Rose and Gertrude Pauson house

To control SPAM, you must now be a registered user to post to this Message Board.

EFFECTIVE 14 Nov. 2012 PRIVATE MESSAGING HAS BEEN RE-ENABLED. IF YOU RECEIVE A SUSPICIOUS DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS AND PLEASE REPORT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION.

This is the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's Message Board. Wright enthusiasts can post questions and comments, and other people visiting the site can respond.

You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, *-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed). The IP address of all posts is recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. You agree that the webmaster, administrator and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time they see fit.
Post Reply
SDR
Posts: 18681
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Rose and Gertrude Pauson house

Post by SDR »

Image 1
The house is approached from the east.

Image 2
The visitor passes through the body of the house to a balcony overlooking the desert valley to the west, then turns right to the entrance door. Within, a gallery continues north past the "galley" (in this ship riding the desert crest) to the main chimney, right again and down two steps to the living room. At the other end of the house (south) a second chimney serves the principal bedroom, on the upper level.

Image 3
Image 4
Image 5
Image 6
Image 7
Image 8
Image 9
Image 10
Image 11
Image 12
Image 13
Image 14
The north-facing living room and terrace face a local peak. V Sculley would be pleased. . .

Image 15


SDR
Last edited by SDR on Wed May 20, 2009 4:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Roderick Grant
Posts: 9802
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

Like most of FLW's work in the second Golden Age, the 1930s, Pauson is almost too perfect to believe. When I first saw Fallingwater (the Hedrick/Blessing photo from the base of the falls) back when I was 6, I found it hard to believe anything that beautiful could exist, coming, as I did, from a farming community in Minnesota that knew not architecture. As Robert Winter said when he had looked at the house from its classic (now inaccessible) vantage point, "Now I can die!" I have been to FW several times, and enjoy it every time, but I never got to see Pauson, which I regret.

SDR
Posts: 18681
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

I was hoping to add the two color photos I have seen of the house but couldn't find them.

Is it only the "lost" status of this house that attracts me ? I don't think so. A wood and masonry vessel, romantic and strange, angular and alive, with a timeless approach and a unique means of ingress. . .it speaks to me. The separation of functions, the interior pathways, the elevation of dining above the living level, the uncanny canted lapped board construction. . .

SDR

Ed Jarolin
Posts: 277
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:06 pm
Location: Wyoming

Post by Ed Jarolin »

Definitely a gem. One of many from that burst of creativity shortly before WWII. The entry approach from the private, mostly glazed, side is most interesting. I would guess this has more to do with the location of the existing road and the desire to face the majority of glazing away from the western sun than anything else. Still, the entry sequence up those monumental steps into and through the shaded entry must have been fabulous. I love the almost totally abstract nature of the west elevation. Quite unlike most of the residential work; more akin to Talieisin West, which only stands to reason. The only project I can think of close to this in the use of huge areas of lapped wood siding was for a seaside site. The name of the client slips my mind, but I believe it was to be called 'Windswept' or something close to that.
I had the good fortune to walk the Pauson ruins, way back in the 70's, and even as a ruin it provided a powerful experience.

SDR
Posts: 18681
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Does the site rise at all to the south, or is this really the local high point ?

Yes, I'm sure the chimney was intended to defeat the western sun. . .

I'm amazed at this double-wall lapped board "fabric"; I assume that intersecting walls are what stabilize it, as there are
no studs in it at all -- like the (also present) standard Usonian board-and-batten 3-ply wall.

Image 16

Perforated boards are also visible in this drawing.

SDR
Last edited by SDR on Wed May 20, 2009 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

pharding
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:19 pm
Location: River Forest, Illinois
Contact:

Post by pharding »

What a great work of architecture! Certainly Frank Lloyd Wright at his creative best. It is incredibly powerful to this day, even it only exists in those beautiful black and white photographs.

Where did you find those beautiful photographs?
Paul Harding FAIA Owner and Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, the First Prairie School House in Chicago | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

SDR
Posts: 18681
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Most if not all of the photos are by Pedro Guerrero, of course -- I drew this material from five sources. There is a somewhat messy and muddled photo of the dining area, but no other photos of the interior that I have seen.

