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Crime at Olfelt
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 18275
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, Herr Richter. So . . . Germanic. I hear some lines anew in the final movement -- but the master seems intent on making a job of work of that harpsichord solo, rather than enjoying it ?

Two other performances, by Igor Kipnes and Gustav Leonhardt, are also "classic" recordings which nevertheless present the most likable versions of that solo, I think. Younger musicians
seem a little too willing to indulge themselves not by demonstrating speed but rather the opposite: exaggerated rubato. The old boys seem to give the thing the right emphasis, in the right
places, without busting it into pieces altogether.

This is Bach at his sunniest, no ? Of course it's great to be able to watch the performers; these older recording are audio only.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAza9ZYxvt8 (turn up the volume for the solo)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9zL0ml6OR0 (best of the bunch, for me, all three movements -- could have been recorded last week !)

S
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 6104
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I mentioned Bach in order to make the point that it’s difficult to imagine someone getting a permit to permanently alter one of his masterpieces, ensuring that the original never be performed again.

Meanwhile, back at Olfelt (realtor called it a rambler!...):

The total remodel of the Olfelt house has a permit pulled and approved for a value of $2,000,000. Just imagine what irreparable harm can be accomplished with that sum.
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3836
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A link to the architects’ Olfelt postings on Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/olfelthouse/
Stay tuned...

While in MN, the architects were shown the Willey house:
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bjk9PyIFIB4/
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jay



Joined: 02 May 2016
Posts: 219

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's some great info on this board, thanks to Peter's links in particular, and some people on the Wright Attitude page also found some nuggets... I'll act as the conduit here for those who don't visit Facebook....

This was the initial post and photos from the salvage company in Minneapolis. (Re: inside out, they are removing much of the cabinetry it seems):
https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10156439593735589&id=382974920588

Someone else noticed the construction company who put their sign in front of the Olfelt home recently also did work at the Loveness property:
https://bradenconstruction.com/mn-construction/frank-lloyd-wright-designed-home-in-grant-township-renovation-and-construction/?fbclid=IwAR2fh55WHfiKUdUq0J5Jx4_Z7HwQmoM0FNt-SvXIOLpk2RNolI4qjcUqsPw
The craftmanship looks nice, but this line from the verbiage is, um, slightly off. "These buildings were designed during Wright’s Usonian period which gave rise to his “Prairie School” Style of Architecture."
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 18275
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

City Salvage: "The chance in save as many items from this original FLW house is are mission. Stay tuned.
John Eckley CS"

I understand that facebook posters do not have the luxury of editing . . .

Braden Construction, on the Lovness remodel: "That 600 sq ft structure, simply referred to as the 'Cottage,'
was built in 1974 from a design that Wright created prior to his death in 1959. These buildings were designed
during Wright’s Usonian period which gave rise to his “Prairie School” Style of Architecture."

S
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 18275
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Peter; sorry to wander. Next time, use Beethoven as your example . . . Laughing

S
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 9597

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are too many types of instruments in Brandenburg #5. It should be whittled down to 90 euphoniums.
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jay



Joined: 02 May 2016
Posts: 219

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Local article with more info:
http://www.startribune.com/concerns-raised-about-changes-inside-and-out-planned-for-frank-lloyd-wright-home/503165432/?fbclid=IwAR1i-FdE1nFhZ6vOMc8HTGEXG2kH-raVhZGms0o7ctct1xP4xeRoHB2Ap3A

The most damning revelation, in my opinion: "John Olfelt, son of the couple that commissioned the design, said he saw schematic remodel plans during the sale of the home...."

Knowing that, how much can we really blame the new owners? They didn't hide their motives... It was the Olfelt family that failed to enact a preservation easement, then sold their home to buyers with stated plans to significantly alter it. And as my fun-with-math post earlier hinted at, it seems the Olfelt family wanted to get PAID for their Wright house, and waited until someone came along to pay handsomely for the home, which was far pricier than usual Wright-to-local-market-value ratio.

