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Video: Johnson Wax Adminisrtation Building - Racine, WI

 
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 6439
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:26 am    Post subject: Video: Johnson Wax Adminisrtation Building - Racine, WI Reply with quote

[ARTE] Architecture Collection Episode 07: F.L.Wright Johnson Wax Administrative Building - [30:07]


David
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8360

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That anecdote about FLW hitting the support of the test column causing it to collapse sounds suspiciously like the one about his doing the same thing to the wood framing supporting Fallingwater. I doubt both.

Life Magazine editor: "This building is like a woman swimming naked in a river, fresh, slippery and musical in her movement and her attitude...." In today's prickly culture, how long would such an editor remain employed after that statement?
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Mark Hertzberg



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 773

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never heard that Wright knocked it down with his cane. I have heard or read many times that it was intentionally taken down after being loaded with 60 tons (five times what it needed to support) and that a city water main broke from the impact.
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Mark Hertzberg
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15847
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark is right; readily available photographs of the column test give the lie to the sillier stories. The column can be seen collapsing with no one nearby. No one, including Mr Wright, would be so foolish as to stand under the thing as the test proceeded -- would they ?

And yet, according to the account of the day's activity found on page 62 of Jonathan Lipman's book about the building, that is exactly what Mr Wright did -- including, according to Edgar Tafel, a witness, Wright kicking the column and hitting it with his cane -- though not near the end of the test.

Rather, he watched for cracks through binoculars, and, after sand bags, loose sand, and iron pipe had been added to the pile until the structure bore five times the load required by the state, Wright ordered it to be "taken down," which was accomplished by pulling away one or more of the sticks supporting the rim of the "lily pad."

SDR
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Mark Hertzberg



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 773

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As they ran out of readily available material to pile atop the test column, they went to Nash Motors in Kenosha (about 10 miles south) to get material to add to the pile.
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Mark Hertzberg
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