Wright Chat

 
FAQ FAQ Register Register
Search Search Profile Profile
Memberlist Memberlist Log in to check your private messages Log in to check your private messages
Usergroups Usergroups Log in Log in

>> Return to SaveWright Home Page

Cornelia Brierley house?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Wright Chat Forum Index -> Click Here for General Discussion Posts
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
goffmachine



Joined: 08 Apr 2010
Posts: 219

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:15 am    Post subject: Cornelia Brierley house? Reply with quote

Im reading the Cornelia Brierley book and it got curious about the houses she mentioned to have designed while away from fellowship for a stint. And also early on in the fellow ship which discouraged private commisions within the fellowship(I.E. the famous edgar tafel story...only one primadona/Wright)
Does anyone have any info on these houses? I would love to see images. And by the way which wright house has the interior design most credited to her???
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3698
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recall reading that Cornelia designed a house using a hexagonal unit module just prior to the Hanna house's design. In the essay, it was noted that Wright referred to it as "Cornelia's unit". The house in question was built in suburban Pittsburgh, PA in the mid/late '30's.
I want to say the essay was published in FLLW Quarterly, but I am not sure.

The house is listed here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Pittsburgh_History_and_Landmarks_Foundation_Historic_Landmarks

and is located at 120 Lutz Lane, West Mifflin, PA

If you scroll through the list, you will find a number of listings in which Cornelia and her then husband Peter Berndtson are credited. The house on Lutz Lane is the earliest listing and the only one with Cornelia as the sole designer.

Enter the address into Google Maps and click street view; it is a rare instance in which the house is easily seen; use the arrows on the street to click up and down the lane for a virtual drive-by...the house is quite nice. Satellite view shows a white roof on what appears to be a hexagonal unit Usonian.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
goffmachine



Joined: 08 Apr 2010
Posts: 219

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DRN

Wow. Thanks.
And you are right, it is a beauty!!
I have the link here for easy access for everyone to check it out.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=120+Lutz+Lane,+West+Mifflin,+PA&layer=c&sll=40.363324,-79.925609&cbp=13,58.6,,0,7.61&cbll=40.363306,-79.925888&hl=en&sspn=0.006295,0.006295&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=120+Lutz+Ln,+West+Mifflin,+Allegheny,+Pennsylvania+15122&ll=40.363215,-79.925843&spn=0,0.001692&z=19&iwloc=A&panoid=d_zpYIG0dFfmspbidATmjw

And Craig, Thanks too for the extra info. Its great.
I wish I could have seen what you had seen.


Copyright 2010 Google (Maps)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us


Last edited by goffmachine on Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:30 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Craig



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 549
Location: California

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I toured the Notz house several years ago when it was on the market. I don't remember the price, but the house sat unsold for quite a while and was priced relatively low. One problem with the location was that you needed to drive through a dumpy area in order to reach it. I didn't live in Pittsburgh and couldn't understand for the life of me why someone there didn't grab the place.

The house had been expanded by later owners, the Bears, by Cornelia, in a less than successful way. The carport seen in street view was then added and the original one-car garage was converted into interior space. There was a large "master suite" added to the rear of the property that was quite stunning. Despite these changes, the house read as original. The concrete floors, stone walls, wood ceilings were stunning. The kitchen and baths had been left alone. There were also pieces of original furniture designed by Cornelia included in the sale.

I thought the house was truly special. I believe it pre-figured Wright's use of the hexagon, as noted in a previous post by another Wright poster:

Quote:
Also, according to De Long (pg. eighty five), "The inspiration for (Auldbrass') honeycomb system - for Wright's regularization, one might say, of triangular geometries - seems to derive from an apprentice in the Taliesin Fellowship, Cornelia Brierly. She was later married to Peter Berndtson, a fellow apprentice who would supervise the construction of Auldbrass. According to other apprentices, her use of a hexagonal unit in a house she had designed for an aunt was noticed by Wright and soon adapted to his own uses." (according to De Long (pg. eighty five)


I believe Brierly's archive (at least the materials relating to the Notz house and addition) are held by Carnegie Mellon.
_________________
ch


Last edited by Craig on Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:39 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
pgharchfan



Joined: 07 Dec 2009
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also toured the house when it was for sale. The prior owners had the sense that they were sitting on a gold-mine, despite the location in a generally undesirable zip code. The owners both praised their love for the house, but then filled in with mauve furniture and floral prints.