For the Olfelts, I guess you could say they got to live in their Wright-designed home for 60 years, then let their children walk away with a million dollars. Not a bad return on their investment, if you want to look at it that way.
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 6104
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SDR wrote:
Thanks, Peter; sorry to wander. Next time, use Beethoven as your example . . . Laughing

S


Oh, I’m with you. I chose Bach because he is an equivalent to Wright, and I know how much he is revered by you and me and many others here. The more typical example of an argument used against the destruction of architecture is to compare a building to a painting. Somehow this always monetizes the argument. (A Picasso is worth millions, so therefore it would be unthinkable to add a painted flying saucer in the left hand corner of one of his works).)

Bach’s music is eternal, and in contemporary culture, less of a commodity than art hung in a museum or on a rich person’s wall.

I really don’t care how clever the addition will be (and I seriously have doubts after looking at their trendy and somewhat generic work), I am horrified and find it a travesty. That profit comes before preservation should not surprise anyone, I suppose, but it hurts and angers nonetheless.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 18275
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, indeed. And thanks to Jay for a useful corrective, and for keeping us abreast of the issue.

Any thoughts on this comment, posted on the Breuer Stillman thread ?



Sorting out the various practitioners of modernism, while sampling several of the half-dozen performances of the fifth Brandenburg that are currently
available on YouTube, I begin to think of modernist architecture as the composition -- the music -- with the architects being the performers of that "score" . . .

. . . a bent if not broken analogy that nevertheless suggests an alternative way of comparing music and musicians to architecture and architects ?

What is "performance" ? What is "contribution" ? What is "idea" -- and whose idea is it ? Does it matter whose idea it is, as long as the performance -- the contribution -- sings ?

S
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 6104
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It’s understandable that children who would have grown up in the house would think that their place should be worth millions, and would want top dollar. How does one place a monetary value on personal experience and memories, especially in an environment created by a master architect? Denial that anyone would conceive of taking a hatchet to it is also understandable.

SDR- I see the musician/performer as paralleling the builder/craftsman, and the architect the composer. Isn’t that the simplest and most logical analogy?
That analogy shifts with improvisation, where the improviser/musician/performer is also the composer. That’s possibly closer to the design/build model. Rudolf Schindler comes to mind. Improvisational architecture.

Of course, it’s perfectly acceptable to perform adaptations and modifications of composers’ music, and it is done all the time. But it never replaces the original composition, as in the case of what’s occurring at Olfelt.
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jay



Joined: 02 May 2016
Posts: 219

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
modernist architecture as the composition... with the architects being the performers of that "score"


In Wrightian terminology, the "composition" being his set of organic design principles, and his project designs being his performances.....?

I'd agree with that. Explains why I get annoyed when people talk about Wright's "Masterpieces".... I don't feel his work should be cherry-picked, even if certain designs are greater achievements than others, because his total catalogue (total "composition") is the real Masterpiece, and should be viewed as a whole.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 9597

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bach:
I agree with Peter. The comparison should be architect/composer, contractor/musician. In constructing buildings, contractors and sub-contractors (especially furniture and cabinet makers) alter the architect's work to conform more sensibly to their own understanding of their craft, while musicians, especially in the modern mode, but even on occasion with classical music, improvise. That is one thing that should never be allowed with painting or sculpture, allowing a restorer for instance, to do what was done to the Sistine ceiling over the centuries, or copies of nude statues with the adroitly located fig leaf.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 9597

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Olfelt:
Though the comparison is rough, it could be said that alterations to La Miniatura were akin to what is happening to Olfelt. La Min's addition of the second garage stall (which damages the scale of the street façade), the pathway through the entry to the back yard, the studio and its bridge connecting to the main house living room balcony by an elevated walkway, all done by Lloyd, was an affront to the original masterpiece (with apologies to jay, with whom on the use of that word I agree), even though it was the original owner who made the alterations and the architect was, after all, Lloyd.

Yet the comparison has some merit: La Min was abused by its alterations, just as Olfelt will most likely be abused by conversion into a McMansion. It's only a matter of degree separating them, as well as a level of "masterpiece-ness" of the original intent.

It seems easy to judge the architects of the Olfelt tragedy harshly, based on examples of their work and how foreign it is to the house at hand, but the alterations are yet to be seen. (Why didn't the new owners look to local architects for the remodel? Perhaps they did, and Kelly Davis sent them packing.)
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3836
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Why didn't the new owners look to local architects for the remodel?

From the linked material, it would appear the new owners had worked previously with the NY based architects and had a good relationship with them....the devil you know and all that?
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