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Article: 'Landmarking' Buffalo's other FLW houses

 
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 6448
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:24 pm    Post subject: Article: 'Landmarking' Buffalo's other FLW houses Reply with quote

Should Buffalo's 'other' Frank Lloyd Wright houses be landmarked? Owners say no.


David
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8457

PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The owners are correct. Designation may be a way to help preserve the houses, but in this country, private property is sacrosanct. If the owners are bedeviled by periodic attempts to list their houses, that won't do any good for the preservationists. Back off, and let them do as they will. If in the future either house is in danger, then is the time to act.

Designation could conceivably result in efforts to force restoration the owners could not afford. For instance, there was a 'picture' window cut into the living room wall of Heath below a row of art glass windows where cabinets originally stood. (See Storrer, 105.) This would be a natural thing to restore, but it would not only cost a bundle, it would eliminate a major source of sunlight that might not make the owners happy. As a public space, not to restore it would be inappropriate, but as a private home, to interfere would also be inappropriate.
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outside in



Joined: 29 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Roderick, but i very much disagree.When there is danger it is already too late, in that it usually means that someone has purchased the house as a teardown. Cities hate fighting lawsuits, and if there is no protection in place, they have little to stand on.

Many towns possess laws that allow for landmarking without owners consent - Chicago, Lake Forest, Oak Park to name a few. The importance of these buildings extend far beyond individual property rights - they are representative of our culture, our heritage. It has been tested in the courts a number of times, and they have remained. Interesting that in Lake Forest it was the "old school" families, not "preservationists" that insisted on the law!

The laws do not force people to restore the homes to their original configuration. What is can remain that way. Each municipality has a board to review proposed changes, and most things are negotiable. I'm surprised at your response.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16027
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It could be argued that the Heath residence has long been in need of structural intervention, judging by photos taken of the (east) porch roof over the last 40 years, or
beginning 10 years into the current owners' occupancy.


Here's the photo published in the Buffalo News piece.


© 1999 - 2018 - The Buffalo News


Here is the image that alerted me to the issue -- an undated photo by Dave Anderson, sent to me c. 2012. The broken diagonal rafter is painfully clear to see,
along with the consequent delfecting eave line, which is visible as well in the Buffalo News photo; the roof ridge is sagging as well. If this is a slate roof, it likely
has not been disturbed for a number of decades.


© 2012 by Dave Anderson


Following the progress of the decline of the hip rafters to this roof, we start with photos taken prior to 1978, as found in Bill Storrer's publication of that year, and again in his 1993 "Frank Lloyd Wright Companion."





© 1978, 1993 by William Allin Storrer


A photo by Simon Clay published in 1999.


© 1999 by Simon Clay


Yukio Futagawa's photo found in Monograph 2, published in 1987.


© 1987 A.D.A EDITA Tokyo Co., Ltd. and by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation



Once again, Dave Anderson's photo, apparently the most recent image other than the one published in the subject article.





Elsewhere on the house hip rafters have suffered. Here's a photo by Simon Clay, likewise published in 1999, showing a roller-coaster on the main roof.



© 1999 by Simon Clay
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16027
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Davidson house, on the other hand, is looking grand. Though described as "corn yellow" with "steely gray" trim, in the photo the body looks to me like a neutral cream.

Whatever you call it, the color combination seems both rare and lovely.


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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8457

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Davidson is the house that H. Allen Brooks says the owner (previous) showed him proof that the stucco was originally blue. Primary, powder, baby, Prussian, royal ... he didn't say.

I am not at all against conserving everything worthy, but there are times when the public will can assert itself ungraciously, pushing owners to bulldoze by night.
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Preservation Board sets hearing on landmark status for Wright homes


David
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Preservation Board votes to landmark two Frank Lloyd Wright homes


David
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Landmark it Wright!


David
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8457

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may be the lone voice of caution here, but I still believe forcing the owners of these properties could backfire, if not for these two specifically, for the program as a whole. It is obviously desirable to preserve these and all other FLW buildings, but antagonizing owners would not be a wise move.
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outside in



Joined: 29 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think its something people will need to get used to. As much as I would love owners to realize the value of their homes and make landmarking unnecessary it hasn't worked so well in the past. There are quite a few municipalities that have similar laws - one wonders what Oak Park would look like if it didn't have these laws, not to mention Lake Forest, Chicago and other towns.

One has to ask why an owner would disapprove? Loss of value? So they can't cash in on a developer wanting to demolish and build new? Its been proven that strong landmarking laws not only stabilize neighborhoods, but actually increase the values of homes. They may not be happy, but in time I believe they will.
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