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Article: Apprentice Robert Green
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8414

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps we should agree on a term to characterize the Chat Room Shutdown of 2017:

"The Crash of '17" (echoes of Oct. 1929)
"The Autumn Of Our Discontent" (recalls "Richard III" or Steinbeck)
"No Wrightian is an Island" (Too dour)
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15930
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like "Belvedere's Revenge, or How Green wasn't my Valley" . . . a (very) inside joke . . . but "The Great Out(r)age" or "The Crash of '17" seems adequate.

Anybody ?

SDR
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3512
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“The Great Outage of ‘17” works for me.

Malone is sweet...the battered block melds well with the lapped boards. I have to think Robert knew of Schindler, Lloyd, and Wright’s efforts at Pauson and Suntop with forms and details like this.
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 881
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SDR wrote
Quote:
I wonder if Robert Green ever saw Schindler's work. Any record of him visiting California ?



Roderick & SDR -- this is close to home for you:

Green's small memoir (a copy of which came with my house) told that after some time at Georgia Tech, Green transferred to Cal Berkeley for a stint prior to Taliesin.

A friend of mine was a friend of Robert Green's, and he gave to me copies of correspondence he'd obtained from the Getty Center, between Green and Masselink.

Apparently, he also lived in LA for awhile during the time he corresponded with Masselink. Google Earth shows the LA address in Westwood (Hilgard Ave.) on the edge of the UCLA campus (although there's no mention of attending school there).
Then, he tells Masselink that he'd relocated to San Francisco (the address is Broderick Street near the Presidio.

So, I'm guessing he familiarized himself with Schindler, and maybe even Aaron Green.



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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15930
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, that's very helpful. I guess Mr Green has no spokesman -- no Pfeiffer, or Hess -- to represent him. Maybe a Choate ? But we know now that he knew Los Angeles, at least for a bit, in the late 'fifties, and the Bay Area for a bit after that.

SDR
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 881
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The spokesman for Green is my friend Nelson (the guy who gave me that Masselink/Green correspondence). Nelson had worked for Bruce Goff late in Goff's career. Later he became friends with Robert Green. The year before Green died Nelson drove him all the way to Taliesin for a reunion (I think that was 2002). For that reunion, they prepared a group of presentation boards of drawings that the returning apprentices were invited to bring & display. Nelson still has those boards and they are helpful in chronicling most of Green's designs & his intent. Nelson's the guy who knows most about Green.

I find Green interesting in spite of, or maybe because, he was a bit of a tragic fellow. I don't think he was a particularly good draftsman and his drawings aren't particularly attractive, but he had a very good 3D sense of composing forms and space, was good at responding to a site, and I think he must've been a quick study who absorbed the good stuff by Wright in a short time without becoming a slave to it to the extent of losing his own voice.

The unfortunate part was that he practiced in near obscurity in a town that wasn't particular interested in the things that interested him. He must've been a reclusive or prickly sort, for other than Nelson I don't know anybody that knew him well. I think his clients, however, hired him because of his design principles. For most of his career he did not compromise much (shiny Kingloff notwithstanding). As a result, he was the unhappy starving artist, but true to himself. Probably, he's more appreciated post mortem than in his own time.

He was also a terrible photographer. Without press exposure netting professional photography, or the funding to hire it done, he only ever took his own snapshots, which were rare, but almost always terrible. I actually avoid looking at photos he took of his projects because they are unflattering and a bit depressing.

One exception would be a photo he took of one of his houses while it was still under construction. I think the building and the photo are both raw things of beauty. Sadly, this house out in the woods was apparently demolished to make way for a golf course development. Don Quixote lost the joust with that particular windmill.

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Chris H



Joined: 26 Feb 2018
Posts: 1
Location: Mason City, Iowa

PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JChoate, thank-you for posting the article on Green. My wife and I grew up in the North Atlanta subdivision "Amberwood" that featured several of his designs.

