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Rose and Gertrude Pauson house
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wjsaia



Joined: 26 Aug 2006
Posts: 211

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Responding to a few things . . .

SDR wrote:
. . . Bob Mosher oversaw construction of Pauson. Do we still have him, today ? SDR


Bob Mosher died in 1992.

SDR wrote:
34
The little horizontal mullions (muntins ?) of the sidelites appear on the east facade, here, as well as the corner extension of them -- floating in the air ?
The vertical line that seems to align with the outer corner of this floating muntin, may be the edge of the first drape, inside the glass ? SDR


SDR wrote:
So, as I see it, either the glass inverts (as in the plan, 37) all the way to the top, and the muntin piece floats out by itself (supported by what, I don't know), or the glass goes out there too -- top to bottom. . . .
SDR


The October 1941 Arizona Highways issue included an article on the Pauson House, and most of it is posted below. Several variations from Guerrero photos that we find elsewhere are included here. Taliesin apparently provided plan drawings for this publication, possibly drawn by Bob Mosher, and I think they represent the house as built quite closely, with the exception of the south terraces that seemed to be in an evolutionary process that extended late into 1941. Their not being shown in finalized form here is consistent with the sequence of events.

38
Note that the unit system is stated here as consisting of 3’-6” squares; William Storrer shows 3’- 0”, and that can’t be correct. Two other observations: it seems all the tall glazed sash on the east side of the Living Room, behind the bench seat, heretofore shown operative, was built stationery as this later drawing indicates – in the snapshots, lots of windows are shown open; it must have been hot, but none of these Living Room windows is open. Can anyone find a photograph in which one is open? Also, whereas this plan shows two terrace doors as operative, as opposed to three as shown in other plan versions, I think in fact only one was built operative. Scrutiny of the interior photos we have indicates no door hardware on other than the one door we see in the open position (located between SDR's designations of #2 and #3 mullions).

I think it can be confirmed convincingly from photographic evidence that the Living Room corner window was built full height in a normal mitered glass configuration as shown on the final Floor Plan 38. The shadows in SDR’s Detail View 34 do confuse one somewhat, because the sun was oriented so as to cast shadows here directly and perfectly in line with the east-west oriented building planes. Had Mr. Guerrero shot this 30 minutes earlier, I think it would be more self-evident as to how the corner window was configured. In Photo 34, the horizontal transom bar muntin consists of two pieces, mitered at the glass corner. To the right of the glass corner, it is all in shadow and barely evident. It terminates against the first deep mullion, below which there is its shadow (vertically oriented on account of parallel sun direction). The faint, vertical line on the mullion is the glazing channel in which the glass abuts the mullion AND is also the shadow of the east-west oriented glass panes which land coincident with the glazing channel. We see both exterior and interior surfaces of the east face of the vertical mullion in full sun. The shadow that hooks back maybe 5 or 6 inches lower down is that of the end of the other piece of transom bar muntin, running in the north-south orientation on the other side of the glass corner, being cast upon the interior portion of the tall mullion. This is all reflected also in the interior views of this corner, Photos 40 and 41 below. (Whew!)

39
No west window shown in the main upstairs bedroom! Interesting, because this plan is about as "as-built" as it gets.

40
A rotated version of another published Guerrero photograph, this gives clear indication as to the configuration of the mitered corner window's horizontal transom bar muntin.

41
A faint, light, vertical line can be seen where the glass miters at the corner, "out" there.

SDR wrote:
Note the row of little light-colored rectangles above the ports, in photos 26 and 27; by comparing photos, they appear to be painted on (?). They also appear to have darker centers. What were those things ?


Yes, this is a fascinating question. In View 42, below, there is a glimpse through the masonry opening from the Entry Hall of a repetitive, perforated pattern that is consistent with the frequency of the little rectangular shapes that show on the exterior of this building element. There is mention of this long "panel-board with perforations" – on Pages Seven and Eight of the article included below. The nature of the construction of these curious perforations is not at all discernible. No, SDR, I don't think FLlW attempted to doctor them out of Photo 27 (and 10). I think it's an unintentional result of natural lighting combined with surface reflectivity conditions whereby from that particular angle at that particular time on that day on black and white film the relative grey values happened to match closely. In Photo 11 these features show prominently due to greater contrast, and FLlW used it in this Arizona Highways Issue and also later in the January 1949 Architectural Forum, two instances of his having full control over what photographs would be published. He provided it to Hitchcock to use as well.

42
3 perforations are visible through the opening, upper right. One of the square "portholes" is also visible, as well as are the shelves.











Plenty of interesting puzzles present if you begin looking at this closely. Wouldn't it have been fun to have Bob Mosher to question? There is a short reflection written by him included in Edgar Tafel's book, "About Wright." A sad footnote is that Mosher had left the Fellowship in 1941 to get married and start working. It happened that he wound up overseeing construction of a military project in Arizona. At some point he took his wife to show her the Pauson house and upon arrival found it burned down, still smoldering, with floor slabs so hot as to prevent walking on them. He reports having learned later that the curtains were suspected of having being ignited by an errant cigarette tossed during a party such that the resulting fire was not noticed until too late to control; he makes no mention of a fireplace fire as having been the suspected cause.

