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Obituary: Architect John Portman
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3456
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not going to pretend that Wright could never have said words which belittle African-Americans, but it would be a good thing to specifically cite references when those words are noted in articles of this nature: a photo of the notation on a drawing; a date, time, place, or name of the interviewer or person who recounted the interview for the "Wright once said in a 1940 interview with Mies van der Rohe about Broadacre City..." comment.
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Rood



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
Posts: 983
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know about Mr. Wright, but Mrs. Wright went out of her way to encourage young Black students to become apprentices. I rather believe that to her regret few ever applied. In my years, I remember one, only.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8283

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In FLW's Autobiography, he used the common phrase "N... in a woodpile." I have never figured out what that means, but it was not an uncommon thing to say. It was the sort of casual, offhand comment people made without thinking much about it, like using the word 'Jew' as a verb. While the origins of such comments may have been insensitive, they became as commonplace as "In for a penny, in for a pound." My brown-eyed father of 3 brown-eyed children said the same thing to his brown-eyed wife about me when I was born with blue eyes, so I suspect it has something to do with being out of place?

In Cornelia Brierly's book, she writes about a visitor who stopped by while Frank and Olga were away. Paul Robeson was welcomed, invited to dinner, and sang a few songs for the group. When Frank got back and heard about it, he went into a rage that a black man was admitted into his house. He thought about it later, and must have had some sort of epiphany, for he called Robeson, apologized for not being home to welcome him, and invited him to come back for a visit, which he did.

Mamah was murdered by a black man, and that is what informed FLW's opinion of the entire race for a long time to come. On the other hand, even though he wasn't inclined to form friendships with other architects, one architect he did get along with was Paul Williams.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15688
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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


My father, born in northern New Jersey in 1914 and well educated, would have been offended by any suggestion of bias or racism -- yet he had to be talked
out of using the phrase "black boy" to refer to a black man. He apparently picked it up when young, and it didn't occur to him that it might be regarded as
a slur. His children set him right -- as is so often the case ?

SDR
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15688
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"This was to be the opposite of what Wright saw as 'oppressive, red prison-towers [that] loom everywhere in the overgrown villageā€ of New York.' "

http://forgottenchicago.com/pics/harms/fr2.jpg

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/18/28/ee/1828eecc69725e0d577a353472c2674e.jpg

If the "four corner stair towers, with their hipped roofs and open terra-cotta tracery" (Carla Lind) at the Francisco Terrace Apartments wouldn't look like prison towers to the man in the street, I'll eat Frank's hat . . .

Maybe prisons didn't have corner guard towers when Francisco Terrace was built ? Maybe this building set a new trend, becoming a model for the penitentiary industry ?

SDR
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