Wright Chat

 
FAQ FAQ Register Register
Search Search Profile Profile
Memberlist Memberlist Log in to check your private messages Log in to check your private messages
Usergroups Usergroups Log in Log in

>> Return to SaveWright Home Page

Burnham Mansion
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Wright Chat Forum Index -> Click Here for General Discussion Posts
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Meisolus



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 166

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 5:44 pm    Post subject: Burnham Mansion Reply with quote

I apologize in advance if Daniel Burnham is too far outside the scope of Wright Chat, but I thought people would be interested to know that there is a campaign to save a mansion he designed in Champaign, IL. The mansion was bought by the local school to be demolished for a parking lot. A restoration architect has bought the house and plans on moving it, for which he is accepting donations. You can check it all out here:

https://saveburnham.weebly.com/

The architect who bought the house, Chris Enck, has in fact successfully moved a historic house before. A few years ago he saved a very nice Prairie house that has been moved to Evanston. You can read about that here:

https://jwcdaily.com/2016/08/22/a-tale-of-two-houses-the-old-one/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Meisolus



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 166

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If anyone would like to donate, the link is here:

https://www.gofundme.com/moving-the-burnham-mansion
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16117
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I have nothing against Mr Burnham or his work, it's hard to be inspired about saving a work of architectural art -- with almost nothing to look at ?

SDR
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Meisolus



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 166

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair point SDR. Here are some photos. The interior is pretty rough, but has some nice features. I feel like if someone did a sympathetic restoration, with a two tone (or more) paint job on the exterior, and had the paint stripped off the woodwork and some period appropriate wall coverings and furnishings for the interiors, it could really shine. I wish there were floor plans.

http://www.news-gazette.com/multimedia/photogallery/2018-01-21/burnham-mansion-tour
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16117
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well -- you do realize you'll now have to turn in your official Wright Wrenderer badge and certificate . . . ?

Very Happy

" . . .vast historical and cultural relevance" ? If you (or they) say so. If multicolored, like a San Francisco "Painted Lady," it would make a swell fun house for the school kindergarten. Leave it where it is !

I get the feeling that this is the Burnham office's 34th mansion job of 1883, and that the spirit may have gone out of the thing, a bit ? The swoopy stair wainscot is a tour-de-force of technical accomplishment, if a bit over-the-top (no, I didn't say "vulgar") . . .

Guess it's just not my cup of tea. Interesting that it had descended to a 12-unit apartment house. There will be some recreation of detail to be done, in the upper reaches, I imagine.

SDR
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Meisolus



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 166

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do I have to turn in my decoder ring too??? Man...

I realize I'm a bit of a heathen on this forum, and just earlier today admitted to liking Victorian and a variety of Russian styles on a different thread. For better or worse, I tend to like a lot of disparate things.

Regarding the colors, I'm not advocating for a SF Painted Lady. But having the siding a different color from the trim, especially if they were both something dark, I think could look very fine.

Is the text hyperbolic? Probably. Is the house Burnham's best work ever? No. Is it worth saving? Definitely, in my opinion. While it may be the Burnham office's 34th mansion of 1883, I'm pretty sure mansions 1-33 are all gone. Many of Burnham and Root's best office buildings are no more, and my understanding is that the firm's residential work has fared even worse. With what appears to be not many left, it would be a shame to lose another one. And it is still a handsome house.

Besides, I'm sick of historic buildings being demolished for parking.


Last edited by Meisolus on Thu May 31, 2018 8:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16117
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough. It would be interesting to know what an original paint scheme might be like; I agree that there's too much going on for the design
to make sense in monochrome -- if not a very dark brown, or something ? I do look forward to seeing this house restored . . .

Kudos to the fool (ahem, architect) who's willing to move this ark. No Wright-scaled stone chimneys to worry about, anyway.

There's nothing wrong with an eclectic taste; I don't really trust a person who has a one-note library ! A heathen you're clearly not . . .

