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The Lamberson House for $185K????
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5622
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

here's the story directly from the letters and confirmed by bill lamberson, jack lambersons son. lamberson asked wright for a ten thousand dollar house. wright said he could do one for fifteen thousand. they agreed on that and made the first payment. a series of revisions are made in the plans. a letter from eugene masselink is sent may 1948, saying that mr. wright is dissatisfied with the plans and also wants to move the location of the house to what is today the present location. final drawings arrived, went out to bid, and came in between thirty-three and forty thousand. by this time, the final version of the plan had been decided upon. lamberson was understandably upset (imagine now you agree on a five hundred thousand dollar house and the bids come in between 750 and one million two). lamberson asks wright for something more like goetsch-winkler or jacobs 1, saying he wants something simple and functional. a series of modications, mainly in materials, not in plan or elevation, are made and the design for a shop, lanai is abandoned. a small basement is abandoned. copper roof details are changed to galvanized. the swimming pool is put on hold. the cypress board and batten walls are changed to redwood plywood. cabinets are to be solid redwood and ply and the pool was to be added in the future. these correspondences are written by john hill, and wright himself. they agree to this and a bid of twenty six thousand dollars with the contractor jim de reus, who also builds the alsop house, who are close family friends.
there is no mention, whatsover, of jack howe.
sept. 1951 a drawing for a future addition is made.
october 1951, letter about furniture design changes.
may 1952 wright was pleased to receive final payment.
1952 letters are exchanged about fireplace problems.
december 1952 lambersons move in a week before christmas.
june 10th 1953 john hill writes about a brick screen (never executed) to block kitchen door and talks about planting layout.

these letters were generously given to us from loren knox, who obtained them from the frank lloyd wright foundation at taliesin west.

thanks deke. i need to get over to the getty myself and see what you poured over.
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5622
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh, and the future swimming pool was not to be located at the back of the house, but to the south of the entry court, and would include a pool house.
the elevations from the wright foundation are exactly what was built, including what has been described here as the "awkward" entire rear and side of the house.
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RJH



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 682
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana

PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
the future swimming pool was not to be located at the back of the house, but to the south of the entry court, and would include a pool house.


Very intresting. This is the first Wright Usonian where I beleive the swimming pool is not part of the slab/attached to the house in some fashion. Examples are Thaxton, Hoffman and Fawcet among others. Hhhmm....
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14603
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RJH, each architectural project, by ANY architect, is, properly, designed for its site -- and each site on the planet is (by definition) unique.

While Wright had a number of tropes -- favorite ideas, forms and solutions -- which reappear in different combinations during any one period of work, he also quite obviously enjoyed his inventiveness, and (we assume) saw the different opportunities and, yes, problems that each new site offered.

Moreover, we'll never know all of the demands and preferences that his clients expressed to him. Some of these are embodied in the correspondence (where it exists), but the initial and subsequent meetings between client and architect were seldom recorded. So, the various imperatives, internal and external, that caused a particular design to appear as it does, is difficult if not impossible to determine.

To look for repeated solutions as a mark of authenticity in Wright is a fool's errand. Sadly, to do so is to miss the whole point of Wright's effort and its magnificent accumulated result.

___________________________________________________________

Your behavior in this instance, both here and behind the scenes, is little short of scandalous. Another new Wright owner insulted to his face is only half the story. All of this reflects on our community very poorly, in my opinion.


SDR
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5622
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very intresting. This is the first Wright Usonian where I beleive the swimming pool is not part of the slab/attached to the house in some fashion. Examples are Thaxton, Hoffman and Fawcet among others. Hhhmm....[/quote]

anyway, rjh, if you are curious, the axis from the triangular carport continues to the pool area, the forms of the plan of the house are reinterpreted with variation in the pool plan, and there is a path (on axis) from the house to the pool. because the house sits on a moderately steep knoll, it might not have been practical or appropriate to build a slab. the car court area is marked gravel on the plans and the drive is asphalt.
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RJH



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 682
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
the axis from the triangular carport continues to the pool area, the forms of the plan of the house are reinterpreted with variation in the pool plan, and there is a path (on axis) from the house to the pool. because the house sits on a moderately steep knoll, it might not have been practical or appropriate to build a slab. the car court area is marked gravel on the plans and the drive is asphalt.


