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John Randal McDonald first house Racine, Wisconsin for sale
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15863
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly. As it is, after 33 years in the same unit my rent just topped $900 -- more than half of my base monthly income -- thanks to rent control. I'm going nowhere,
unless it's somewhere far out of town (or out of state), and considering my level of ambition that's highly unlikely, short of a major revelation, opportunity, or upset . . .

SDR
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Windhaven



Joined: 19 Jun 2006
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SDR, I'm still here and still guarding my mentor's reputation (that is if you were speaking of me, of course). Good to see this house brought back to a bit of life, it was really in rough shape for quite a while. Year's after John's passing, Josephine McDonald (John's wife) still considered this home her favorite. Sadly, she is gone, too...Tom
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15863
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Tom -- glad you're watching. We need you ! I hope all is well . . .

Peter is getting us some interesting photos of this early house; I think we'll see those shortly. Your data and comments will be much appreciated.

SDR
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5767
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom- sdr will be posting some vintage photos that I received. Would you have access to any of the architectural drawings?

Did you by any chance work at McDonald’s firm?
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15863
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
















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Windhaven



Joined: 19 Jun 2006
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter and SDR, I was John's last apprentice from 1998 until his death in 2003. At that time there was really no "architectural firm" but rather John doing the designs and me completing the construction drawings. John was in Florida and I was in Wisconsin. Boy did that "fax machine" hum in those days. We did all work by hand (and I still do). I have copies of the original drawings for this home...Tom
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5767
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow!

Welcome to Wright Chat...
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8363

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The period photos seem to indicate that the odd 'fireplace' is a wall-through contraption facing both the living room and kitchen? And the floor detail becomes logical as a design element.

Those early photos make the house look wonderful, complete with a woodie in the driveway.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15863
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So -- the fireplace is elevated above a "mantel," making it a standing-height feature (with room below for a wall-mount flat-screen TV ?), while in the kitchen there's a corresponding . . . what, indoor barbecue ?

The colors are so nice in those photos. Do we imaging those are McDonald's furnishings ? The floor in one image is vanilla-custard yellow -- but of what material ? And the angled lines are visible -- but what are them made of, or on ? Dutch oven ? Franklin stove ?

Answers, please ! It will take more study to correlate those interior shots with the ones we have in the new realtor's set . . .

SDR
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Windhaven



Joined: 19 Jun 2006
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SDR, The drawings for this house do not indicate any of the finishes you are questioning. The fireplace "cover" is original but not on the plans. John did a number of drawings for the fireplace but "the budget" always wins. There are also drawings for a number of the "built-ins", some executed faithfully and some not. This house, as many of John's early designs, was built out of next to nothing. I know this first hand after having to design additions and modifications for a number of them. It was only after deeper pocket clients came along that the elements of John's designs became more structurally substantial, for lack of a better term...Tom
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15863
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh-heh. Thanks, Tom. I imagine this story has been repeated a number of times, to young architects of all persuasions (but, particularly, to avant-garde designers ?) . . .

SDR
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Windhaven



Joined: 19 Jun 2006
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's funny, because even at 54, I still consider myself a young architect. At 80+ years old, John Randal would jump around a jobsite like he was a teenager. It was all about the excitement of beginning a new project. That feeling never really leaves you if you truly care about each project.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15863
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At 75, I can agree completely. Work (i.e., play), when you're invested in it, is a life force . . .

SDR
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