Tonkens House listed

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Sequoia
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:31 pm

Tonkens House listed

Post by Sequoia »

See Wright on the market. Beautiful Usonian in Cincy.

peterm
Posts: 6196
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

http://www.savewright.org/index.php?page=33&id=130

More photos here with Eric Lloyd Wright (supervising apprentice) returning to visit:
http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dl ... 805&Ref=PH

Looks like a couple of original furniture pieces will not be included in the sale: http://www.wright20.com/auctions/view/J ... none/JW1W/
http://www.wright20.com/auctions/view/J ... none/J1GB/
The cat house with the original drawing on 1st Dibs:
http://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/more-f ... -f_719076/

For your special kitty, $14,500.00: http://shine.yahoo.com/pets/frank-lloyd ... 00080.html

DRN
Posts: 3942
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

Why don't we all nominate Richard Wright of the Wright Auction house for a special award from the FLWBC, to honor all that he has done to profit from....er ...ah, promote, that's it, promote, the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright.

peterm
Posts: 6196
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

Well, to be fair, his cut would be around 25 per cent, leaving around 75 for the seller, (in this case, the current owners) to enjoy. Without their desire to cash in on a few of the items, Wright wouldn't have made a dime.

Fortunately, the architecture won't suffer too much without the cat house, (though it is pretty damned cute...)

If I were going to make an offer on the house, during negotiations I would remind them of the missing original items, and how that lowers the value. (And I would make sure to tell them that it lowers the value much more than the sum of what they collected...).

The house is beautiful, though, no?

DRN
Posts: 3942
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

Tonkens is beautifully executed and maintained, and a good design, as most are.
I tend to like Wright's smaller Usonian Automatics, in particular the Tracy and Kalil houses. I'm not sure as to why, perhaps the concrete walls, grilles, and coffered ceilings lose a sense of domesticity for me as the house becomes larger. Though I admire the design of the Turkel house and all of work that Norman and Dale have put into it, it doesn't feel residential to my eye, at least in pictures. Maybe that perception is open to change if I were to have the opprotunity to experience the interior of a larger UA haptically. As yet, the only Usonian Automatic I have been in for any length of time was Pieper (pre-remuddle).

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10129
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

I've been in the living room of Turkel, and it didn't bother me, but even though I've never been in Kalil, the dead end quality of the living room and the bedroom wing give me a panicky feeling. One might wriggle out a 2'x2' Turkel window in an emergency, but what would you do if, in the middle of the night, as you lay sleeping in the end bedroom of Kalil, the smoke alarm went off? Aesthetically, I like the UAs a lot, but I am a bit too obsessive about not wanting to be trapped to feel comfortable in Kalil.

Tonkens is beautiful, and if I were to move to Cincinnati, and had the scratch, I would buy it in a New York minute!

JPB_1971
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:50 am

Post by JPB_1971 »

To any posters who have been in Tonkens (though I don't think it has been made available much for tours), how is the natural lighting in the house? It's always struck me as being very dark in photos...I wonder if use of the gold leaf on the ceiling blocks was an attempt to provide a sense of light? In photos, Tracy seems like it enjoys better natural lighting inside, thinking of other UAs.

peterm
Posts: 6196
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

It would seem surprising if it would be too dark. It has 492 windows!...

SpringGreen
Posts: 538
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 9:00 am

Tonkens

Post by SpringGreen »

I went there in the 2010 Conservancy Conference. I went to side of the living room with the piano (which is in the photograph that shows Eric, Beverly Tonkens-VanGrov, and her husband). I looked back toward the dining area (with the kitchen in the background, and French doors looking out on the left side of the room) & almost fell over.

I had just walked across the room: I knew how big the room was; but my sense of scale was completely "messed with" by the house: the built-in cupboards at the back of the dining area are a little smaller than normal (and certainly smaller than what you'd pick up today at Home Depot). The result is that the room looks longer than it is - that's because the cupboards are smaller, but your brain is telling you they're a regular size; as a result, they look like they are farther away from you than they are. Made me almost laugh with glee.
"The building as architecture is born out of the heart of man, permanent consort to the ground, comrade to the trees, true reflection of man in the realm of his own spirit." FLLW, "Two Lectures in Architecture: in the Realm of Ideas".

JPB_1971
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:50 am

Post by JPB_1971 »

Yes peterm, my statement about perceiving the house as dark does sound silly given the number of windows...maybe it's the perceived weight of the coffered concrete celing that gives me the sense of darkness (or heaviness perhaps?)...of course having said that, somebody who's visited the house will now say the ceiling has the opposite effect!

Matt
Posts: 430
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:24 am

Post by Matt »

The automatics have always felt like bunkers to me. Living in one would be like living on the Normandy Coast waiting for the allies to invade.

peterm
Posts: 6196
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

Is there something terribly odd about gold gilded concrete ceilings? Talk about gilding the lily...

Paul Ringstrom
Posts: 4311
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

I have noticed that in many of Wright's Usonians that when you retreat to the far corner of the street side wall they tend to be dark because of the way he restricts the size of the windows on the street side. This irrespective of the type of construction: wood, brick or concrete.

The interior woodwork, casework and gilded ceilings in Tonkens look new, because THEY ARE NEW. During the process of re-roofing the house a few years ago the temporary tarp was blown off by the wind and rain subsequently soaked the interior. Mrs. Tonkens insisted that it all be replaced by the insurance company and it was. I seem to remember that she said that the roofer or insurance company or both filed for bankruptcy after this incident.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

JPB_1971
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:50 am

Post by JPB_1971 »

Looking at the photos from Wright on the Market, it looks like there is light-colored carpeting throughout the house except for the kitchen in which it looks like the (4'?) module can still be seen - can someone verify?

dtc
Posts: 739
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:04 am

Post by dtc »

Of course the removal of the wall to wall carpeting would once again open the flow between interior space and its floor to the exterior space and its terraces. A unique characteristic of the building process, the scored module lines, should not be covered up.

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