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La Miniatura
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Wrighter



Joined: 09 Sep 2005
Posts: 479
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SDR--thanks for the info and the reference.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 9291

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The plot plan that SDR has printed shows the original house on the lot numbered 10, which was all Millard owned at the time of construction; in fact, an easment to allow the construction of the originally single garage had to cut a corner from lot #11. The large rectangle to the right of the original house is the site of FLW's design for a gallery and guest accommodations which was quite commodius and probably too costly. Lloyd built the existing gallery (below the house on the plan) with the back wall adjacent to the lot line of the original property. Afterward, Millard acquired lot #11. The plot plan shows a large addition adjacent to the garage where three small rental units were planned to be built. Instead, the only construction on that lot is the additional garage stall which Lloyd added. Lots numbered 10A and 24 were also later additions to the original Millard property. The house on lot #12 is a fine "Mediterranean" designed by Roland Coate. Across Prospect Crescent from lot #10A is the John C. Bentz House by Greene & Greene.
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 4159
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New articles on the house:

http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/ci_9944698

http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_9944681
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Crosby Doe



Joined: 15 Aug 2008
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Further information on Frank Lloyd Wright's Millard House aka La Miniatura for sale may be found at: www.millardhouse.com
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josquin



Joined: 15 Aug 2007
Posts: 101
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:44 am    Post subject: La Miniatura for Sale 3 Reply with quote

Los Angeles Times:
http://www.latimes.com/classified/realestate/la-fi-home24-2008aug24,0,1861597.story
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pharding



Joined: 25 Jun 2005
Posts: 2237
Location: River Forest, Illinois

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The studio addition is really awful. Lloyd Wright certainly did not have his father's design sensitivities. I toured his Seafarers Chapel and that was another mediocre building. The detailing was also very disappointing.
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Paul Harding FAIA Owner and Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, the First Prairie School House in Chicago | www.harding.com | LinkedIn
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 9291

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:10 pm    Post subject: *** A Modest Proposal *** Reply with quote

A major problem that has always plagued La Min is its adjacency to Prospect Crescent; it's just a matter of a few feet away from public property, so it's impossible to gain any privacy or control over the property to keep the never-ending tourists at bay. But it could be rectified. The Crescent (basically a service alley ... every house on it also fronts on either Rosemont or Prospect Blvd.) could be truncated at the north corner entry to La Min's property, near the Greene & Greene garage (see plot plan). Since only La Min and Bentz border the Crescent from that point to the blvd., it would be possible, and probably to the benefit of the neighborhood, to close it off, split the roadbed between the two houses, and secure a margin of privacy, enhancing the value as well. The remaining road could be called Prospect Apostrophe.

Paul, overall I have to disagree with you on the quality of the studio. The one thing I dislike is the bridge that links it to the main house by cutting into the planter at the end of the living room balcony. That is one thing I would eliminate so the house could be fully restored.
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pharding



Joined: 25 Jun 2005
Posts: 2237
Location: River Forest, Illinois

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The studio really imposes itself on the original house. The bridge connection is horrible. The studio does not have the wonderful scale of the original house. Even if the studio interior is well executed it simply be a "bad idea done well". The studio addition should be torn down in my opinion.
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RJH



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 682
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The studio addition should be torn down in my opinion.


I was thinking the same.

Personally, I would also be more interested in buying the property if it were removed.
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pharding



Joined: 25 Jun 2005
Posts: 2237
Location: River Forest, Illinois

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Often times additions can removed in a pragmatic manner. Very few additions do the original building justice. It is the same with some unfortunate alterations to otherwise fine buildings. On Davenport we peeled off the architect designed alterations added in 1931. Even though they were likely done by William Drummond, a fine architect. the results have been quite successful. The studio addition by Lloyd Wright looks like a carbuncle on the face of a good friend. There are other additions and alterations in Wrightdom that should go.
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Reidy



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 1517
Location: Fremont CA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Economically I see little prospect of this, as a guesthouse / rental makes the property considerably more valuable. The question is not whether you'd be more inclined to buy it without the studio but whether, having paid for it, you'd be willing to take a 25% hit to your resale value. I'd be grateful if you did, but I'd see your point if you didn't.