Confirmed. At this stage, I formally atribute the desgn to Hill, Howe or Bessenger with Wright input.

This house is not in the top tier as Zimmerman, Pope, Larent, Haynes, Tracy, Sturges, Palmer, Walker..... However, it is a swell house and all the best.
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5622
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Confirmed. At this stage, I formally atribute the desgn to Hill, Howe or Bessenger with Wright input.

thanks for your formal attribution! how much do i owe your unnamed wright consultation firm for its research?

sincerely,

peter
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5622
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing
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Deke



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 692
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find this mania for attribution curious. If it left the drawing room with FLW's signature on it, then it's a FLW design. How good or bad a design it is (I happen to think it's quite strong) is a matter of personal preference.

Where does the game of assessing how much Wright was involved (or how much an apprentice, or a client) end? Is the Guggenheim 67% Wright? Is Marin County only 35%? I suppose such debates apply to almost all art save writing and music composition where you know one person did the work.

Deke
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RJH



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 682
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I posted pics of Winn. That too had FLW signature on it.
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 3740
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RJH wrote:


- Paul Ringstrom visiited the property but posted no endorsement.



I object to my name being used to imply either an endorsement or lack of endorsement.

I, unlike others on this board, lack the audacity to make an "endorsement" of whether a building is "officially Wright" or not. I leave these lofty judgments to WAS and RJH.
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Deke



Joined: 27 Jul 2006
Posts: 692
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, forgot to mention one of the drawings at the Getty was for a fireplace grate as mentions above. I took the hanging metal basket on a swing arm to be a kind of wine-warmer...like that at Fallingwater. It's a very angular design in keeping with the triangular motif of the home. I suppose some day someone will do a whole book on Wright's fireplace accoutrements.

Deke
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5622
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deke wrote:
Oh, forgot to mention one of the drawings at the Getty was for a fireplace grate as mentions above. I took the hanging metal basket on a swing arm to be a kind of wine-warmer...like that at Fallingwater. It's a very angular design in keeping with the triangular motif of the home. I suppose some day someone will do a whole book on Wright's fireplace accoutrements.

Deke


i have that sheet also. i understand it to be the first incarnation of the fireplace grate (to actually hold the logs). i think this, because i have another sheet saying "fireplace grate house for mr. and mrs. jack lamberson oskaloosa, iowa revised march 21, 1952 frank lloyd wright architect".
the earlier drawing of the fantastic geometrical object does not show a grate below it. it seems to have voids in it which would allow the ash to fall below.
but you could be right, because the earlier drawing has no title informing what the function of this thing is.
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5622
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deke wrote:
I find this mania for attribution curious. If it left the drawing room with FLW's signature on it, then it's a FLW design. How good or bad a design it is (I happen to think it's quite strong) is a matter of personal preference.

Where does the game of assessing how much Wright was involved (or how much an apprentice, or a client) end? Is the Guggenheim 67% Wright? Is Marin County only 35%? I suppose such debates apply to almost all art save writing and music composition where you know one person did the work.

Deke


good points deke

i would only beg to differ about the notion that in music composition one knows that only one person did the work.
i work in the music scoring world for television and film, and it is quite common for composers to have assistants who are "ghost writers". hans zimmer has at least thirty assistants, who are responsible for various aspects of the score. the composer, however, always needs to sign off on the assistants work, and the assistants generally receive no credit as composers.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14603
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Certainly. I attend an architecture blog in which much is said by working architects about this issue -- the boss gets the credit, no matter what. In the world of furniture and interior decor, George Nelson's name is synonymous with objects now known to have been designed by his employees and collaborators.



Apparently Wright owners here are allowed to insult others (including other owners) freely, while equally frank criticism of them in turn is off the table. Interesting. I invite private email from any readers concerned with this issue.

SDR
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