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I care little about labels-Fir Tree, Conical, High-Pitch Roof or whatever-but I care about associative visual ideas and the re-thinking of those ideas through time and circumstance. Looking at Wright's body of work, these structures form a group and Beth Sholom's transparency or Hebrew symbolism do not break the relationship. In a group there may be differences, obviously and thankfully. The differences help me understand each one better, as well as, recognize their similarities. That is how I see it.
...not that any of this matters during the autotelic experience of the building
"On the three ridges of the Synagogue seven-branched menorahs, artistically conventionalized, can be seen from every direction. In the ancient Tabernacle the Menorah was a central symbol, so on the Beth Sholom Synagogue the great Menorahs lift their arms as in prayer."
One predecessor of Tahoe (by a year) that might be worth investigating, although the records of it are scant, is Compound and Shrine for A. M. Johnson in Death Valley (which eventually evolved into the non-Wright "Death Valley" Scotty's Castle). There is an elevation of this textile block structure (M4/200-3; T2/128; "Wright in Hollywood" 110-3) that shows a Tahoe-shaped roof. Even the second residence for Aline Barnsdall in Beverly Hills has hints of this trend.
Funny, but recently a member of Librarything.com (where my books are catalogued) asked me if I could somehow arrange to have Mr. Wright's library added to that computer site, as another important "Legacy Library". I asked BBP about the collection, and he suggested I come up and take a look. Evidently a lot of the books are stored in the archive vault. If they aren't catalogued, I intended to to volunteer, but so far I haven't made it up there.Tom wrote:Palli, do you know of or ever heard of a published inventory of Wright's library?
I do know of one book that isn't in the vault ... and that's Flagg's Small Houses, c. 1922 by Ernest Flagg. Mr. Wright's copy is in the WWPeters library at Taliesin West, or at least it was several years ago.
The Archives number system is not always a clear indication of commission chronology, but these textile block(?) desert designs are marked 1923- concurrent with or after much of Armstrong then?
Does the Sweeney text say anything about the client and the life for the ranch?
Rood, that is wonderful! a Wright library inventory would be an important endeavor. I wish you as many quiet hours as you need to enjoy, browse and catalogue...
But wait. SDR posts the AM Johnson building! And behold, there is a ginormous pointy hat on it. Totally out of character for Wright, no? So what's going on here. He (Wright) had something in mind no doubt. What is it? For sure, I do not know. But Johnson was a Biblical literalist. How could Wright possibly relate to that? So, there is a sense in which it looks like he puts a dunce cap on Johnson's head. Isn't there the sense that the Johnson elevations stand out like some kind of joke in Wright's work? And RG has said that Wright often tried to reflect his clients in the buildings he designed for them. What is that quip Wright made about trusting anything spiritual to the clergy. ...umm just thinking out loud here. I love the project in general.