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Wright Development

 
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Bob in Va.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:35 pm    Post subject: Wright Development Reply with quote

Hi,

I recently read an article about a housing development designed by

FLLW that had circular 1 acre lots deeded to them,The remaing acreage

was owned commonly. Does anyone know the name of the development

and state it is buit in?

Thanks in advance,

Bob in Va.
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JimM



Joined: 06 Jan 2005
Posts: 1485

PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "developments" you refer to would be the Galesburg Country Home Acres, 1947, Parkwyn Village about the same time (both projects were for the same group of people, but some had differing views on the long, long commute to Kalamazoo 10 miles away), and Usonia Homes also in 1947 at Pleasantville, New York. The best information is probably found in Storrer. Wierd situations, and most of the houses tend to reflect that.



I think many of these designs initiate a "strange" era for Wright where some of his best work is found alongside some of his strangest. The trapezoidal experiments were wild. The houses are nice enough, and certainly interesting, but the concrete blocks are just not as appealing as the earlier textile block system. I also feel Usonians are most successful when wood is the dominant element.



There are compromises with mass development, and even Wright ran into difficulties; perhaps his creatively was subdued. This was also about the same time they lost Svetlana, and you could assume that he would not be fully focused. Finally, towards the fifties many jewels were again being realized-Walker, David's House, Zimmerman, Carlson, etc..



Parkwyn Village ended up conventionally subdivided and Usonia Homes morphed into hexogonalzoidly shaped lots.
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wrightfanbob
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 1:03 pm    Post subject: The Acres Reply with quote

A "strange" era for Wright? Due to Svetlana's death? Who is this guy? I have seen about 80 different Wright houses through the years including some of the textile block houses that the writer prefers. Although the Parkwyn Village houses are now a part of a suburban neighborhood, The Brown house is top notch Wright. The McCartney house, designed in a triangle module, might indeed be considered an odd house by some, but we found it fascinating. The current owner did not allow us access this time, and was excavating on the exterior! This caused us all great concern, and we are hoping someone intervenes to preserve this unique house. Hot tubs or additions on a house like this would be ruinous.



I also visited The Acres last year as a part of the group tour. The common grounds are in need of a attention and care, but 3 of the 4 houses are jewels. The Meyer house is the most interesting and is being restored to perfection. The Pratt house is for sale, and looks beautiful. The Weisblat house has been maintained by the original owner. I found my visit and the houses really interesting and hardly "strange". I love the idea that the families cast their own blocks giving these houses an organic handmade feel. The Meyer house was made with commercial block, and was accented by genuine Mahogany inside and out. In fact all of the houses are dominated on the interior with Honduras Mahogany, does that make them more successful?



Wrightfanbob
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Bob in Va
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 1:21 pm    Post subject: Wright Devopments Reply with quote

Thanks for the response! I am sad to hear the developments were changed with regards to the lots and acreage. They would truely be a national treasure if left intact.

thanks again,

Bob in Va.
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JimM



Joined: 06 Jan 2005
Posts: 1485

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"This guy" is a long time admirer of Wright who does not feel under the gun to walk lockstep with sycophants or shy from having critical opinions.



All of Wrights work should be conserved and considered the art of a master (very little architecture even qualifies as "art"). I have come to accept that interpretation of any art can be subjective, even if genius itrself is not. I did not intend to imply there is anything "wrong" with any of those houses; and they are strange only in the context of so many more obviously brilliant designs. They are still better than 94.9% of the architecture built since them, even if I think some were opportunities for a creative mind to play with geometry than



I also feel that Wright established a level of genius in specific houses to which others do not approach, in my opinion, if genius is the qualifier. Some of these houses are just not "favorites" of mine, and its ok to think Wright's heart may not have been in every commission (the Svetlana inference was culled from Storrer; I was just musing for an explanation to satisfy my own curiosity of why some designs don't have the spark I see in others).