What were the Drummond alterations that came off Davenport? Gus Brown took one room off Ennis, returning it to Wright's outdoor terrace, and the Ingalls owners in River Forest took a Drummond addition off while adding a new one, but I've never heard of a private owner undoing something as big as the Millard studio.
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pharding



Joined: 25 Jun 2005
Posts: 2237
Location: River Forest, Illinois

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 1931 bay added to the front of the house was removed in 2005 as part of the current restoration. The 1901 bay and 1901 roof extension down to the top of the bay were reconstructed based upon physical evidence. The original 1901 bay and roof extension both failed structurally, triggering the 1931 alterations. Other 1931 alterations on the interior were removed and reconstructed based upon physical evidence.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 9291

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While anything architectural pales by comparison when too close to a FLW masterpiece like La Min, with a few adjustments, Lloyd's studio could be salvaged aesthetically. First of all, it crowds the garden, because it was built before Alice bought the neighboring property, so its back is adjacent to the old property line. Moving it back just a few feet would help the composition considerably ... as costly as that might be, to the point of being an option dismissed out of hand. Correcting the exterior design amounts mostly to getting rid of the awkward bridge, which is not only ugly, but violates one of Grant Hildebrand's standards by making access to the studio from the house too easy, just as the stairs from the front entrance to the back yard do. The other problem is that bedroom window poked through the stucco wall. It has to go. The entry clad in block conforms to the design of the main house. But Lloyd's approach to the block system was to cluster his blocks around major apertures with blank stucco walls enclosing most of the rest. That leaves blank walls flanking the entry, which could be relieved only by following FLW's advice, "Plant ivy." The photographs exaggerate the size of these walls, which are only 12'8" wide by 16' high. The interior would look better if outfitted as the studio it was meant to be, rather than as a second residence. The principal justification for the studio's existence is the addition of that large, empty lot next door. If Millard had developed that property as originally planned, with small rental units in the block style, the studio would have been unneeded. But the transition from the shady garden to the sunny yard needs architecture. Could it have been done better? Certainly. But as it is, it is not quite so bad a resolution as photography makes it out to be. If you saw it first hand, and blocked out the bridge and the window, I think you would be kinder to Lloyd.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 17779
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The description of Lloyd's use of his father's materials, accurate enough, seems to describe a "knocking off," if not a cheapening, of the original aesthetic. Perhaps it is ? But it's good to know that the results look better in the flesh than on the page. Robert L Sweeney's comment about the gallery:

"This is a building offering greater spacial complexity that its exterior forms suggest. The gallery has an eighteen-foot ceiling and a lower "cloister," separated from the main space by a row of five piers along one side; [Lloyd ?] Wright explained that windows above the cloister would throw light on the north wall, where Millard could put a 'panel.' The western end of the building is divided into two levels by a balcony, with a bedroom and bath above and a 'storage' room with desk and fireplace below. The building is attached to La Miniature by an umbilical-cord bridge at the balcony level., corresponding with the balcony overlooking the living room, and can also be entered on the main level from a terrace."

I show again the 1929 "site plan" of the Millard properties, this time with Sweeney's caption; a more experienced Chatter than I will be able to name the various components of the project(s) for Mrs Millard. . .


SDR
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Robert



Joined: 19 Aug 2008
Posts: 42
Location: Arizona

PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone have an as-built floorplan of the studio?
I'm trying to fit the pieces together by looking at various pics, but I'm still not quite sure exactly how the bridge connects the two buildings - specifically, where exactly it connects to the main house (but also the specifics of the studio bedroom, kitchen and storage areas.
The plans in the Sweeney book are not how it was eventually built and my FLW Companion doesn't show a plan of the studio.)
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Robert
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