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In 1952, prior to mechanical air conditioning becoming mainstream, I can easily imagine how using the chimney as a cooling mechanism could have been conceived and even experienced at Taliesin West during the summer. I wonder how far the concept was explored, either just in conversation or in actual design on paper, since many apprentices who passed through had some prior engineering training. I haven't met an engineer yet, who did not take meticulous notes!
Wright's Usonian chimneys start off with a bang: the unbuilt Lusk project, which precedes both Jacobs and the also-unrealized Hoult, has 3
chimneys worthy of a Nineteenth-century boiler factory:
Jacobs and Hoult, on the other hand, have the more typical minimized Usonian flat-roof chimneys, integrated into the masonry core.
Another of that type is Rosenbaum. But unlike Jacobs, both of Rosenbaum's streamlined chimneys were at some point discreetly raised:
Goetsch-Wickler, on the other hand, whose single chimney likewise terminates at roof-top level, never needed alteration:
From the basement to out the chimney, what a great flow of content!
The following may be pure hearsay, but I think it is probably true. This comes from a friend of mine who recently retired from the hearth products industry. He said that the part in the residential fireplace/chimney code that requires the chimney to be at least 2 feet higher than any part of the structure measured horizontally 10 feet away was an arbitrary number that was arrived at by a group of code council members just throwing out numbers, and these sounded good. There was no scientific or testing criteria that originally arrived at this measurement!
It seems that there should have been a good number of chimneys, not just usonians, built prior to this part of the code being adopted, that should have been required to be extended when they changed ownership.
Prevailing winds, nearby structures or trees, shape, size, and height of flue, firebox opening area, etc, are all variables that could affect the performance of
a given fireplace.
you'd be a fool to celebrate the horizontal when designing a tower. He doesn't seem to have been overly concerned about a fireplace that didn't draw
correctly---there were more than a few, apparently---any more than he fretted much about a leaky roof. He had "bigger fish to fry" . . .
Drawings and a timeline display for the unbuilt Hoult Usonian #1 are available to view at the Allen Lambe House in Wichita, on the second floor.Roderick Grant wrote:SDR, Pamela Kingsbury, who wrote the book on Hoult, "Frank Lloyd Wright and Wichita, the First Usonian Design," would disagree with you on that claim.
Hoult and Lusk were close, but Hoult gets the cigar.
if you tour Allen try to schedule your visit with Howard Ellington, who handled the restoration and is a fountain of information.