Tell Me A Story, Roderick Grant ...

To control SPAM, you must now be a registered user to post to this Message Board.

EFFECTIVE 14 Nov. 2012 PRIVATE MESSAGING HAS BEEN RE-ENABLED. IF YOU RECEIVE A SUSPICIOUS DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS AND PLEASE REPORT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION.

This is the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's Message Board. Wright enthusiasts can post questions and comments, and other people visiting the site can respond.

You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, *-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed). The IP address of all posts is recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. You agree that the webmaster, administrator and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time they see fit.
Macrodex
Posts: 236
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:11 pm

Post by Macrodex »

All this talk of Hollyhock, I wish I could get pictures of the models they have of Little Dipper, etc. there. Too bad it was roped off.

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10622
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

One fact I left out: Clark Pardee, while rummaging through documents the city was about to discard, found an India ink on linen plan of the entire park made in 1927 when the city first acquired the property. From this drawing, done in extraordinary detail, we were able to reconstruct the original landscape scheme, which is done and awaiting implementation ... since 1989. If Clark had waited a day, that document would have been gone for good.

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.

Reidy
Posts: 1617
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 3:30 pm
Location: Fremont CA

Post by Reidy »

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.

SDR
Posts: 20300
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Yikes !

What a saga . . . with a fairly happy ending ?

SDR

SREcklund
Posts: 822
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:24 pm
Location: Redondo Beach, CA

Post by SREcklund »

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.
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 ...

SDR
Posts: 20300
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

I'd love to see them. The Little Dipper needs further exposure, I'd say.

SDR

CEP
Posts: 97
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 3:56 pm

Post by CEP »

the "ruins" photos were discovered at UCLA Special Collections and the photographer was Will Connell. I don't recall if there was specific dating on the library resource but the pictures date from sometime around the California Art Club's exit in 1942 and the Dorothy Clune Murray era beginning in 1946. there was a caretaker living at the house at that time and there was a partition built in the loggia separating the dining room/kitchen/servants quarters from the rest of the house.

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10622
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

... while we're at it....

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'.

SREcklund
Posts: 822
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:24 pm
Location: Redondo Beach, CA

Model Pics

Post by SREcklund »

Some shots of the architectural models housed in the Gallery at Hollyhock House. I apologize for the quality; had a hell of a time shooting through the glass boxes.

Hollyhock House

Image

Residence A; located on the north slope of Olive Hill

Image

Residence B; located on the west slope, demolished 1954

Image

Little Dipper Kindergarden, also on the west slope. Foundation converted to Shindler Terrace

Image

Slte Plan as designed. Looking from Northeast


Image

SDR
Posts: 20300
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Thanks ! You did quite well, actually . . .

The aerial views of the two Residences, and of the Playhouse, are helpful.

SDR

SREcklund
Posts: 822
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:24 pm
Location: Redondo Beach, CA

Post by SREcklund »

We aim to please ... :-)

What finally worked out best was bouncing the flash off the wall behind and above the model case, so it lights it the way the sun might.

Paul Ringstrom
Posts: 4426
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

In the Site Plan model the trees seem to be planted in a very rectilinear pattern. This does not seem to be the way Wright or Jens Jensen would do it.

Does anyone know if it was originally drawn on the Site Landscape Plan this way?
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

SDR
Posts: 20300
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »


Roderick Grant
Posts: 10622
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

The olive trees, on a 20'x20' grid, predate the house back to the late 19th century, when Olive Hill was a working olive grove. To this day, provided the trees still produce (they went through an infestation of some sort in the 90s which caused many to die), Armenians in the neighborhood still harvest the olives for their own use.

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."

Paul Ringstrom
Posts: 4426
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

Helen Taggart, not to be confused with Dagny Taggart.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

Post Reply