I think the price started at $269K and ended up selling for about $110K. It sat for over 3 years, attracting all matter of problems.

The woman that bought it undertook a sympathetic restoration which including chasing away the various mice, etc. that had taken up residence. Shortly after her efforts, the house was given landmark status.

The house itself is stunning, with the extension to the rear being the best preserved and most interesting part. A husband/wife team of architects owned the house in the 1980's and did the extension of the carport and the workspace, not Cornelia. Unfortunately, all of the thermopane windows they added had failed by the early 2000's.

The original radiant heat is still in use in the house, which would make it very expensive to maintain. I think the heating bills were over $500 per month when the house was vacant.

There are 2 other houses by Peter Berndston in the immediate development, both built about the time the Notz house was extended.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Craig



Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 549
Location: California

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the clarification pgharchfan.

Since the archive mentions additions to the Notz house by Brierly I assumed that she had done all the additions. It's good to know that she didn't do the carport/garage alteration since that's the least successful change to the house. I suppose the addition in the rear is her revisit.

Glad to hear the house is in good hands. I was concerned for the fate of the built-ins and free-standing furniture pieces. 70 year old radiant heating is a scary thing to consider.
_________________
ch
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Education Professor



Joined: 05 Jul 2005
Posts: 590

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The house by Brierley is discussed in the monograph about Peter Berndston's work (circa 1980).

EP
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Education Professor



Joined: 05 Jul 2005
Posts: 590

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Notz house is featured on pp. 35-36 of the monograph "Organic Vision: The Architecture of Peter Berndtson", published in 1980 by the Hexagon Press, Donald Miller and Aaron Sheon, authors. Included within the narrative is an exterior photo and an interior photo (black & white).

As quoted from pg. 35 of "Organic Vision":

"Peter's first visit to Pittsburgh came in 1939. His wife Cornelia had designed a home for her aunts, the Notz sisters, who owned a large tract of land in West Mifflin, a suburb of Pittsburgh. Her project was a small Usonian-style huse, the first to be built in Western Pennsylvania. With the usual close guidance of Mr. Wright, Cornelia's design fulfilled all the requirements of the Usonian model.

It was designed on the hexagonal module and used construction techniques from the Hanna House in California. The profile was low with broad steel-reinforced cantilevers in the roof. The wall construction was of horizontal layers of stone and sections of horizontal boards attached to an insulated plywood core. Since the inside wood section walls were of the same materials, the wooden walls were in effect "sandwiches". There were narrowed stained strips in between each horizontal board giving futher emphasis to the low, flowing lines of the building.

The construction was simple and attractive. The boards were screwed to the plywood core, making repairs or replacement quite simple. As an indication of the craftsmanship, the grooves in the screwheads were aligned horizontally to match the wood grain. Inside the house extensive use was made of plywood and fieldstone. The fireplace was the focus of the living and dining area. Space was open and the tall window-doors let in much light. The heated concrete floor was scored with hexagons to reflect the design's module. The furniture also repeated the hexagonal design motif.

The Notz home is now owned by two architects, Mr. and Mrs. Philip Hundley, who have carefully maintained the original design (and a later addition by Peter for Mr. and Mrs. Mock in 1959).

It is important to note again that Peter and Cornelia were close collaborators on their architectural projects. They brought to each design their insights and training gained at Taliesin. It would be difficult to separate their contributions. As their collaboration developed, Peter seemed to be more preoccupied with the structural and design work and Cornelia applied her talents to the interiors and refinement of the designs and materials". (taken from pg. 35 of "Organic Vision")

EP
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3698
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bringing this thread forward post-outage.
Keywords: Cornelia, Brierly, Brierley, Notz, Hulda, West Mifflin, Pittsburgh
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 17208
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

120 Lutz Lane seems no longer to be available for street view. Anybody have photos of the house, or another way in ?

S
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 17208
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://wrightchat.savewright.org/viewtopic.php?t=11640&sid=9875ba1ab0b8d93a6e331eb6af291a61
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Wright Chat Forum Index -> Click Here for General Discussion Posts All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group
Protected by Anti-Spam ACP