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Price Tower Reopened
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FTA



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 150

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 10:44 am    Post subject: Price Tower Reopened Reply with quote

Price Tower Reopening Reflections 10/20/06



Thursday evening, October 12, 2006 marked the reopening of the Price Tower in an exclusive event for Price Tower Arts Center Members. The building was resplendent and I have a tremendous appreciation and respect for all who have fought over the years to protect and preserve this remarkable edifice. Of course, this is the 50th anniversary of the original opening of the Price Tower. Earlier this year an exhibit opened at the Tower, which is now touring. It is one of the best exhibitions on Wright I
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JimM



Joined: 06 Jan 2005
Posts: 1388

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the insights! PT is one of the few major works I've yet to visit.



BTW, the decor of the inn seems appropriate and understated; complementing such a unique work of architecture is a task few "inferior desecrators" are up to. I like the zen-like feel of the furnishings, which do not look out of place (reverential to both Wright and the Prices).



I can't say that about the piece of crap architecture they want to build around the PT......
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3589
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FTA- Thanks for sharing your memories of your earlier and recent visits to Bartlesville. Was it noted if the apartment once occupied by Bruce Goff on the 9th and 10th floors was converted to hotel use, or might there be plans to restore it to its appearance during Goff's occupancy?



I visited in March, 1992 and enjoyed a tour of the then empty tower (just the guide and me). The two story base building was exhibiting only local historical items, quilts, I believe.



The Price Tower tour guide made my day when he noted that Shin'en Kan was by that time opened for limited tours by the University of Oklahoma. I dashed over to the Starview Farm and managed to catch a tour of the Goff house. Words don't adaquately describe the feeling of the spaces in Shin' en Kan, and the luxuriant feeling of sitting on that white shag carpet. I was truly shocked and saddened upon hearing of its arson. The driveway to Shin' en Kan allowed clear but distant views to Hillside and to the Cliff May house; all three were at home with the landscape, each in their own way. They seemed to have an interesting (multilingual?) dialogue with each other. The subdivision of the farm was a loss, but I guess it was inevitable as the family aged, died, or moved on.
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hypnoraygun



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 560
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WOW Great Recap! Thanks for the mention! I can't wait to see the restored room!..



I am going to Wichita this weekend to see the Henry J Allen house. I was trying to squeeze in another trip to Price Tower, but I will have to do that another time. It isn't far from me, so I should get there soon! I would LOVE to see Hillside.. Maybe someday!?



I will post some pictures of the Allen house. Who knows.. I may get that Price Tower trip somehow...
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8606

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JimM, I agree with your assessment of the extension of PT. It has only one positive: it doesn't touch the tower. So in the end it will be the Price Tower with an ugly neighbor. Zaha Hadid is what I call a "smart-ass" architect, like Michael Graves, Frank Gehry and What's-his-name, the one in Chicago who designed a house with a plan in the shape of a penis? The steps to the front urethra door a series of ejaculations? They all get a lot of press, because their work is so different from the real talent, like Will Bruder or Wendell Burnett, but their designs don't age well. Graves' Portland Building is a mess, a truly depressing building to be in.
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FTA



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 150

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My understanding is that Hadid's museum will connect to the Price tower in the two-story gallery on the north side of the building and that the wall opposite the mezzanine and projection booth will be opened to connect the two.
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JimM



Joined: 06 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FTA wrote:
My understanding is that Hadid's museum will connect to the Price tower in the two-story gallery on the north side of the building and that the wall opposite the mezzanine and projection booth will be opened to connect the two.




Ugh. A building for the ages should not be left to the whims of those who feel trendy statement architecure has automatic legitimacy any place they can inflict it. There are many architects (and homegrown, also) who would see the task as one of homage, taste, and respect for the masterpiece. I don't buy at all that you need "more" ego massaging to attract people to see the Price Tower.



What the hell are the people doing these things thinking? True innovation would be an invisible exterior so you would not have to see them ruin a major work of Wright's. Don't they realize what Wright himself would say?!
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3589
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hadid's work is troublesome for me.

