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Pfeiffer residence (Jester) restoration photos

 
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 872
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:55 pm    Post subject: Pfeiffer residence (Jester) restoration photos Reply with quote

photos of restoration work:

http://www.nahorodny.com/PheifferRes.html

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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15854
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to know. Two questions: who are the restorers, and how can we see enlargements of the restoration photos ?

SDR
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8362

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Put two fingers on the screen and move them to the side.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15854
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooh -- touch screen. I don't have one of those . . .

S
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Rood



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
Posts: 989
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I had no idea. When did that work take place?

Nearly three years ago I stayed in Bruce's circular bedroom, just prior to and during Easter weekend, and it was obvious that work needed to be done, there. The smell of mold was all-pervasive that first night, but that lessened considerably, after leaving the door ajar, while continuously running the A/C.

Evidently the flat roof leaked moisture into the batt-insulated walls.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8362

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was last in BBP's house in the mid-90s, and it needed serious work then.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15854
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Considering the liberties that were taken with the design of this Jester-derived house, which seem to have rendered it a "stripped" version of the scheme, does anyone think that it would be appropriate to consider modifications that would bring it closer to Wright's conception ?

If so, the first opportunity for such revisions has just passed. Nevertheless, the question remains . . .

SDR
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3491
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am I reading the photos correctly that the house is wood framed with a thick stucco (or gunnite) exterior and interior facing....and that all that weight of the upper wall band above the strip window was supported on steel angles or tees each bearing on a single wood stud????! The stud appears to have failed either by fiber crushing due to excessive loading or weakening from rot or both. Not sure if moisture leaked in at the sill, or if condensation developed in the wall between the very hot exterior and the relative cool of the AC’d interior....irrigation in the lanai lawn may have been in play too. Even in a dry climate, moisture management in a wall is needed.
The solution of extending the steel, aparantly a HS tube, down to the slab looks so logical that I’m wondering why it was not considered originally.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15854
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a few weeks before the announcement of Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer's death, we were treated to this thread about the restoration of his house at Taliesin West.

I thought we also had a recent post, here or elsewhere, by Eric O'Malley, alerting us to the issue of OA+D, the Journal of Organic Architecture + Design (Volume 1, Number 3, 2013) devoted to the house. I have reviewed the issue, including the essays by Pfeiffer and by Randolph C Henning. These three plans of the Jester house are published therein:


.............................................................................. As presented to the client, 1938


..............................................................................






I have three questions. First, Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer reminds us that, when he asked Mrs Wright what he might do about increasing the vertical dimension of the design to suit the stature of the new client, Arthur Pfeiffer, she replied that he should increase the planning unit "from 4' x 4' to 4'-6" x 4'-6" 'but -- and this is most important -- as you expand in plan, do so in elevation and section.' This was the key to preserving the proportion of the original." Was this done -- the horizontal unit and the vertical dimension increased proportionally ?

Second, the Jester plan and the one prepared for the Pfeiffers both show a circular bed in the bedroom. Does the Pfeiffer home have a circular bed centered in one of the bedrooms ? And third, who slept in which bedroom, as shown on the third plan, above ?

That plan, naming the Pfeiffers as clients and showing the original "valet" bedroom (with its astounding curved bed) converted to a full bedroom, and the dining cylinder now a study, placing the kitchen at an alarming distance from the dining table in the lounge, has the red square empty, accompanied by the ® mark and "© TAA 1971," with the original design date, 1938, included in the title block.

SDR
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Rood



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
Posts: 989
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a bit embarrassed at not being able to answer all your questions, SDR. but this is the first time I've ever seen a plan of the Pfeiffer House and I'm confident this was a preliminary sketch. For instance, the built carport is not shown.

However, the bedroom with the circular bed was occupied by Bruce. I know because I've occupied the room and slept in the bed several times. The second bedroom and the study were used by his father.

The plan shown in colour is not exactly true to what was built, either. Next time I'm there I'll check out all the details that look particularly foreign and strange in the drawing (such as the stairway).

The desk as shown in Bruce's room was not built as shown in the drawing. There are continuous curved shelves along that wall, and the "desk", such as it is, is located along the opposite wall, and it includes the inside of the pier that is shown solid in the drawing ... much like the pier on the opposite side of the entrance gate, which contains the kitchen stove.

Not to worry too much about the dining table in the Living room ... I don't believe they often cooked or ate many (if any) meals in the house.

To my mind one of the most egregious changes from Mr. Wright's plan was the enclosure of the garden door located between the original dining room, the kitchen, and the Valet's room. I believe Bruce enclosed the area as a broom closet.

To my mind another error was putting the small plunge pool against the outer wall of the terrace. If Mr. Wright's pool was excessively large, and I'm sure it would have been ... the smaller pool should have been centered in the larger circle ... and placed butting up against the paved atrium terrace.


Last edited by Rood on Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15854
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for those facts and impressions, Rood. I'm sure that any remaining questions will be answered in due course.

It interests me to see what Mr Wright said of this plan, as he presented it and its variations to a series of prospective clients. To Ralph Jester he called it a "true abstraction," the same term he had use when first showing it to Olgivanna, who apparently had inspired Wright when she asked why he had never designed a home with circular elements.

In a letter to Arthur Palmer, Wright referred to it as a "romantic dwelling," a "good-time family place." He had used the same term, good-time place, in reference to the proposal for Huntington Hartford, for whom he designed the only spherical version of the lounge element of the Jester idea. It appears that Wright saw this design for what it is -- a playful and romantic version of the domestic assignment ?

SDR
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Rood



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
Posts: 989
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duplicate entry.

Last edited by Rood on Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15854
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes ?
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