Rosenbaum letter

To control SPAM, you must now be a registered user to post to this Message Board.

EFFECTIVE 14 Nov. 2012 PRIVATE MESSAGING HAS BEEN RE-ENABLED. IF YOU RECEIVE A SUSPICIOUS DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS AND PLEASE REPORT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION.

This is the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's Message Board. Wright enthusiasts can post questions and comments, and other people visiting the site can respond.

You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, *-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed). The IP address of all posts is recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. You agree that the webmaster, administrator and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time they see fit.
Roderick Grant
Posts: 10338
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

I found "Architecture And Modern Life" by Brownell & Wright, and "A Goodly Fellowship" by Mary Ellen Chase (which recounts, in part, her days at the Hillside School) for less than $5 each on Amazon.

SDR
Posts: 19699
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

That seems to be the case. Last year I ponied up at Amazon and enriched my library with six volumes -- the Quinan "Larkin" came from a school library in Leeds -- for well under a hundred dollars. As the little used bookshops have disappeared from my city, the slack is apparently taken up by a multinational corporation -- or two or three ?

Our local architectural bookseller -- try to find one of those in Bakersfield, or Kankakee -- was complaining, ten or more years ago, about Amazon taking their business. Quoth Bill Stout, in a store notice to patrons, "They come in to look at the book, and then order it online." But, despite what must have been a painful readjustment, both entities survive. I'm sure, however, that the pressure on the small business continues; how could it not ?

SDR

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10338
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

If I can find a book in an old-fashioned brick & mortar bookstore, I pay the price, no matter what it is. The books I bought online I had sought for many years without success, so the internet was the only source left. SDR, you have a wonderful source in J. B. Muns in your neck of the woods. I get her catalogue every year, and if she has anything I don't have, but want desperately (not much of that anymore), I buy it from her.

SDR
Posts: 19699
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Thanks. I believe I inspected the stock she brought to a book fair in the 'nineties; I saw my first copy of the spiral-bound '38 Architectural Forum and those wonderful stripy photos of Jacobs I. (Amazon has three of them at $75 ea., at the moment.) You don't forget something like that.

It's certainly true that, if you are the patient type, and can wait years before acquiring a newly-published title, you can find a bargain, in one place or another. And it should be said that a big-city specialist bookshop, one which has been around for a while, will have a different sort of stock than a small all-purpose independent.

SDR

Rood
Posts: 1174
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:19 pm
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

Post by Rood »

Roderick Grant wrote:Weren't those walls extended before Mrs. died? She obviously didn't have air conditioning, according to the anecdote.
During the last three days at Taliesin West over Easter weekend, I took the opportunity to ask Arnold Roy if he knew anything about the A/C system at the Rosenbaum House, or about raising the brick walls.

I paraphrase: "Yes, I should know. I installed the A/C system."

Reidy
Posts: 1599
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 3:30 pm
Location: Fremont CA

Post by Reidy »

When was this?

Rood
Posts: 1174
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:19 pm
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

Post by Rood »

Reidy wrote:When was this?
Don't know, so why don't you ask him? That's what he told me .... "Instead of speculating, why don't any of those people ask me ... and us" ... ?

SDR
Posts: 19699
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Could it be because none of us knows how to reach Mr Roy ?

SDR

Rood
Posts: 1174
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:19 pm
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

Post by Rood »

SDR wrote:Could it be because none of us knows how to reach Mr Roy ?
SDR

We had to laugh about the silly restoration team, paid big money for their recommendations about the future of Taliesin West. They intend to return the place to where things were between 1938 and 1959, when Taliesin West didn't have a single telephone. Whenever Mr. Wright or Wes needed to talk to someone in New York City, about critical decisions during construction of the Guggenheim Museum, someone had to drive miles over rock encrusted dirt roads all the way into Phoenix ... to find a pay telephone.

Now, however, Taliesin West is fully equipped with both telephones and computers. No need any longer to start the generator to get electricity, either ... so .... If anyone wants to get in touch with anyone at Taliesin West, all they need to do is pick up their telephone and call Taliesin West. They have their own website, too, but I can assure you that if you call and ask for Arnold Roy, who has lived there practically all his 85 years, that someone will direct you to him. It shouldn't be too difficult.

If I heard correctly, Arnold Roy was the Rosenbaum restoration architect of record, so if anyone knows about the house ... he should.

Better hurry, though. He won't be around forever, and who knows when the restoration team removes the telephones and electrical lines, so that visitors can see and experience the way Mr. and Mrs. Wright, and the Taliesin Fellowship lived ... up to 1959.

Remaining Staff members at Taliesin West have almost never been asked their opinion about the future of Taliesin West, though they know more about the place than whole teams of expensive restoration "experts" from Chicago, who think all you need to do to cool off in 110 degree weather is to open a few canvas flaps.

The only one who asked Arnold Roy about the restoration proposals was someone from ARCHITECT Magazine. His caustic comments were published in December 2014 ... so look it up. He doesn't mince words.

