Rosenbaum letter

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Tom
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Post by Tom »

No. Jacobs doesn't even have a lantern clerestory like that.

Maybe there is no reason that side of the Rosenbaum clerestory is blind.
Maybe he just liked it better that way ... small asymmetries, gorgeous wood and all.
... it is in keeping with the more solid side of the house. It's a minor revelation for me in any case.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Tom, not many Usonians have that full-length roof "monitor" or "lantern." Jacobs has a single flat living-room roof. Still, it is a bit of a surprise to see the architect giving up the opportunity of more light -- and a more dramatic street-side elevation ?

Tom
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Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

I think I had the feeling they were typical. Especially for the bedrooms. I'll need to get my Sargent off the shelf and do a little comparison exercise.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Some time ago I thought I would try to create an image of the Rosenbaum house, based on The Photo, with the objective an evening
shot with lights on in the house. I used my paper-template-and-spray-paint technique. These are representative prints:



Image


Image


Image

JChoate
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Post by JChoate »

Hey, those images are cool.
Further abstraction of The Photo !
Like Andy Warhol climbed in that spaceship and started it up and turned on the headlights, ready to take flight.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Heh-heh. There you go . . .

The reason I dug these out: I thought I might have put windows in the clerestory -- I couldn't remember. I guess windows don't show there in the photo; I know you can see every other sash open in the row. I didn't quite nail the mitered sash or the one next to it at the chimney; I remember being in a rush to "see the thing." The night shot looks better on the screen than in the flesh, though the yellow light isn't convincing and its texture is bad.

In The Photo, I love how the brickwork, with soldier courses, is just discernible. The color of the wide boards is irregular enough to fight with the shadows cast by the roofs, making a nice pattern nevertheless. The brick at the ground at right shows up in my images for the first time ?

SDR

Tom
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Post by Tom »

Sergeant's book, when it comes to sections, isn't that comprehensive and not comparative at all.
Yet having been confronted with my "blindness" and so taking a fresh look here, it also seems I 'll need to re-examine the headerless wall section idea too.
I find myself in a state of confusion having once thought myself in clarity. Where is John Eiffler when you need him?

(SDR: Really enjoyed your Rosenbaum "prints". Would love those hanging in my house. Paper template and spray paint? So these are actual "prints" a nd not photoshop stuff?

SDR
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Post by SDR »

No, I can't do anything in the way of digital construction or manipulation, except (so far) to correct "perspective" in a weird app called Gimp.

When I had my first computer, a lollypop Mac, in 2003 or 4, I had Illustrator. I fooled around with typography and made a couple of images . . .


Image


Image


. . . which, when I hit something by accident, went all rainbow on me. I wasn't able to recreate this effect:


Image


So, no, I'm a pencil-and-paper-and-photocopy-and-scissors-and-paste autodidact, for better or worse. Welcome back to the Twentieth Century !

SDR

Tom
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Post by Tom »

Looks like Wright may have used structural headers where the wall meets the roof in some Usonians and not in others. In Jacobs he does not:

http://www.savewright.org/wright_chat/v ... sc&start=0

(Prior to this thread I think I would have sworn that Pope/Leheighy and Jacobs had clerestory bedroom wings.)

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Tom provides additional material from the 2000 Rosenbaum restoration CD set:


Image

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Image

Image

JChoate
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Post by JChoate »

Thanks for posting those details. They are fascinating. I was in and around that room last summer and scrutinized those conditions. It's interesting to see how they dismantled the old fascia and replaced it with a variant that allowed the water to sheet flow off the edge of the roof. I guess the old upturned gravel stop retained the roof water and required it to drain out holes in the overhang (like a bathtub drain). I don't remember noticing if those vertical drain scuppers still existing.

I am curious about that 45 degree angled 2x4 that appears in the roof framing, same as another one in the framing plan of the original front carport roof. My only guess is that it was for lateral stiffening, however, I would've assumed the roof decking would have sufficed as a diaphram. Lambert's engineer clearly found it irrelevant.

Looking at the scarcity of measures taken (or at least specified) at the condition where the lower part of the wall is below grade, I marvel that they don't have more moisture problems at the wall/floor juncture, particularly on the uphill side toward the street. I do recall Don Lambert saying when they first inspected the house they found expanses of the wall to wall carpeting (which had been installed nearly throughout) were soaking wet as they walked thru. Related to that, he said other parts of the concrete floors were a mess having had vinyl tile glued down. I've seen photos of the great job the Tarantinos did restoring the stained concrete floors at Hanna. Rather than doing that at Rosenbaum, the floors were simply covered with a coat of paint. It's close enough to pass in photographs, but having been to both Rosenbaum & Auldbrass in the same month, the difference is significant in person.

Tom
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Post by Tom »

I had assumed what they did for water below grade was just not shown on my set. I assumed they must have done something!

Will proceed to post counterclock wise through rest of the house. Going back next to the living room.

I'm wondering now if the development of the clerestory "lantern" roof at Rosenbaum was Wright adapting the Usonian to a very muggy and humid summer climate.

I remember Ms. Broach relating to me a tale of the insufferably hot conditions Mrs. Rosenbaum was living in when she died there. AC is installed now. Too bad the drawings do not show how that system was integrated.

.... I count 8 flitch plate assemblies in that study roof!

JChoate
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Post by JChoate »

The thing that confuses me is how the study's roof framing is supported. In the absence of columns, I guess the primary rafters bear on that wall assembly. It's odd to think you could bear on a sheet of plywood sandwiched between layers of 3/4" planks (the 1/2" battens would be the week points). I guess one thing that helps is the fact that Wright buildings (particularly Usonians) are tiny. Way smaller than you think they'll be before you experience them. So perhaps these spans are small enough to achieve given the petite structural members.
Last edited by JChoate on Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JChoate
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Post by JChoate »

Regarding HVAC, I think that's another challenge for Usonians. Air conditioning ducts generally need to be larger than heating ducts, so once you provide air conditioning you have de facto provided the ability to have forced air heating. That makes the radiant floor heating sort of redundant. I know that radiant floor heating is arguably a preferable heating system in a qualitative sense, but almost by definition a 1940's era Usonian house has a goal of economic efficiency, making it hard to rationalize having redundant heating systems once you commit to AC. Nowadays, I would presume Wisconsin & Michigan can do without AC in a pinch, however Alabama is a different story. Of course, I don't think many people had air-conditioning in 1939 (late depression-era). I would think you'd want to have plenty of natural ventilation. To that end, being able to open a high clerestory window would be mighty advantageous to let out the hot air near the ceiling.
Since there are not basement/crawlspaces or attic plenums the challenge of locating ductwork is significant. At Rosenbaum I think they did it by putting equipment on the roof and then screening with available brick walls. I guess they had to extend the heights of these walls (beyond what appeared in The Photo). I think they did a good job with that. I think they deal with the living room by blasting AC out of that conspicuous diffuser by the fireplace. I didn't notice it, but I guess they threaded a duct down the various wings to supply the bedrooms. I wonder how, or if, they got to Stanley's sanctum.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

JChoate sends photos. Do we finally have the reason that the chimney masses were extended upward ?


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