SDR

Ed Jarolin
Posts: 277
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:06 pm
Location: Wyoming

Windswept

Post by Ed Jarolin »

Found a rendering and short description of the 'Windswept' project in "Frank Lloyd Wright Drawings" by Bruce Brooks Pheiffer. The small artist's studio for Franklin Watkins was designed for a coastal New Jersey location in 1940. As described by Pheiffer, "the entire structure, except for the poured concrete supports and chimney mass, is of wood siding, with lapped boards extending on a sloped line and mitered at the corners." From the rendering, it looks like smooth rather than rubblestone concrete was to be used.

Not as large as the Pauson house, but an interesting use of wood from the same period.

SDR
Posts: 18681
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

From Monograph 6:

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Roderick Grant
Posts: 9802
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

SDR, John Geiger took some color photos of Pauson, which he will eventually post, once his site is up. I also saw a color photo by a fashion photographer of model Diana Vreeland standing at the south terrace where the upper level balcony starts less than 6 feet above the terrace floor; FLW playing tricks with scale again ... his version of trompe l'oeil. The house must have drawn people quickly, considering the brief time between the introduction of color film and the fire that destroyed Pauson.

Ed, Windswept is an overlooked masterpiece. It's a shame it was never constructed, but I can imagine (especially in New Jersey) contractors recoiling at the thought of all those tricky construction methods and mitered corners. The bids probably came in astronomically high.

Ed Jarolin
Posts: 277
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:06 pm
Location: Wyoming

Post by Ed Jarolin »

SDR-- Thanks for posting the drawings of 'Windswept'. Regarding the topo around Pauson and whether there is a further rise to the south. As I recall it was on the high point of the immediate area, but my walk around was 30+ years ago, so I can't swear to it.

Roderick-- Imagine 'Windswept' with the wood weathered to a soft grey similar to the Pew house. An abstract piece of driftwood in the sand. An overlooked masterpiece indeed.

EJ
Posts: 239
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 8:24 pm

Post by EJ »

These two houses are tremendous. What beauty! Classic FLW! Thank you for taking the time to scan and post the pictures and plans! I've really enjoyed looking at them!
"It all goes to show the danger of entrusting anything spiritual to the clergy" - FLLW, on the Chicago Theological Seminary's plans to tear down the Robie House in 1957

DRN
Posts: 3909
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

Pauson house has always been one of my favorites.

From period B&W photos I have seen on display at the Arizona Biltmore, which show more of the vicinity than the photos specifically taken of the Pauson house itself, it appears the house was on top of a rise or mound about a 1/4 mile-1/2 mile at the most, to the east of the Biltmore. The mound was about 30' to 40' higher than the gently sloping terrain that surrounds it. In 1939-40, there was far less vegetation and no buildings between the Biltmore and Pauson, so it would have been a prominent sight as one dined on the terrace of the "Orangerie" where "Wright's" restaurant is now. Today, the mound of the Pauson site is clearly visible from the balconies at the east end of the east/west corridors on the 3rd and 4th floors of the original main building of the hotel. I walked the site in 1998: there are two houses on the site now and 32nd street chops through the mound down its north/south axis, approximately at the mid point of the Pauson's ceremonial east/west stair from the house to the carport. The mound's slopes drop sharply to the west and more gently to the north, east, and south.
Though the house has often been seen with ship metaphors, it always reminded me of a lion resting on a rise on the plain to survey its domain.

Truly one of Wright's best.

Palli Davis Holubar
Posts: 1036
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:14 am
Location: Wakeman, Ohio

Post by Palli Davis Holubar »

Idea, Sculpture, Architecture- The Pauson Residence is the epitome of clarity. The fire was a small great tragedy for the cause of art and architecture together.

Windswept is only a bit more overstated. Palli

SDR
Posts: 18681
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

It might be argued that a more wind-proof design for the "hurricane shore" would be a block residence without overhangs (and water-traps on the up-sides of that chimney mass). . . Think Millard-by-the-Sea, with plenty of roof scuppers ?

Nevertheless, the romantic profile and complex section (note sunken living quarters) of "Windswept" are unique and intriguing. . .

SDR

Post Reply