ModusModern created an archive copy of a website that Michael Green, Robert's son, had originally developed with examples of his father's work.

www. modusmodern. com/robertgreen (with spaces removed)
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DavidC



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

PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture Design Style by Robert Green Architect AIA


David
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15930
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So glad we have that page once again. Its original version was my introduction to Green's work. Those great big photos -- not quite as outrageous as the Westhope one today -- were fun if puzzling to navigate. I suppose at that point I hadn't learned to "zoom out" . . .!

SDR
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 881
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris H. wrote:
Quote:
JChoate, thank-you for posting the article on Green. My wife and I grew up in the North Atlanta subdivision "Amberwood" that featured several of his designs.

ModusModern created an archive copy of a website that Michael Green, Robert's son, had originally developed with examples of his father's work.

Hi Chris ! If you grew up in Amberwood you may have been a Lakeside Viking. (So were my kids. Then we moved across town (into an R. Green house)).

Actually it wasn't me, it was David C, who posted the link to that magazine article, which is nice because it's my understanding that years ago he journeyed to Atlanta for a public tour of the Copeland House and the Arrowhead House. He's been boots-on-the-ground there so he knows what he's looking at.

At the risk of repeating myself, I find Green's enigmatic history (or lack of it) intriguing. He was a talented designer, but not so as a self-promoter. In truth, I sort of wince when links to that modusmodern website appear. Not because I don't want people to learn of his work, but because the drawings are cruder than the designs they represent, and most of all his photos are so very unflattering.

Here's an exercise to illustrate the point -- an excerpt from that website:



Seeing these wretched photos above, I took some hasty cellphone snapshots this morning on my way out the door. In fairness to the messy way Green found the living room when he took his photos (at a decorative nadir), I didn't even bother to straighten up the sofa cushions. Here's how unflattering his photos are (his are on the left):










Besides where I live, I've been thru 5 other houses by him. They are all rather terrific in person and exceed their media representation by a mile.

It makes you wonder how many other 'unknowns' have been out there who generated significant art but, because of their lack of P.R. skills, have remained in obscurity, unknown to us. Maybe learned about after they're dead, or maybe not at all.
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DavidC



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

PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JChoate:

My wife and I truly enjoyed your home - Copeland House. It's a wonderful series of spaces, beautiful design - and exquisite landscaping, to boot. We only wish had more time that day to explore all of its fantastic features.


David
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 881
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David,
It's nice you hear your positive impression.
If & when you find yourself in Atlanta, please let me know. It would be fun to meet you in person and have you visit. I guess that tour was in 2007 so it's been over a decade since you were here.
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DavidC



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

PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much for the kind invite. When my wife and I are headed down that way again I'll get in touch.


David
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JChoate



Joined: 04 Feb 2016
Posts: 881
Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, here's an unexpected update to the Kingloff House.
Less than a year ago, it was on the market and sold for something around $1.2M. Apparently, whoever bought it did some interior reno & redecorating, and has it for sale again, this time for $2.8M. It will be interested to see if they get any takers.
On balance, it's a good thing because that piece of real estate on which it sits is of high value in that particular area. All around are large neo-chateaux and there would be a likelihood that some aspiring chateau builder might remove that bit of modernism in order to erect a marketable castle.

Here's the comparison of real estate pricing from last year to now:
https://fmls.mlsmatrix.com/DE.asp?k=1303784XW96P&p=DE-59361120-841

And here's the real estate listing showing the newly "updated" interiors. It looks like all the appliances, fixtures, and cabinetry have been replaced. Some of the shiny surfaces have been corrected, but some of the woodwork has also been painted. Apparently, they poured a gray concrete slab over some of the previous shiny pre-engineered wood floors. It's now oh-so-trendy, but at least its not as shiny and dated as it once was, although the staging furniture sports some shiny chrome.
https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3905-Parian-Ridge-Rd-NW-Atlanta-GA-30327/2093914212_zpid/?fullpage=true

Of these photos, the minor exterior showing the garage doors beneath the neo-Goff windows reminds me of the Cheshire Cat:

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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8414

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prepped for its appearance in Dwell. "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. De Mille."
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