Article: 'The secret curse of owning a FLW house'

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Duncan
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Post by Duncan »

Congratulations Todd on your about-to-be new life in the Richardson House. I was fortunate to spend an afternoon with Elizabeth (Mrs. Stuart) Richardson in the house in 1962. And from the recent photos online, I can only say this marvelous house has only gotten better!

pharding
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Post by pharding »

Hack definition
noun: hack; plural noun: hacks
1. a writer or journalist producing dull, unoriginal work.
"a hack scriptwriter"
synonyms: journalist, reporter, correspondent, newspaperman, newspaperwoman, newsman, newswoman, writer, feature writer, contributor, columnist, Grub Street writer; More
a person who does dull routine work.
synonyms: drudge, menial, menial worker, factotum, toiler, plodder, doormat, hewer of wood and drawer of water; More
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

SDR
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Post by SDR »

The writer of the definition casts a pretty broad net, to include in his list virtually every synonym of "writer" (ironically ?). That is, while a hack may be a writer, not every writer is a hack ...?

Still---we take Paul's point !

S

jay
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Post by jay »

Mr. Harding,

Were you not trying to belittle the author's opinion by listing her professional history?

-J

pharding
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Post by pharding »

Hi Jay

Her professional history was listed at that bottom of the article. They wanted readers to see it and be impressed. I am glad that they did so. However, I was not impressed.
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

jay
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Post by jay »

I was not impressed.
Clearly.

I think its best to focus our arguments on the article itself, and not on the writer. For all we know, the editors might be the culprit here�they normally write the headlines (this one is terrible), not to mention carve up the copy to fit their agendas. For all we know, the author might've written a few paragraphs highlighting how much FLLW homeowners enjoy their homes, regardless of the "secret curse", only to see the editor omit it.

She also published this piece a couple weeks ago via Realtor.com as well:
https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/fra ... -for-sale/

SDR
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Post by SDR »

... wherein she wrote: " Yet if you've ever actually toured a Wright building, you've no doubt noticed the strikingly low ceilings, oddly shaped rooms, or
inconvenient layouts. You may have heard that these buildings are notoriously difficult and expensive to maintain, because any repairs must be approved by
landmark associations."

Did her editor volunteer an insertion for the hapless author---who had only praise for the architect's work ? You could have fooled me ...

:roll: :wink: S

jay
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Post by jay »

I mean, it's certainly possible that an editor could've reframed the context with a few markups/omits: "Yet if you've actually ever toured a Wright building, you've no doubt been struck by low ceilings, oddly shaped rooms, or even layouts that may seem inconvenient. These are architectural features that create "effects" and are uncommon in residential buildings. You may have also heard that these buildings are difficult and expensive to maintain, because any repairs must be approved by landmark associations."

Obviously I'm not arguing that this did happen. But if you think this writer deserves scorn directed at her personally, then I'm just not with you.

Or, let's take a different approach. Here's a guy who says of FLLW's houses that they're "in some ways just terrible houses, they just don't work. In many of them you can't arrange furniture, the closets are inadequate, the roofs leak."
Minute marker 1:40 --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cztRK5eGcyQ
Does anyone want to list his professional history?

pharding
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Post by pharding »

jay wrote: Or, let's take a different approach. Here's a guy who says of FLLW's houses that they're "in some ways just terrible houses, they just don't work. In many of them you can't arrange furniture, the closets are inadequate, the roofs leak."
Minute marker 1:40 --- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cztRK5eGcyQ
Does anyone want to list his professional history?
You took a snippet of what he said and quote it out of context. He was incredibly complimentary and glowing about the architecture of FLW. What you quoted was incredibly misleading.

To parse apart what Grant said. The FLW generous use of builtins and tight spaces typical of the time on his small and moderate size houses do have limited furniture options. All of his houses reflect the closet sizes of their period and social stature. All roofs leak if one doesn't maintain them properly. However, on the whole, FLW houses are spectacular to live in because of their overwhelmingly positive attributes. That is why their owners love them and they live in them an unusually long time.

As far as the author in question. Her name was on it. Her background was listed. Commenting on her limited background is certainly fair game. That is not a personal attack. It is just a fact that she has a limited background. An example of a personal attack would be something like "she has a low IQ" to quote Trump.
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

jay
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Post by jay »

The point is that many people––FLLW scholars included--have offered various critiques of Wright homes. We challenge the critique, not the person making it. Anytime you challenge who the person is instead of what the person said is an attack on the person.
It is just a fact that she has a limited background.
This is a personal attack. But congratulations on not being as awful as Trump might be.

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Perhaps a writer's resumé, accurately cited, would not be interpreted as a personal attack ?

S

jay
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Post by jay »

Clearly the authors “resume� was presented to show her “limited background�, therefore belittling her opinion.

Anyway, I’ve stated my opinion on this and don’t really wish to turn this thread into personal moral mission of my own. (And if you disagree with my opinion, go ahead and chalk it up to my own limited background ;)

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

To put Adriana Velez and Grant Hildebrand (in a conversation from 31 years ago) in the same conversation does nothing to strengthen your argument, Jay. Hildebrand wrote one of the best analyses of FLW's work ever published. Paul's "out of context" comment is spot on. And Hildebrand's comment is also accurate; in many ways, FLW's houses are odd, difficult and demanding, but wonderful nevertheless.

Editors might alter a writer's text for grammar or syntax, but they don't subvert the meaning of what a writer is trying to say. Headlines should always be taken as, in the modern slang, click bate. Always have been that way. What Velez wrote is on her, and questioning her bona fides is valid.

jay
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Post by jay »

and questioning her bona fides is valid.
It’s really not.

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

"It's really not."

What?? Sounds a bit millennial. Not so long ago, in order to qualify as a voice to be taken seriously, one needed to have and be accountable for her qualifications, that is, bona fides. In today's Internet mess, anyone can worm her way into a digital periodical and hold forth ... it would seem. I believe it is perfectly reasonable to critique a writer by her past efforts.

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