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The fireplace is placed a bit to the rear of the living-room volume, in an ell which is largely windowless, making a snug refuge from the larger and better-lighted part of the room. In the Usonian period, one might expect a lower ceiling in this ell; are there other Prairie-period houses which have "refuges" from the public space, with or without a change in ceiling height ?
There are lots of doors in this house: pairs of pocket doors are available to separate both the living and dining rooms from the central hall -- and there are two doors enclosing the servant's room (?) on the second floor, one on either side of a flight of three steps up from the stair landing.
Both houses are bilaterally symmetrical in principal elevation (Yes, I know: Wrightian work doesn't recognize "front" and "back". . .) and both show
bands of windows at both levels, with solid corners at one or both stories. Both have an oblong chimney positioned athwart the major axis of the plan,
at right of center. The major space runs front to back at the right end of the plan, the chimney separating this space from the rest of the first floor.
Comparing the plans, just above, reveals centered entrances -- or as near to center as possible in Griffin's case -- and a stair behind the chimney, near
center of the plan. The solid corners, visible in the frontal perspective view drawings, show even better on the first-floor plans of the respective houses.
The earlier plan (Wright's) is the looser and more abstract, the L-shaped corner walls of very different proportions, front and rear, while the later
Griffin plan is entirely quadrilaterally symmetrical, with those wonderful corner bookcases let into a continuous interior wall plane, as in the Rule
The most notable difference between the two plans, however, is that Griffin takes his living-room space around the chimney, out of sight as one enters
the space, beckoning beyond -- which is what Wright did with his pioneering Fireproof House plan of 2007, and which Griffin, Drummond and others lost
little time in adopting, sometimes for their own homes. Here, a year earlier, Wright is up to something else.
The second floor plans of the two houses bear little resemblance to each other, though each demonstrates the skill necessary to fit a variety of
functions and space requirements into a symmetrical envelope, something Wright taught himself to do early on; Griffin was no less clever than any of
his contemporaries in this regard, clearly. An amusing and perhaps atypical insistence on symmetry, at Ricker, is the inclusion of what can only be a
false chimney, paired with the functional one, as can be seen in the view drawing . . .