I admit that I have found her architectonic paintings of the '80's and '90's to be pleasing, dynamic illustrations. I visited her fire station at the Vitra Factory, and found it to be exciting and soaring as an object and an architectural space, but her work when constructed, has a complete lack of understanding of how real people use buildings and the effects her buildings have on their surrondings.

The Vitra Fire Station works well in its current use as a chair gallery, but having designed a few fire stations myself, I have difficulty seeing the building working as a fire station other than solely as an artful equipment garage.

I saw her Lucite model of the Annex at the National Building Museum's Price Tower exhibit, and found it alarming. The facades do little to engage the building with the pedestrian on 5th and Osage Avenues. The model and the highly stylized computer animation give little indication of materials to be used. The roof which appears to be largely glazed (is it, or is it just a slick transparent illustration?) would be an energy consumption nightmare in that climate, not to mention a solar reflective threat to the tower ala Gehry at the Disney Hall.

I agree that if the PTAC is to thrive it must expand, but it must also be understood that the PTAC's most valuable holding is the tower itself. The addition must not copy Wright in any way, but it should also respect the tower and work to integrate the complex into its surroundings.

Though it will require great architecture, the addition to the Price Tower is an urban design problem more than it is an architectural problem.
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FTA



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 150

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DRN Says: Was it noted if the apartment once occupied by Bruce Goff on the 9th and 10th floors was converted to hotel use, or might there be plans to restore it to its appearance during Goff's occupancy?



FTA Replies: I believe that the 17th-18th floors (Price guest apartment just below Price Sr's magnificent office) are the only restored floors. All others are hotel space. I envy that you got to Shin'en Kan - we were still living overseas at that time. Sadly, Starview Farm will never be what you saw.
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hypnoraygun



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey I did squeeze in a trip to the Price Tower. I saw it this last March and now I saw the renovated rooms. I really liked them. It was nice to see a more livable space once the furniture etc was placed in there. When the blinds are shut it really gives an entire different feeling to the rooms. When you go (which everyone here should if they can!) make sure to see them with the blinds closed if they will do that for you. I really liked them.



The exhibit was great. I enjoyed seeing the photos of the Price Tower when it opened and also the Chairs, and how they made them. There were the actual metal pieces used to manufacture the chairs there. It was very cool and I'm glad I ran out there. (I got stopped by the HWY patrol, but just got a warning! WHEW!) I didn't post many pictures of the Price tower Trip again since I already have some up. They won't let you take pictures inside the new rooms anyway.. (FROWN!)



Also I am sure the people that have been by the Price Home know, there is NO WAY IN THE WORLD to see this house unless you Tresspass. Which I DID NOT DO, but just an FYI.. Save your time.



I also went to Wichita this weekend. I posted those pictures on there as well. I am going to put a post up about that trip and buildings.





http://www.flickr.com/photos/hypnoraygun/
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FTA



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 150

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hypno
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FTA



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AHA
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Despite my earlier comments, I believe Hadid's proposed Annex is not without merits.

From my review of the plans, I believe it to have a functional plan; the location of the main entrance on 6th Street addresses well, and gestures toward, the Community Center; view sheds of the Tower along Dewey are maintained; and the views of the Tower through the glazed roof of the gallery will be spectacular.

I guess my concern is the "clash" as FTA put it. If architecture is frozen music, this could turn out to be an architectural "Dueling Banjos".
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outside in



Joined: 29 Jul 2006
Posts: 1145

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FTA - The gates, brick piers and steel bars currently in place at the entry to the Price House were designed by a local architect, not by Wright. The original entry to the house was to be from a different street, and the Price's purportedly changed their minds about access, and never built the entry that Wright designed....
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Michael Shuck



Joined: 06 Apr 2006
Posts: 191
Location: Wichita, KS

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:25 pm    Post subject: Price House Dimmers Reply with quote

When I had the privilege of touring the Price House in Bartlesville with FTA, we observed the lights had controllable dimmers. Not wall switches, but automated dimmers. The owner explained they used relay systems. He showed us a set of centrally located controllers. And they work! The lighting of the house could be controlled locally. The amazing thing is these are ORIGINAL to the house! Does anyone know of any other house where Wright used these relay dimmers? I don
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