Como Orchard and rustic Wright

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SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Como Orchard and rustic Wright

Post by SDR »

Como Orchard Land Company Summer Colony

1909; University Heights, Darby, Montana -- demolished 1930-1945


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Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer's introduction to the project, in Taschen I.


We've seen the illustration of Como cabin type 1, from the Wasmuth portfolio:

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© 1983 by Dover Publications, Inc.


Here's a different -- perhaps earlier ? -- version of the drawing:

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and another view:

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These two illustrations -- clearly a pair, though I show them at different scales -- are perhaps Mahony's, meaning that the Wasmuth view is a modification by Wright and company, made in Fiesole ?


Wright has added a note to the first of this pair:

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I can't decipher that. Anyone ?


The cabin types are defined on this busy sheet:

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which is broken into four, in these images:

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Image

Image

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all images © 2009 by TASCHEN GmbH and by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

SDR
Posts: 19801
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Another stab at reproducing those very interesting specs:


Image

Image

Image

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

The Como Orchard Inn:


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Rood
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Post by Rood »

Housing (plans?) for Chicago University professors. FLLW (translation)

Paul Ringstrom
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Post by Paul Ringstrom »

SDR wrote:The Como Orchard Inn:


Image
SDR,
What book did you find this in?

This looks like the Darwin Martin House on steroids.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

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

Post by SDR »

That's from Taschen I ("Frank Lloyd Wright 1885-1916"), p 341. The plate is 14 1/8" wide . . .


Study of the cabin drawings reveals that the Mahony/Wright illustrations show a double version of the Cabin-Type One design. The architect draws a stubby asymmetrical cabin, and then by mirroring it to itself achieves the desired proportions. Note the back-to-back fireplaces. Compare to a double-wide house trailer, at a similar scale ?

SDR

SDR
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Post by SDR »

[I must have seen the Como project by the time I sketched this little "floating bungalow" in a note to a friend; the aerial view of the compound appears in Hitchcock . . .]


Image

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

There is a published interior of the largest cabin type for Como, but I cannot find it. In Storrer (144), it's the "Plan of Type 3C Cottage; conjectural reconstruction" of as-built.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Image

© 1993 William Allin Storrer
Last edited by SDR on Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

On the preceding page is an image of the larger cabin, but exterior only. I'll continue to scour my library for the other photo.

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Storrer uses the term "cottage"; to Wright they were cabins. Storrer's exterior photo is very dark. ("Cottage" is reserved for structures like Taliesin, where it occurs on the title block of a very early plan drawing, FLWA 1104.003, Taschen I p 396. The title reads "Cottage & Stables - Hillside Wisconsin.")

http://www.steinerag.com/flw/Artifact%2 ... 4cot82.htm

https://www.jstor.org/stable/989803?seq ... b_contents

SDR
Last edited by SDR on Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
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Post by SDR »

Photos show the horizontal board and batten siding -- with unfortunate but economical corner boards, which Wright omits in his illustrations. In fact, the spec at "weatherboarding" calls for mitering of boards and battens at all corners (he might have written, "all outside corners"); the phrase "should be" may be construed to let the contractor off the hook with that detail ? "Battens can be nailed tight after shrinkage" is an experience-driven note . . .

The cabins are wonderfully severe in their minimalism, an idealism sometimes at odds with reality. Sash are hinged directly to the 4x4 studs, the hinges let into them with mortises. This sort of construction calls for straight and untwisted lumber, a luxury which the budget might well not allow -- though it could be that the architect believed 4x4s would be more likely to be true than 2xs. On the other hand, those can be forced straight when necessary unlike the stouter 4x4s.

One of Wright's first notes concerns the height of the cabins above the terrain: "Note that each group of cabins has a common floor joist height as indicated on the plot plan." So, he wishes to see flotillas of two or three or four cabins maintaining an extended floor plane between them. He directs that the studs be cut only after a string has been stretched "about outline of cabin at the level of tops of joists . . ."

These studs are set on flat stones placed "about even with surface of ground." This isn't the Japanese practice, I believe; they know that water is less likely to wick up the lumber if the top of the stone is a bit above grade ? But the simplicity of the scheme is admirable nevertheless.


I believe it is difficult to overestimate the importance of Wright's mitered corners to the success of his aesthetic. They are an integral part of the "formula" or recipe which defines the work. They are as vital to the appearance of an outhouse as to that of a mansion -- if anything, more so, because of the scale of the detail against the scale of the whole.

SDR

SDR
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Post by SDR »

I'll proceed to search Taschen for other examples of skin-and-bones rusticity. Just a few pages on from Como Orchards we have this little gem. I have both plans from another
publication; Taschen presents only the view drawing (big and beautiful) and the first-floor plan. Pfeiffer claims a bathroom and five bedrooms on the (missing) second floor; I don't
see indication of the bath, though I suppose it could be the room without beds (duh) which, oddly, contains the same sort of basin-in-a-niche that the bedrooms have . . .


Image

Tom
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Post by Tom »

Those cabin specs. are something.
Spelling out the construction sequence and method.
That was indeed a different day.

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

Post by Roderick Grant »

Unfortunately, this last cabin has been "tamed." Americans used to be into roughing it, but now everything is as carefree as possible. What a shame.

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