Donahoe Triptych

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dramatecture
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Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:52 pm

Donahoe Triptych

Post by dramatecture »

My name is Toni Wilson. I am a playwright and I am working on a play inspired by the story around the Donahoe Triptych. I have done a bit of research on the internet and in the library and have found a few things about it, but I was wondering if anyone else out there has any more information than I already have. I have looked at 'The Treasures of Talesin' and have seen the renderings in that book as well as the imagined drawings of it on top of a cliff overlooking the sea. If this is all that is really out there, I will stop looking, but I am fascinated by this house and would love to know more about the area, the woman who commissioned it, etc.

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

Post by Roderick Grant »

The Donohoe Triptych was a winter home designed for Arizona, nowhere near the sea. Plans and perspectives appear in the House Beautiful issue on FLW, November 1955, and in Taschen 1943-1959 Complete Works. A previous owner of the property had shaved off the top of the mountain, and part of Wright's plan was to restore the peak with the main structure. Two smaller houses were to accommodate Donohoe's two sons, linked to the main residence by bridges. The domed roof of the top story living room was to have been a version of the pyrex dome at Johnson Wax.

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Can we assume that the project went no further than the perspective renderings -- that there are no working drawings for these houses ?


SDR

Jeff Myers
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Post by Jeff Myers »

In my Frank Lloyd Wright book from last years exhibit at the Guggenheim explained that the house was complete and there were plans sadly Wright passed and the house was never built. From that saying it is like Penfield II ready to build with full plans but the owners never went further.
JAT
Jeff T

Reidy
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Post by Reidy »

The Getty Center in LA has Wright's archives (including letters and drawings) on microfiche and, when I last enquired, would make copies at cost. This would be a likely place to research beyond the published drawings.

george nichols
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Location: Huntington Beach,Ca

Donahoe Triptych

Post by george nichols »

Unfortunately Toni there is no correspondence between Mrs Donahoe and Wright. On 4-22-59 Mrs.Wright
in letter "D119E09" says that the
Foundation is prepared "to proceed
with working drawings". A statement
is included for the "preliminary sketches". The Getty does not distribute drawings,you can only get copies from Taliesin.

G.N.

Reidy
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Location: Fremont CA

Post by Reidy »

The good news is that you're free to make up a story.

Rood
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Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

Post by Rood »

SDR wrote:Can we assume that the project went no further than the perspective renderings -- that there are no working drawings for these houses ?
SDR
Working drawings exist ... but completed after Mr. Wright's death under the supervision of Wes Peters. At one point during the 70's the family began serious inquiries about building the house. One night, while I was working late in the office, Mrs. Donahoe walked through the door, carrying a thick roll of the working drawings. She had an appointment to see Wes about the project, so i called him.

While we waited for Wes to appear, I asked Mrs. Donahoe if I might see the drawings, and without further ado she excitedly unrolled them on the office floor carpet ... and, yes, the working drawings were far more elaborate than the presentation drawings, and Mrs. Donahoe's enthusiasm about the house was readily apparent.

Later, however, the powers that be in the community of Paradise Valley arranged a public hearing about the project, after some opposition to the project developed. Without telling anyone else, I went to that hearing. One man spoke scathingly about the project. Evidently he lived in a house just below the hill ... and he said he was deeply concerned about trucks climbing up the several sharp curves on that steep road, losing their 'footing' and falling on his house. A member of the Donahoe family was at the meeting, and to waylay the man's concerns, but unprepared with an educated response, he suggested that an inclined rail-line might be constructed up the side of the mountain to transport construction materials .... !

Several months later, the complaining man from that hearing walked into the office at Taliesin West, saying he had an appointment with Mrs. Wright. After the fellow was taken to see Mrs. Wright, I told her secretary about the man's opposition to the Triptych. As it happened, the fellow's only purpose in seeing Mrs. Wright had to do with his interest in Gurdjieff's philosophy ... but after he left, and after Minerva informed Mrs. Wright about his opposition to the Triptych ... I was blamed for not having informed her of his opposition to the project. Mrs. Wright said had she known, the fellow would have been called on the carpet.

Thus, some might say I was at least partially responsible for the fact that the Triptych was never constructed.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Heh; the truth will out ? Thanks for "coming clean" at last, Rood . . . !

S

SDR
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Post by SDR »

And, at last, some images and the editors' text, from Taschen Vol III.


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

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

Post by Roderick Grant »

Out of curiosity, assuming Mrs. Donohoe was extravagantly wealthy to be able to afford such a vacation house, I looked up Daniel J. Donohoe on
Wiki, and got a brief bit about a house he built in 1910 at 302 South 7th Street, Ponca City, OK, designed in the craftsman style by Solomon Layton,
still intact, on the National Register. Ponca City is the original location of Conoco Oil, so I guess we can assume where Mrs. got her money.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Ponca City, Wikipedia:

Economy

E. W. Marland built the Ponca City refinery in 1918 and founded the Marland Oil Company. In 1929, the Continental Oil Company merged with Marland,
and the two became Conoco Inc. The Conoco headquarters were in Ponca City until 1949, when they moved to Houston, Texas. In 2002, Conoco Inc.
and Phillips Petroleum Company, whose headquarters were in nearby Bartlesville, Oklahoma, merged into ConocoPhillips.[20] In 2012, ConocoPhillips
split into two separate companies, with the upstream portion retaining the ConocoPhillips name and the refining and transportation portions taking the
name Phillips 66. The Ponca City Refinery, operated by Phillips 66, is the largest refinery in Oklahoma.

The Ponca City Refinery processes a mixture of light, medium, and heavy crude oils. Most of the crude oil processed is received by pipeline from
Oklahoma, Texas, and Canada. Infrastructure improvements have enabled the delivery of increased volumes of locally produced advantaged crude oil
by pipeline and truck. The refinery is a high-conversion facility that produces a full range of products, including gasoline, diesel, aviation fuels, liquefied
petroleum gas, and anode-grade petroleum coke. Its facilities include two fluid catalytic cracking units, alkylation, delayed coking, naphtha reforming,
and hydrodesulfurization units. Finished petroleum products are shipped by truck, railcar, and pipelines to markets throughout the Midcontinent region.

_____________________________________________________________

RhysPrice
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Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:31 am

Post by RhysPrice »

How vibrant was Ponca City's economy back in those days?

juankbedoya
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Post by juankbedoya »

Woow what a story .. !!! I really appreciate spaces like this where we can learn more and more about Wright's architecture ... No doubt this is one of best unrealized projects. I didn't understand what this project is, I saw the bridges, a dome, a circular ramp.... Now with the description text I understand what it was about..!!

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