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Given that this home design was made for publishing (and distribution) in Life magazine, would the whole of it then be considered to be part of the 'public domain' (and therefore fully accessible) - as opposed to the 'private' designs so closely guarded by the Foundation?
This is the thing that many people don't understand that on most houses the final "as built" design is not 100% "as designed" even in Wright houses. Problems arise during construction, revisions are made, things happen. What looks good on paper sometimes is found to be impractical upon execution, etc.
An interesting story regarding this house is that Edgar Tafel was the apprentice supervising construction and when the wall containing the long row of clerestory windows was being built it became necessary to insert some steel that was not on the plans in order to get it to work. Edgar did what was necessary to get the house built, without informing Wright of this change. When a subsequent house was built (supervised by a different apprentice) with the same structural details it collapsed and Edgar was found out. Another example of "as-built" vs. "as-designed."
Also, I believe that the Schwartz Residence may have been the very first FLW project phtographed by Pedro Guerero on behalf of Wright.
Any confirmations or corrections are welcome. Thanks.
John wrote:Don't forget that that house was actually built, in Two Rivers, WI. I'm guessing that Taliesen wouldn't look on anything built as "public."
My original question relates more to the "public nature" of the Life plans, themselves (which would, of course, pre-date the house itself), as opposed to whether the design happened to be built or not. Were the plans copyrighted and protected at the time of publication? Or were they designed purely for public consumption as part of the magazine's "competition", thereby leaving them open for general usage?
But, be that as it may, having the relevant issue in-hand is a good idea. And to that end, I've an eBay search saved for this particular one. At some point I'll most likely pull the trigger, buy one and let you know what it does (or doesn't) say.
To quote: "The cover and entire contents of LIFE are fully protected by copyrights........" Don't see any additional copyrights by Wright on the plans.
In reply to Paul's comments, the as-built house is on a relatively flat space whereas the original design was for the top of a (small) hill for one thing.
That spot happens to contain a white clapboard house very similar to the one in LIFE. The "winning" design was built several miles away, in Edina, on a rather more expansive piece of land next to a creek.
I also liked Edward Durell Stone's house for the lower income family.
I have the Life mag, now if only I could find the Arch Forum issue for sale...
DRN wrote:The Life mag in question makes reference to the houses also being published in an issue of Architectural Forum (another Time/Life Henry Luce publication) about a month later, to enable architects to review and become familiar with the designs. Life magazine was encouraging its readers to go to local architects, magazine in hand, and say, "I want this." The scenario implied by the magazine in 1938, as I saw it, was that these houses were to be prototypes for typical American families of various economic means.
Well, I finally picked up a copy of the magazine. It says (pg. 45) that "...Life went to eight of the most distinguished architects and commissioned them (my bold) to design the nearest thing to each family's "dream house" that it could afford to build."
This would lead me to believe that Life retained some sort of right as far as publication and re-usage of the plans might go.
On pg. 66 is the following: "Department stores and builders, authorized to use Life's plans (my bold), are co-operating in the construction and furnishing of one or more Life houses."
This would lead me to believe that Life did maintain tight control over any usage.
And on pg. 4 is the following: "...By all means talk to your architect, builder and realtor about these LIFE HOUSES.....For them (bold mine; italicised in the original), full and complete technical data on these LIFE HOUSES will be published in THE ARCHITECTURAL FORUM's special LIFE HOUSE ISSUE."
This would lead me to believe that usage is controlled by Life, possibly through some sort of agreement that may be mentioned in the Architectural Forum "Life House" issue that is referenced. Time for more detective work, I guess.
Now it's on to try and locate an (affordable?) issue of this particular Architectural Forum.
I saw him talk about this in 2004. He said that after FLW found out about the steel in the Schwartz house, FLW was very angry at him, and seemed ready to kick him out. When FLW left the room, Tafel spoke to OLW and said that (as I recall) if he hadnâ€™t used steel, it would have caused the building to collapse, and did Wright want to be known for that, since he was in a constant battle over his ideas anyway?wasn't this added structural steel in the Schwartz house the cause of Edgar Tafel's short-term firing by FLW?
Obviously, OLW agreed because when FLW returned to the room, she told her husband, who agreed not to kick him out (what they did with the Life magazine designs after that, I donâ€™t know).