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Mary Adams Rehabilitation
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8214

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's on the wall in 'After' image 40? the doorbell?
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egads



Joined: 13 Apr 2009
Posts: 887
Location: Long Beach CA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say that is a servants call station. It shows the servants where a call comes from. In really old houses there were tubes one could talk through.

And I would like to thank Patryko for spending the money this took. Besides having the taste and sophistication, you all are very brave. Congratulations!
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15571
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like seeing the softwood interior trim bravely showing its native character thanks to a sparing touch with the final finish coats -- as I read it. This may or may not be the way it looked when new (I would be interested to know) -- but it adds to the impression of fresh simplicity in keeping with the spare nature of the design -- I think.

Softwood grain can be every bit as handsome as that of oak or ash. To each its own character . . . !

SDR
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outside in



Joined: 29 Jul 2006
Posts: 1100

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wright was very clever about meeting the owners budget and getting his projects built. Obviously Mary Adams spent additional $$ buying corner piers that were of no functional use, but Wright kept the trim inexpensive by using georgia pine throughout. He also substituted a two-coat exterior plaster, rather than three, and then used a tinted lime wash to give it color, thereby saving $$.

We decided to use a more permanent tinted final float coat of plaster on top of the two base coats to match the color of the lime wash. Unfortunately, the georgia pine had been painted with lead-based paint, and the cost of new wood was substantially less than stripping the original or planing off the old paint. New pine was selected to match the grain of the original, and Wright's system of stain and shellac was used to finish the wood.
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5724
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sensible choices all around...
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8214

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the simpler Prairie houses like this; they prove FLW could work his magic without all the bells and whistles of designs like Martin. Just plaster and wood creating a space to be lived in.
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RonMcCrea



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 323
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can anyone direct me to bio information on Mary Adams and her relationship with FLLW?
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Patryko



Joined: 19 Jun 2011
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Everyone:

Thanks everyone for the great feedback and commentary about our restoration. I have been travelling extensively for work and here are some answers to questions.

--Doorbell: At one point, an owner changed the northside porch by taking away an original juliet balcony and put a set of stairs in. That way people could enter the house via the porch, making it an obvious entrance. John found evidence of the alteration. When we restored the house, we brought the juliet balcony back and got rid of the stairs. Previously, some photographers who did not know about the 'pathway of discovery principle' were taking pictures of the porch entrance as the front of the house before the restoration. Since Wright did not like obvious entrances, he would have hated this. We did bring the original juliet balcony design back, but we did leave the doorbell there. The doorbell is quite old and it makes for a good story.

--House call system: Mary Adams was 70 when she commissioned the house by Wright being Wright's oldest client. She had a female servant who cooked and cleaned. The female servant lived upstairs. Mrs. Adams also had a male servant who drove the carriage and tended to the yard. He lived in the basement. There is a call system that she could reach them in the house. There are also foot buttons under the dining room table that she could reach them. The call system and foot buttons are also restored. By the way, in the front of the house, there are original sidewalk panels that have lines for the horse and carriage.

--More about Mary Adams: It has been very hard to find information about her; I wish to thank the Highland Park Historical Museum for their great assistance.

Mrs. Adams was born in Claremont, New Hampshire in about 1835 and she married George W. Adams in Lowell, Massachusetts on November 27, 1856. She died in Chicago on December 27, 1908 and is buried in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Adams, was a student of Mary Baker Eddy the founder of Christian Science movement, taking Primary Class instruction on September 14, 1885 and the Normal Class on April 20, 1886. She joined The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, Massachusetts on October 5, 1892. Her address at the time she joined was listed simply as "Chicago, Illinois." She was a Journal-listed practitioner from 1903-1909 the address for the listing was; 6 E. Madison St, Room 705, Chicago, Illinois.

Mary Willoughby Adams, was also a founding member of the "Union Park Institute of Christian Science" which was incorporated in the state of Illinois in 1886. Adams was one of two instructors (the other being Mrs. Elizabeth Webster) at the Institute, and her role was to give "instruction in the Practice of Christian Science Mind-Healing." The address for the Institute was listed as 42 Ogden Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. Unfortunately, there are no records from the Institute, so it is difficult to expand further on the work of Adams and Webster.

Another thing I have unearthed is that her brother was Charles Willoughby who had a prominent textile business in Chicago. He is mentioned in the Louis Sullivan and Wright skyscrapers book, because his business was in a Chicago skyscraper.

We have been also told that she was a Christian Science midwife and brought George and Alice Millard to Highland Park to join the movement. The Millards' also had Wright design a house for them in Highland Park down the street from the Mary Adams house. We also have been told Mrs. Adams delivered a child for the Millards'. By the way, the Millard house is for sale in Highland Park. It is beautiful and in a wonderful forest-setting. The relationship with Adams and the Millards is speculated and we are trying to get it verified. As people know, Alice Millard moved to Pasedena and Wright designed the lovely 'La Miniatura' for her. Clearly she loved his designs.

What I really want to find out is how it came about that a 70 year old woman chose a 36 year old architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, to design her home? I will keep everyone updated if I find out more.
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RonMcCrea



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 323
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patryko, this is great information. Have you found any photographs of her?

The Millard connection is fascinating, and you also might find one with Queene Ferry Coonley, who also was a Christian Science practitioner and had Wright design separate stairways in the Riverside mansion so that clients would not see each other coming and going. She and her husband Avery were both prominent in the movement, and he retired from corporate life to devote himself to the church.

From what I have read, Christian Science at the time regarded itself as a progressive force; the Christian Science Monitor was founded as an antidote to the yellow journalism of the day. Founded by a woman, Christian Science had a non-gendered concept of God. When Mrs. Coonley told Wright she saw in his work "the face of Principle," she was using the Christian Science word for God. Or so I have read. The idea that Wright's work was ethical architecture -- the non-hierarchical open plan, honesty in materials, in communion with nature -- may be what bridged the age difference. Or, he may simply have been thought fashionable to those who considered themselves "advanced" and "scientific." Or, she may have been charmed by an attractive, brilliant young man half her age. What's hard to understand?
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 3827
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fact that a 70 year old woman embarked on the tedious project of building a new home speaks to her optimism and vitality.
_________________
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond
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RonMcCrea



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 323
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fact that I turned 70 myself last week makes her a role model.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15571
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was 70 in November. Guess I missed the boat -- have to wait for 80, now . . . !


SDR
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8214

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She enjoyed her house for only 3 years! That's sad.
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Patryko



Joined: 19 Jun 2011
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Ron for the information about the Christian Science religion at the turn of the century . It is interesting to know about the Coonley's. I knew Christian Science was considered progressive at the time. I agree with the idea that Wright was a great match for people who thought differently from the staus quo.

I apologize that I have not located any photos of Mary Adams. If anyone locates one, I would be entirely grateful to see it. On one of the historic photos we have of the house, which is on the Eifler Associates website, there is a figure in one of the windows. Go to this link:

http://eiflerassociates.com/Mary%20Adams.htm#

Then click on the middle photo. If you look at the 5th window from the right going left, there is a figure looking out that looks shadowy. It is a woman that looks like Auntie Em from the Wizard of Oz. Could it be Mary Adams? hmmm...

You are right Roderick; it is sad that Mary Adams only lived in the house 3 years. She left the world with a bang at least! That's quality of life!
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hypnoraygun



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 560
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Mary Adams house is looking fantastic in the snow. Quite a change since I last saw it!



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