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In my blog I reflect on life in a FLW Usonian home, but to make it truly relevant Iâ€™d like to hear what Wright Chat members want to know. So, just ask and I will literally provide â€œinside informationâ€� on the Goetsch-Winckler. Iâ€™ll be happy to photograph, measureâ€¦whatever aids your research or satisfies your curiosity.
But please remember that I am not an architect, photographer or writer by trade. I am a musician, yogini, and organic architecture enthusiast. And I will absolutely NOT go down into the root cellar! Frank Lloyd Wright was RIGHT!
Sam Freeman told me that his house looked its best when there was nothing in it. All he and Harriett had for living room furniture when the house was done were boxes and boards for sitting. Adding furniture can, indeed, be a treacherous task, especially with all those built-in bookcases.
Since you don't keep old-fashioned books, just leave the shelves empty, which will make dusting them much easier. Nor is the "credenza" necessary; if you have too many shelves to fill, why add more? If you cannot think of anything to put in that space, leave it empty until the solution simply comes to you. But don't add anything that is symmetrical, as your homemade credenza is, with its matching lamps and centered clown nose. Symmetry in a Usonian house is not to be desired.
Also ... you might consider purchasing a Hedera Helix houseplant (vine) to put on the top shelf in the alcove ... in the corner next to the brick fireplace wall. It will get good light there, and greatly soften the aspect of the bare book shelves. Only please don't put a companion plant in the opposite corner ...
https://www.google.com/search?q=hedera+ ... A&dpr=1.25
Audrey's self-built two-shelf unit improves on the typical student-dorm construction; the wood is nicely finished and the brick really makes it belong to the house. Most importantly, the shelves align with Wright's sunk battens.
But Roderick is right: the pair of lamps, which set up an unavoidable symmetry, take away from the effect. I like to use a pair of lighting fixtures in different parts of the room, to spread the (visual) wealth by day and, by night, the light in the space. Two or more assertive forms or objects, separated by distance, reinforce a given horizontal line in the room, agreeing with the boards in the walls. Repose, as Wright would say ?
We could save for later the conversation about what sort of lamp and shade really suits the architect's interiors. But a good start would be to "break up the pair" -- something frowned upon in conventional decoration -- in favor of an informal arrangement. One thing we can say about Wright's later work is that it is blessedly "informal" . . . !
historic data that offers both pleasure and information -- I think.
This modest house, so unlike the average home of the period (and of the years to follow) yet expected to fulfill the identical functions --
if perhaps for a slightly more particular individual -- is one of America's treasures: a divine exercise for its architect, the best of the best.
The house as occupied by the Misses Goetsch and Winckler. This view of the space contains no fewer than five furniture designs not from
Mr Wright. Indeed, there are none of the loose pieces designed for the house, at all. There are four long shelves and two built-in cases for
storage, two tables or desks, and a "built-in" seat. The occupants have added seating and a coffee table, none of it seriously at odds with
the architecture. Shaker, with a touch of Hollywood ? Homey and dry, like a somewhat rustic summer "camp" . . .
We jump ahead fifty years (!). Here are views from Balthazar Korab published in 1993. The coffee table is still present.
Is there another house, anywhere, with an "overhead" of full sheets of plywood ?
The tables are ganged into a large dining surface. The book shelves are in full if messy use, while the kitchen containers are neatly displayed.
And, an interior from an unidentified source. Here we have Wright's furniture and nothing else. Perhaps the ideal (if somewhat minimalist) G/W interior --
especially if you're into a monochromatic environment. A rug of one size or another, plain or even patterned, wouldn't kill it. The sectional table
at right is missing a leveling foot, I'd say.
Finally, as a polar opposite to the above, in another B Korab photo -- the Full Monte of residential bliss !
The headline photo seems to reveal that the carport roof is once again deflecting -- perhaps to a greater degree than was the case before the c. 1990 re-roofing, as depicted in an issue of "The Old House Journal" of that year ?
Audrey, Old House Journal magazine published a detailed article in the 1990's about an extensive roof restoration project at the G-W house. It might be worth having for your house records if you don't already have it. The title of the article was "Cantilever Tales". Best of luck with the house, you seem to have the right outlook for the adventure.
Scanned pages of the 1990 Old House Journal article "Cantilever Tales can be found at this link:
http://savewright.org/wright_chat/viewt ... c&start=15
I love to see Wright homes filled with "old-fashioned" books. Mr. Wright obviously thought that his intelligent clients would have no trouble filling the numerous shelves that he provided.
The Kraus House is open to the public but has next to nothing on the shelves and looks bare and obviously un-lived-in.
My advice: fill the shelves with books, various objet d'art and plants that you love and cherish.
The limited amount of wall space for art and seemingly endless rows of shelves are a challenge to organize. It's easy to feel as if all of the shelves need to be filled, but after much trial and error, I'm finding that fewer and closer groupings of ceramics and objects works much better than "soldiers in a row". Most of my collection is mid century modern, but Wright's personal leanings were toward Chinese, Japanese and Native American antiques.
The photos are from Dec. 27th, 2015 (sorry, not the sharpest...)