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As the family grew, the "family room" off the kitchen quickly became of insufficient size. The playroom is self-contained and served as a guest room or an apartment for visitors of a longer stay. It has a kitchenette (behind folding doors), two murphy beds, an extraordinary bathroom, and built-in seating encircling and facing the magnificent round fireplace (one of five total fireplaces in the house). Wesley Peters did an exceptional job on the addition. The whole things nestles into the hillside. It has a full basement, separate from the basement to the main house, accessed by a stairwell that follows the curve of the round playroom.
No space has been wasted and the ambiance of this room is wonderful.
much later additional comment, 2/13/10: Now I seen more of Wright's print cabinets and the height doesn't bother me- it's for careful study while seated. Strange for me that I didn't comprehend that right off since one of my crusades was advocating to much more seating in art museum galleries!
Boswell 1957 comes to mind and the Juvenile Cultural Center 1957, Karen Johnson-Keland 54, Kinney 1957. They all employ larger entry spaces, plenty of natural light. No longer do we find perfs for windows, which we all know creates wonderful light patterns and movement but at the same time reduces the amount of light into the interior spaces. When he designs perfs for Seth Peterson in 58, they evolve to a scale that is much larger.
I wonder if this was in response to his own failing eye sight? He was 89 or 90 years old at the time he designed these buildings. He must of experienced some difficulty of sight. I know my vision has changed, and I'm far from 90.
I was immediately reminded of another masterwork from 20 years earlier, the Gregory farm house by William Wurster from 1926-1927:Roderick Grant wrote: The May house looks spectacular. I don't recall ever seeing anything about that house in any May book I've ever encountered.
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/uimages ... rster1.jpg
http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings ... house.html
The Cliff May house was magnificent in its own right. "Grandma Price" welcomed another apprentice and I to see it on one of our trips through in the summer of either 1976 or 1977. We toured Hillside and the "fully functioning" Price Tower at the same time. The road to Goff's Shin'en Kan was under reconstruction, so access was not possible that particular day.
As a side note, Grandma Price was one of a kind. When we met her at her Cliff May house, she was wearing coveralls and muddy boots, having come off the caterpillar that she was driving to rebuild the road to the Goff house! I'll never forget the formal evening at Taliesin West when she lit up a cigarette while sitting in one of the origami chairs next to Mrs Wright. Mrs Wright never batted an eyelash and seemed not to notice the moment of stunned silence by the Fellowship. NO ONE was allowed to smoke around Mrs Wright ... except, apparently, her good friend Mrs Price!
Sadly, of the Star View Farm, all but the 30 or so acres upon which Hillside sits has been sold off and is under development. The estate in tact was magnificent. It was a tragedy for the May house to be demolished and the site now surrounded by hideous (my opinion) McMansions. Of course, Shin'en Kan is no more and I never did get to see it. It is a tribute to Carolyn Price for her extravagant care of Hillside for about 50 years, and to the new owners for their equal care and attention.