SDR
Posts: 19699
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

The general trend, everywhere, is to enclose more space, and to create a more temperate interior environment. Historic architecture is not exempted -- at least, not buildings which remain in their habitual use.

Image


I haven't read the "experts'" recommendations; I'd be very surprised to learn that they think that modern communication devices should be removed. Wouldn't that be "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" -- and/or "cutting off its nose to spite its face" ?

In one of the owner-written books I've looked at recently is a note about Taliesin sending to the site a fresh drawing, with the request that copies be made so that the original could be returned to Taliesin. That the architect persisted in this practice (at least) into the mid-thirties is remarkable, to me.

SDR

JChoate
Posts: 993
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:29 pm
Location: Atlanta
Contact:

Post by JChoate »

I've yet to visit Taliesin West, so I know not of what I speak, but I wonder about the presence of retrofitted wiring. Since FLW was no lover of basements, crawlspaces, or attics plenums I wonder how these added uilities may have been inserted into the works.
Are there visible wires & conduits, darting across the desert masonry or skirting along the beams alongside canvas roof panels? Similarly, were telephone poles already there leading into the site, or did they have to be added to connect to Ma Bell? If evidence of the retrofit is visible I can understand how they might want to de-clutter the surfaces in the interest of recapturing the original, pure aesthetic. could some new wireless technology could help accomplish some of that without losing functionality?
Also asking out of ignorance, were all their HVAC retrofits before 1959? Ductwork is much harder to conceal gracefully than wiring.

Rood
Posts: 1174
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:19 pm
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

Post by Rood »

Telephone and power lines were added in the early 60's. In 1964-5, all power lines were replaced and put underground. The nearest telephone "pole" is located out of view at the far west end of the property.

Of course the huge power poles leading from northern Arizona into Metropolitan Phoenix were installed in front of Taliesin West during Mr. Wright's lifetime. It is what prompted him to consider abandoning Taliesin West and moving south, towards Tucson. Instead he turned his back on the visual intrusiveness of the three power lines, moved the entrance road to a location closer to and parallel to the western side of the prow, and placed large planting squares and a citrus grove in the desert, beyond the northern retaining wall of the pergola ... immediately east of the new Pavilion. The palm trees that he planted at each of the four corners of the planting squares were removed in the late 1970's or early 1980's, as by that time they had grown to an immense height.

Mr. Wright also designed a never executed walkway extending north from the breezeway, towards the mountain.. a walkway lined with tall, vertical stones. A wide expanse of stairs leading to the "Squares" from the spine of Taliesin West, directly in line with the breezeway, were added in 1965.

A/C units are generally hidden below grade. For instance, the units cooling the draughting room are located out of sight, behind and below the northern retaining wall of the pergola. They were added after my time ... I believe in the 1980's. The units cooling Mr. Wright's office are again below grade, just below the narrow strip of windows west of the fireplace, opposite the entrance.

In every sense great care has been taken to upgrade the facilities without compromising the integrity of the buildings.
Last edited by Rood on Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SREcklund
Posts: 814
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:24 pm
Location: Redondo Beach, CA

Post by SREcklund »

Rood wrote:We had to laugh about the silly restoration team, paid big money for their recommendations about the future of Taliesin West. They intend to return the place to where things were between 1938 and 1959, when Taliesin West didn't have a single telephone.
Has anyone seen their final recommendations? I know Gunny Harboe did a series of presentations last fall as part of the "release" of the report, but I'd love to see the actual report. Normally such things are places online somewhere for public review, but if they have, I can't find it.

I can see, however, that I'm definitely gonna have to find that issue of ARCHITECT ...
Docent, Hollyhock House - Hollywood, CA
Humble student of the Master

"Youth is a circumstance you can't do anything about. The trick is to grow up without getting old." - Frank Lloyd Wright

Rood
Posts: 1174
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:19 pm
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

Post by Rood »

SREcklund wrote:
Rood wrote:We had to laugh about the silly restoration team, paid big money for their recommendations about the future of Taliesin West. They intend to return the place to where things were between 1938 and 1959, when Taliesin West didn't have a single telephone.
Has anyone seen their final recommendations? I know Gunny Harboe did a series of presentations last fall as part of the "release" of the report, but I'd love to see the actual report. Normally such things are places online somewhere for public review, but if they have, I can't find it.

I can see, however, that I'm definitely gonna have to find that issue of ARCHITECT ...

Just Google Arnold Roy interview about the restoration of Taliesin West at ARCHITECT Magazine. That's how I found it.

SREcklund
Posts: 814
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:24 pm
Location: Redondo Beach, CA

Post by SREcklund »

SREcklund wrote:I can see, however, that I'm definitely gonna have to find that issue of ARCHITECT ...
Even better ... it's online!

Seeking the Wright Path at Taliesin West
Docent, Hollyhock House - Hollywood, CA
Humble student of the Master

"Youth is a circumstance you can't do anything about. The trick is to grow up without getting old." - Frank Lloyd Wright

Post Reply