Frank Lloyd Wright "Inspired" House from 1940

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Rood
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Frank Lloyd Wright "Inspired" House from 1940

Post by Rood »


Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

There were houses like this all over the place in the late 30s. Quite handsome, but the only thing FLW-ish is that the roof sort of resembles a porkpie hat.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Not so fast: this little box is not your run-of-the-mill Moderne exercise. If I didn't know better---and I don't---I'd be inclined to investigate this as a possible Harris Armstrong opus.

The air conditioner, glass block screen, and perhaps the treatment of the top-floor band might be discounted as spurious---but the corner window, and the staircase, mark this as something special---as I see it.

https://www.stlouis.style/harris-armstr ... w-raimist/

http://www.waymarking.com/gallery/image ... ff8af1b80b

http://www.beltstl.com/tag/harris-armstrong/

S

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

The blue print shows the architect to be Paul W. Jones of Fargo, about half way down.

Harris Armstrong's work looks a lot like many of the late 30s boxy houses I have seen. The corner windows were commonplace. The current owner's glass block addition is not out of keeping with the vintage.

Don't get me wrong, I like the style. It's just a bit of a stretch to call it "Frank Lloyd Wright-like."

DRN
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Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

I Google'd "Paul W. Jones Architect North Dakota", and found this:

https://www.inforum.com/news/4336577-ho ... -over-time
The stark houses at 1502, 1506 and 1510 Ninth St. S., Fargo, are good examples of what happens when architects try to make a clean break with historic styles. Built in 1938, 1939 and 1936, respectively, in the International style, they look like boxes for living composed of grey stucco walls, some windows and a flat roof.

The house at 1502 was designed by architect Paul W. Jones for contractor Charles Rue and his wife Blanche, according to NDSU architecture professors Steve Martens and Ronald Ramsay in their book "Buildings of North Dakota." The others were designed for the Rues' two children.

The International style came out of 1920s Europe when architects, rejecting historic styles, developed purely functional buildings using the most modern materials available: steel, concrete and glass. Today, the best known examples are glass-walled skyscrapers because it never took off as a residential style. The name of the style may allude to it having no style and is therefore applicable everywhere. Martens and Ramsay wrote that Jones was probably exposed to the style when he studied in Paris in 1930.

Gleye said these kinds of houses were very much in vogue in Los Angeles and big cities of the time and, no doubt, Fargoans would've read about them in national media and decided if they wanted such houses for themselves. One other International style home on the register here is at 1526 Eighth St. S., Fargo.
It would appear Jones designed another Moderne house on Eighth Street South in addition to the subject house at 1550, as well as 3 houses on Ninth Street South. According to Google street views, all are very white and well endowed with glass blocks. The subject house at 1550 does show some cognizance of Wright in the proportioning of the corner windows at the stair.(or mid-1930's Alden Dow?)
https://www.usmodernist.org/dow.htm
Last edited by DRN on Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by SDR »

Ah---thanks; I missed the drawing. Yes, it's tiring constantly to encounter the glib and erroneous attribution of influence---much less of actual involvement---of Mr Wright.

Perhaps the practice is ironic payback, for Wright's equally misplaced sometime claim to credit for all of modern architecture ?

S

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

Post by SDR »

Thanks, DRN. Readers of the linked page will find a photo-set at the bottom; the last image is of the trio of "International Modern" houses discussed in the piece.

For my money, the warmer modernism of the work of Paul Jones and Harris Armstrong---among others---which may owe something to the example of Frank Lloyd Wright,
is far more appealing than the "stucco modern" of these little white boxes. One sympathizes with Wright's distain for orthodox European modernism, when it looks like this.

While Armstrong (at least) was not averse to the use of panels of glass block, the presence of it in many examples of Euro and Streamline Modern taints it fatally, for me.

S

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