I feel the same about the later prefabs, which were also "strange' in their conformity and more representative of those who later perverted the open plan ranch upon every subdivision in the country, rather than examples of Wright's genius. Any "development" or mass production, by definition, will produce uneven results and the lack of a singular, inspirational "idea" which made his greatest works the bench marks they are.



What else would explain other more highly successful Usonians, regardless of their cost? Of course, you would first have to agree with my premise.... Wink
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Wrightgeek



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 1548
Location: Westerville, Ohio

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 10:06 pm    Post subject: Re: The Acres Reply with quote

wrightfanbob wrote:
A "strange" era for Wright? Due to Svetlana's death? Who is this guy? I have seen about 80 different Wright houses through the years including some of the textile block houses that the writer prefers. Although the Parkwyn Village houses are now a part of a suburban neighborhood, The Brown house is top notch Wright. The McCartney house, designed in a triangle module, might indeed be considered an odd house by some, but we found it fascinating. The current owner did not allow us access this time, and was excavating on the exterior! This caused us all great concern, and we are hoping someone intervenes to preserve this unique house. Hot tubs or additions on a house like this would be ruinous.



I also visited The Acres last year as a part of the group tour. The common grounds are in need of a attention and care, but 3 of the 4 houses are jewels. The Meyer house is the most interesting and is being restored to perfection. The Pratt house is for sale, and looks beautiful. The Weisblat house has been maintained by the original owner. I found my visit and the houses really interesting and hardly "strange". I love the idea that the families cast their own blocks giving these houses an organic handmade feel. The Meyer house was made with commercial block, and was accented by genuine Mahogany inside and out. In fact all of the houses are dominated on the interior with Honduras Mahogany, does that make them more successful?



Wrightfanbob




Wrightfanbob-



If you don't mind my asking, how were you able to tour the homes at Parkwyn Village and The Acres? Although I have visited both communities ( I live down in central Ohio), I have never seen the inside of any of those homes, as much as I would like to.



Are there organized tours that are offered from time to time? The last tour I saw publicized was several years ago, maybe in 2000 or 2001, and appeared to be a one time event which I found out about too late to attend.



Any insight you can provide would be appreciated.



Thanks.
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wrightfanbob
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 10:49 pm    Post subject: The Acres Reply with quote

Bob in Va. -

The Parkwyn Village houses are now subdivided and are a part of a neighborhood. The Acres is as it was in 1950 with each of the houses still on round acres with the other land co-owned and shared. We found this interesting, and philosophically in line with how we would dream of leading our lives. The area between the round acres is co-owned by all of the Wright owners. This seems democratic in a way theat we can only dream of. So, following your logic, these houses and this property are indeed national treasures.



I toured the homes as a guest of my friends who are members of the William Morris Society. Although tours may be rare, most of the owners obliged and let us into their homes. I do not know who arranged the tour, but I know it was spearheaded by the Society.



My humble opinion is that the Meyer house is the most unique moduled after Jacobs II. Most in the group were sort of wowed by this house, especially since it is filled with wonderful furniture and the gardens were incredible. We also loved the Brown house. It has most of the original furniture and is sited beautifully. The others held our interest, but we felt something special about the aforementioned two.

To me those two are inpsired and artful, hence my strong reaction when I heard the phrase "strange".

I hope this helps, and thanks for keeping this forum informative!

Wrightfanbob
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jackk
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2005 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

do you have any photos of The acres you can email me????
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few years ago when the Curtis Meyer house was for sale I considered purchasing it and made the trip to Kalamazoo.



I had been in many Wright designed homes but never a Solar Hemicycle until this one. I was immediately sold on the design (although I didn't buy the house because of other reasons). The open second floor mezzanine overlooking the main living areas was fantastic while the curved and glassed wall allowed for fantastic views and light.



Unfortunately Mr. Meyer used inferior block to save money and it has all been painted. Otherwise, the house is warm and inviting and still has a Wright designed table to fit into the uniquely shaped dining area.



Had my finances and needs been different at the time I would have snapped this house up immediately.
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