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eBay: Blueprints from unbuilt Harry Brown House
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 6361
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:16 am    Post subject: eBay: Blueprints from unbuilt Harry Brown House Reply with quote

Frank Lloyd Wright Original Blue Prints 1906 Harry Brown House


David
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outside in



Joined: 29 Jul 2006
Posts: 1091

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

this is interesting - was the proposal to use clay tile on the exterior?
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15469
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not much can be gleaned from published sources; here is most of what appears in Monograph 2 (pp 252-3) and in Taschen I (pp 256-7).

The Monograph contains the first floor plan and five section and elevation images, from the drawing set offered above.














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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8120

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I believe it was just concrete. It may be why the client turned it down. The first design (Mono 2/251; Tasch 1/256) has the exact same plan, but looks like a more expensive project, which may have been why it was not built. The value of the blueprints is that the archive does not have a copy of the second floor plan, which also has some details.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
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Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pfeiffer says concrete block exterior walls, plastered partitions (and, presumably, interior surface of block walls); see above. The surprise to me is concrete slab floors on all three levels.





























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clydethecat



Joined: 24 May 2012
Posts: 103

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it's an expanded variation on the Walser/Barton plan?
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15469
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well -- no: those plans have a symmetrical, "dumbbell"- or racetrack-shaped main space, while the Brown plan, though housed in a symmetrical envelope, contains a full-depth living room on the right, and a smaller dining space on the left. Perhaps that's what you meant by "expanded" ?

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.

SDR
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pmahoney
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Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 168

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:37 am    Post subject: Brown house vs Ricker house Reply with quote

Seems very similar in organization to Griffin's Ricker house in Grinnell, Iowa of 1911.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Griffin's Ricker house, 1911:






Wright's Brown design, 1906:




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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
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Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mrs H E Brown design, scheme 1:




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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8120

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Comparing Brown to either Walser/Barton or Ricker is a stretch. Brown differs from Walser/Barton in room arrangement and exterior massing. The similarity with Ricker is that the main blocks of both are rectangles.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
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Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah -- well, there's a bit more than that, isn't there -- if you take "organization" to mean "of form" as much as "of use" ?

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
house.

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 . . .

SDR
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clydethecat



Joined: 24 May 2012
Posts: 103

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was Harry Brown (the man) related to Charles A. Brown?
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15469
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's see -- who would know that ? Isabel Roberts ? Gene Masselink ? I know: Thomas Heinz. W A Storrer is sometimes helpful with these things -- but he doesn't deal in the unbuilt projects.

Brown is not an uncommon name . . .

SDR
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The differences between Brown and Ricker are more significant than their similarities. Given the shape of the plan and the needs of the rooms on the ground floor, there aren't a lot of options for the arrangement. A room in this corner, a room in that corner, two corners for the big room. It's more a matter of feeling one would get entering and moving through the 2 houses. Brown is as formal an arrangement as FLW devised, post 1900, almost colonial. Ricker's arrangement in plan is much looser. Access to the living room from the entrance is incidental, no grandeur at all. Ricker has a stair hall entrance; FLW encloses his stair, creating an entrance focused entirely on the flanking wide pocket doors. Ricker's living room is symmetrical and static; FLW's is offset and dynamic. Ricker's living room corners are, as was often the case in Griffin's work, closed and enclosing, while FLW's corners are fenestrated and open. The location of the Ricker dining room makes the traffic patterns different from Brown. That the solid walls of Brown continue to the roof, while the Ricker walls are truncated to allow for balconies is not an insignificant difference; the Ricker roof seems to float above it all, while Brown (scheme #1) is stolid and earthbound. Brown #2 is an improvement, but withal, Ricker is a better design.
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