should be called) and also added the glass slits.
The concrete floor ought to have continued through the gates, entry, loggia and down the hall past the library, around the corner through the conservatory. This area, plus the pergola and the lobby outside Sugar Top's room, defines the pathway through the entire house, an indoor-outdoor transitional space. The closets in the bedroom lobby should not be there. The four major structures -- Living/music/library; dining/service; guest rooms; Sugar Top's room + second story --should be basically independent. The lobby should have a glass door leading to the south terrace, which would also give some much-needed sunlight to the lobby.
The space behind the colonnade in the court was not intended as a passage, it is a shadow box. Note the stair case blocks a view of the dining room doors. The riparian garden in the north third of the court, which was not to be traversed, leads to a row of stylized, abstracted hollyhocks, rising out of the real plants, acting as a transition from garden to house. The roof, which stops at the edge of the capitals to keep them out of the shade, casts a shadow against the south wall of the service wing to highlight the columns. The lights, which are now correctly placed after 70 years in the wrong configuration, reverse the situation at night, making the space between the columns light sources. The doors from the dining room to the shadow box were meant to be windows, a replication of those on the north side of the room. If FLW had wanted doors there, he would have put them there. Access to the exterior space was not intended for anyone other than the gardener. In the loggia, instead of a door, there should have been a long desk from the dining room steps to the pier behind the outside stair case. Above the desk, a single, fixed slab of glass, with a row of slender, closely spaced slats (Wendingen 131).
In Hoffmann's book, pages 18 and 19, there are three perspectives. The earlier two show a square living room, and the later one as the rectangle it became. Notice how the earlier design includes a terrace with a planter and low wall at about the place of the ultimate terminal of the living room. It probably was all designed before construction began, but it is possible that the living room was extended after the foundation was set in place, and the foundation wall and planter/balcony defined the limit of the new, larger room. As-built, it is 24'x46'; one might assume that had it been planned before construction, it would have been 24'x48'.
Residence A; located on the north slope of Olive Hill
Residence B; located on the west slope, demolished 1954
Little Dipper Kindergarden, also on the west slope. Foundation converted to Shindler Terrace
Slte Plan as designed. Looking from Northeast
The crown of the hill was used by a group to present the Passion Play on Easter mornings, with Christ played by Reginald Pole, father of Rupert Pole and first husband of Helen Taggart, who later married Lloyd Wright and was the mother of Eric.
In 1919, Aline bought the hill, and the play moved to what is now the Hollywood Bowl, where Lloyd, employed by Paramount Pictures, designed the first two orchestra shells and a set for a production of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar."