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Article: 3 Foursquare house currently for sale

 
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 6234
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:15 am    Post subject: Article: 3 Foursquare house currently for sale Reply with quote

3 American Foursquare houses you can buy right now


David
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
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Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well . . . it isn't a political discussion, anyway . . .

Very Happy
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still believe there is a book in the story of Wright's Fireproof House for $5K and its progeny by Wright and those in his orbit...at the very least a good chapter in a wider scoped book about American Foursquares. Wright stripping the core cube of a builder house of its appendages and gingerbread creating something new, then the pattern books and precut house industry "softening" Wright's cube for the masses. I wonder if this "dialogue" may have led Wright to his ASBH effort.
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SDR



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. We do not, however, want to suggest that Wright was the inventor of the type ?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Foursquare

It might be said that the American Foursquare both preceded and postdated Wright's innovations, and would likely have marched forward through the decades whether he had been born, or not. What architect, looking for a design that would deliver the most bang for the buck, would have ignored this most economical enclosure of space ?

Wright brought to the type the same improvements he was exploring in other and more innovative forms. The Fireproof House, viewed objectively, marked the addition of an attention-grabbing feature to an already progressive plan.

SDR
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a good overview of the type as well:
www.oldhouseonline.com/.amp/articles/american-foursquare

It would be interesting to see an earliest Foursquare, however impossible that may be. I suppose the earliest publication in a plan book would mark the type coming into its own. I have a Dover print of a compilation of house plans from the RWShoppell plan service dating from 1890 to 1900. There are a few plans that come close, but invariably they have a bay, bow, or cupola that muddies the thing. There are also tantalizing cottage designs that outwardly remind one of Bruce Price or an early Wright.

This is an online archive of period architectural catalogs:
https://archive.org/details/buildingtechnologyheritagelibrary
Among them are some early plan books...I'll look through them and see what I can find.
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SDR



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And:

http://www.oldhouseweb.com/architecture-and-design/american-foursquare-1890-1930.shtml

Nice Craftsman foursquare here http://www.antiquehomestyle.com/styles/foursquare.htm

Some fancier foursquares https://www.homestratosphere.com/american-foursquare-home/

I don't necessarily agree that a porch is an inescapable part of the recipe -- but they do occur as a common addendum to almost any home, so a porch could be expected to be included, or added, as with many other types ?

I'm still trying to get at what makes the American stick-framed house a unique artifact. Don't they have lumber in other countries ? James Marston Fitch writes that the American wood-framed house historically made use of our unique abundance of timber. I'll have to take his word for it. I find it hard to believe that no one, anywhere, had build a roughly cube-shaped domicile of wood or brick until the phenomenon we're looking at here, occurred.

SDR
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm wondering if the American distinction is rooted in milled light wood balloon or platform framing, particularly on an industrial scale. Most other countries use of wood in house construction historically focuses on timber framing, use of unmilled lumber (logs, branches, thatch), or masonry.
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SDR



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That makes sense to me. If we're talking about "who did it first" as opposed to "who's doing it today," I imagine that's right. Leave it to American ingenuity (as opposed to, what, German ingenuity or English ingenuity or Scandinavian ingenuity ?) to have leapt on the idea and turned it into an industry.

As to Wright's version of the foursquare: did he ever use that term himself ? Can we, considering his inventiveness and his ego, give him credit for taking on a house design of those proportions without once thinking that he was redoing a convention, rather than inventing a new type all his own ?

SDR
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SDR



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking again at all the material posted so far -- and more -- it now appears foolish to claim that the porch is an optional accessory to the type . . .


Wright, of course, invents his own accoutrements:


FLW, 1907





A porch, and other addenda, weren't long in coming, of course:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_System-Built_Homes#/media/File:Wynant_House_Reconstruction_NE_View.jpg

SDR
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first link above credits Old House Journal publisher Clem Labine as the first to call these houses Foursquares in a 1982 article. I first heard the term in a design studio in 1987.
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SDR



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aha. I'm surprised it's that late. Cool. Perhaps the term existed previously in some other context ?

I have images of two Wright Heritage Henredon case pieces with the word foursquare attached to them, presumably from the manufacturer ? "Foursquare" sounds like Wright, doesn't it . . .

Checking Thomas Hanks, I find the term spelled Four Square, and applied to the most orthogonal of the H H groups (Hanks, p 192):


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SDR



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



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SDR



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking through the offerings on the archive.org page Dan linked, I find a 1919 catalog, "Aladdin Homes, Sovereign System 1919 by Canadian Aladdin Co. Limited" and these back-to-back foursquare offerings:




The copy is interesting: ". . . full two-storey, four-square space efficiency . . ."

A new form of Palladian window is conceived ?





" . . . cottage roof . . ."


SDR
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moving this topic forward from the Great Outage. Keywords: foursquare, fireproof, 5000
A recent post brought up the subject of Prairie elements showing up on American Foursquares and them in turn being tied to Wright.

A link to a foursquare whose designer seemed aware of Wright's Hunt and Stockman, and their progeny...at least in its window placement:

http://www.antiquehomestyle.com/img/21ahb-11870.jpg

More plans here:
http://www.antiquehomestyle.com/styles/foursquare.htm

..and a familiar face:
http://www.antiquehomestyle.com/plans/lhj/1907/flw0407-fireproof.htm
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SDR



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love that Craftsman four-square. Both houses you show appear to have benefitted from their designers' exposure to Wright -- as have so many others ?

Perfect examples.

SDR
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