Wright's "Margaret Schevill House" design, 1941

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jay
Posts: 276
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 8:04 pm

Wright's "Margaret Schevill House" design, 1941

Post by jay »

I was scrolling through the Vision of Wright webpage, looking for something unrelated, and came across this design:

https://visionsofwright.files.wordpress ... =640&h=753

It caught my attention as a potentially great early Usonian variation. The public wing seems to resemble Euchtman, while the loggia extending down the bedroom wing brings to mind the Brandes house of sorts.

Does anybody know more about this design? Where the site was, etc? (And has this design been discussed here before?)

Also, it's tough to make out the details of the plan, as the image file is low-res, but what is happening in the space to the right of the dining? Is it an open "study"?

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Can you link us to the Visions of Wright page ? Is the name of a client given ? If so, I can look this up in Taschen to learn more; perhaps the Monograph will have a more legible plan in black and white . . .

S

jay
Posts: 276
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 8:04 pm

Post by jay »

The client name is Margaret Schevill; here's the page:

https://visionsofwright.wordpress.com/2 ... ouse-1941/

SDR
Posts: 19322
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Here's the published record. The differences between the Monograph and Taschen entries for the house represent an ideal example of Bruce Pfeiffer's use of the two publications,
the Monograph in 1986 and the Taschen volume in 2009, to maximally enlighten his readers about a given project.



ImageImage


Image


Image


Image


© 2009 by TASCHEN GmbH and by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation (items 1, 4, 5)

© 1986 A.D.A EDITA Tokyo Co., Ltd. and by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation (items 2, 3)

SDR
Posts: 19322
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

A couple of things strike me about this plan, dating to the time when the initial blossoming of Usonian activity has been accomplished. The dining table
ensconced in its own "pod" is reminiscent of early works; Jacobs I comes to mind. More unusual -- and awaiting explanation -- are the extraordinarily
thick masonry walls, and the row of French doors opening from two bedrooms (at right on the plan), not onto a terrace but apparently to the hallway or
gallery next to them.

S

Matt2
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Post by Matt2 »

Desert masonry...reminiscent of the Pauson house in its long form.

SDR
Posts: 19322
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Looking at the elevation on the plan sheet, I see desert masonry as a base -- but the walls and piers overhanging and rising from that base are drawn like brick, and even bear a red tint -- don't they ?

S

jay
Posts: 276
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 8:04 pm

Post by jay »

Thank you SDR for posting these scans. If the house was to be built with adobe bricks, as the narrative describes, that'd explain the thick walls....

Is that a clandestine doorway in the master bedroom...a secret escape out of the house?

SDR
Posts: 19322
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Ah -- I missed the material description. ("I don't read em; I just post em.") That makes sense, and explains perhaps the slight irregularities of profile to the upper masonry ?

Thanks for alerting us to this unusual project.

S

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

The elevation appears to be adobe brick, but both perspectives look more like standard brick. The first perspective, with its wing perpendicular to the main axis is a different animal entirely from the inline plan. The second perspective, with the 30-60 terrace differs from the plan not only in the semi-circular terrace, but in lacking doors to the dining area.

The plan and elevation are extremely rough sketches; the inline perspective appears to be more carefully thought out; the L-shape version is the slickest drawing ... by? This all adds up to the obvious chronology of a commission that didn't go far. It looks like one of those jobs where the client couldn't make up her mind what she wanted.

I have a vague recollection of meeting an elderly woman named Mrs. Schevill in Palo Alto around 1987-8. Considering the timeline, it could not have been Ferdinand's (1868-1954) widow, but she may have been a daughter-in-law. She had an original perspective that she seemed eager to sell to an appreciative audience. (It was an event at Stanford focusing on the Hanna House.) I don't recall specifics about the drawing, though it was in colored pencil, and appeared to be a well developed scheme. The above drawings don't ring a bell.

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