Bill Schwarz


Last edited by wjsaia on Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:56 am; edited 2 times in total
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Jeff Myers



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 1761
Location: Tulsa

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow is all I can say wjsala you made my morning.
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5823
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an absolutely fantastic, thoroughly enlightening and wonderfully enjoyable thread!!!

Thank you to all contributors!


David
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3164
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Palli: Please try to read the AZ Highways article wjsaia posted...it describes perfs in the ceiling above the dining table and in the entry behind shelves. The entry perfs can be seen in picture looking toward the dining area he just posted...look through the right-most opening in the stone wall. The perfs are small and seem to coincide with the row of small rectangles visible from the outside.

I suspect the rectangles we see on the exterior of the entry are translucent material (possibly glass block?) at the outer layer of board with the perfs cut into the inner layer of board. (see the section SDR posted earlier) Could the translucent blocks have been a means to cleanly let light in, seal the void between the board layers, and not introduce a window which would break the clean lines of the outward appearance of the form? If so, this is a detail unique to this house.

I want to build this thing...


Last edited by DRN on Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:27 am; edited 1 time in total
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RonMcCrea



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 313
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Center for Creative Photography retrospective on Louise Dahl-Wolfe that I Googled up identifies the model in one of the photos as Bijou Barrington (a great name), though it erroneously identifies the location as "Taliesen (sic) West." The contents of her Photographer's Sketchbook lists Diana Vreeland and Bijou Barrington as appearing on the same page, on location in Phoenix in 1942. Here's the link to the page that has the photo:

http://www.tfaoi.com/aa/2aa/2aa204.htm
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5589
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What an outstanding team of researchers!
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wjsaia



Joined: 26 Aug 2006
Posts: 211

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SDR wrote:
Pedro Guerrero took some of the best-known early photos of the house, in the winter of 1940-41.
Here is his reminiscence, from his "Picturing Wright" (Archetype, 1994; p 112):

The house accidentally burned in 1941. Rose Pauson chose not to rebuild.


Guerrero's dating confused me; wouldn't it have to have been in 1942 that the house burned down . . . ? . . . Anyone ?

WJS
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5823
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Storrer, Heinz & Lind all say the fire was in 1942.

And the ubiquitous Wikipedia for Pauson is in agreement.

The wikipedia page also has a link to these photos - mostly of the ruins.


David
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14328
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The author of the last-linked photoset, a Steve Gronek, writes well and convincingly of the project (until he gets to the "North by Northwest"
house, at least) -- and he gives the house a 3-year life, which must be wrong, given all the corrected information we've just heard. But the set is
a nice little collection.

DRN has provided a Google Earth image for us, which I will post if I can. Perhaps it will make the old/new overlay clearer that it is in Mr Gronek's copy.

I am so grateful to all, and especially to Bill Schwarz, for the growing body of information about Pauson issues both grand and small. I will
attempt a side-by-side visual comparison of his posted plan and Prof Storrer's, to see what the many variables might be. Oddly, Monograph 6
contains only a preliminary plan (I might as well show that too), and the only place I've found a Taliesin plan besides the one above, is in
Hitchcock (already posted).

I note that Bill has graciously and efficiently continued my image-numbering regimen, and I encourage others to follow suit if they like, so
that all images in this thread can be referenced (the new verb) easily.

And, finally, the mystery of the little "white" rectangles above the hallway portholes has been solved ! Hallelujah. Palli take note.


(26, previously posted)


Last edited by SDR on Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:21 pm; edited 5 times in total
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3164
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good ones David!
I hadn't seen the 1957 aerial photo before. The carport at the base of the stairs is more intact in this pic than it is in a 1975 aerial I emailed to SDR.
Thanks again.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To start, here's a screen grab of that aerial from Gronek. This is a 1957 photo ?

It appears that a possibly hexagonal structure accompanies the carport, and that it survived the fire for some time (?). By the nature of sun-cast shadow, it
appears to have a concave roof ! Perhaps an inverted wooden umbrella ?


43

(1)

Note that one (?) segment of the hexagon is of masonry ! Its shadow is cast in the photo. . .

SDR


Last edited by SDR on Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:24 pm; edited 4 times in total
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
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Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill, your analysis of the various sash and glazing issues in the living room is spot on, and much appreciated. Your typical thoroughness is inspiring. I'm
certainly glad to have the several questions of operating units, and the vexing question of the corner window, answered satisfactorily, at last.



SDR
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5823
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a link to the Edgar Tafel book Bill Schwarz referenced above - "Frank Lloyd Wright: Recollections by Those Who Knew Him" - where Bob Mosher talks about his experiences with the Pauson House.


David
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another picture of the ruins:




David
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excerpt from the book "Frank Lloyd Wright" (by Paul Laseau, James Tice), where the authors compare the "spatial weave" of the Francis Little and Rose Pauson Houses.


David
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