SDR
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8515

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meisolus, I agree with what you say, and support the preservation of the very fine Burnham & Root house. (Root should get his due, as he was the superior architect of the two.)

What the façade shows is a mastery of composition that was part of the larger trend of its day that led a charge against those Victorian nightmares you seem to relish (for which you might very well be in danger of having to forfeit your decoder ring). Considering Burnham's connection to FLW, I see no problem with supporting the preservation. When the other house, the one by Van Bergen, was in danger of being demolished, no one here had any trouble rooting for its preservation. Of course, JVB is a lot closer to FLW than DHB or JWR are, but it was out of the earlier houses that FLW emerged.

(You must take Stephen with a block of salt. He lives in the Frisco hills of Victoriana, and is probably in a perpetual state of dizziness.)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16117
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rolling Eyes
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
outside in



Joined: 29 Jul 2006
Posts: 1143

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The house has been enlarged through the years. This historic photo shows things as they should be. Hopefully Chris Enck will restore it to the original configuration after the move.


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16117
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Continuity of horizontal lines is a notable feature of this house (as shown in the early photo), of other work of the period as revealed in, for instance, the
selections in George William Sheldon, "Artistic Country Seats," and in Wright's subsequent early work. It is an element that might distinguish the work of
creative and knowledgeable architects from that of lesser designers and, along with gathered groups of openings, strikes one as "modern" in effect.

Whether this is so as a result of our absorption of more progressive work like that of the Craft architects and of Wright, or not, will require some introspection.
Continuous horizontals would show strongly on elevation drawings, obviously, but they serve effectively to unite the disparate forms of a three-dimensional
object, as well.

SDR
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
outside in



Joined: 29 Jul 2006
Posts: 1143

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Burnham House has much to do with H.H. Richardson and early McKim, Mead and White. It was meant to be an architecture that is uniquely American in spirit and detail - not sure what horizontality has to do with it.

Regardless, it is wonderful example of Burnham and Roots' (mostly Root, from what I can see) early residential work, and definitely deserves the support of any and all architectural and historical enthusiasts.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16117
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The connecting horizontal lines, restricted on the Burnham house to the top and bottom edges of the lower roof, and mostly missing on the house as
modified, was just something I noticed, and not of much importance. To me it's a counter to the free placement of other elements on the facades . . .

SDR
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
outside in



Joined: 29 Jul 2006
Posts: 1143

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

its so tempting to take a close look at the house, now that we know what it once was..the open porch over the entry and THE COLORS! Somewhere beneath all of the boring white are colors that will "stir the hearts of men" LOL
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Meisolus



Joined: 06 Jun 2010
Posts: 166

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

outside in, thank you very much for posting the historic picture!

I think we can all agree that the house has had a disservice done to it by the alterations. It originally was a very carefully rendered composition and has lost quite a bit by the minor changes. Looking at google street views, it appears that most of the porch has been removed or altered, the balcony over the main entrance enclosed, and that charming four part dormer window has been modified. Most interesting to me, though, is that the photo clearly shows two large chimneys that are near to each other, while the current house only has one. It makes you wonder what changes have been made to the interior?

The addition of the sun room on one side (and presumably the porte cochère on the other side) seem to me to be an attempt to make the house more modern. Those elements seem to have become very popular around 1900-1910 and I wonder if many of the other changes were made at the same time? What has been removed were really the most Victorian elements on the house and I wonder if most of the alterations were carried out at that time. It's possible the white paint dates to about then as well. Remember, in the 1920s, the rich were building huge, often white painted, houses in the Colonial revival style, and much of these changes seem to anticipate or be a part of that trend, in my opinion.

I think we were judging the house far too much on its current condition rather than the original architectural intent. The more I look at it, the more I see what a really fine house it is. My admiration for Burnham and Root (Root especially) is growing.

If you zoom in on the historic photo, you can see that the columns at the main entrance are actually pretty elaborate. They are definitely on the Carson Mansion side of things. Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Wright Chat Forum Index -> Click Here for General Discussion Posts All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group
Protected by Anti-Spam ACP