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A New Year's Party with Bruce Goff????
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Joined: 24 Feb 2006
Posts: 456
Location: www.prairiemod.com

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anthony Thompson provides the following info in a comment on my recent PrairieMod post on this Goff House and its photos:

Those photos are outstanding. I was there a few years before the demolition and new construction. The street-side elevation looked substantially the same at that point. The wood had been painted brown. The rear was changed; trellises removed and an aluminum glass sliding door had been added.

Yes, I believe the chimney/ fireplace mass was saved and reused. Perhaps even the floor slab was reused. But it is really a stretch to believe that anything else (even the 'bones') were kept. I don't see how you can reconcile the original facade or interiors with the current structure in any way.

P.S. I'll try to dig up those shots that I took (in the early 80's?).

Anthony Thompson

read the post here:
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Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 13973
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The house as it was designed was a very appealing animal. How often do we see an architect play with a major, asymmetrical fenestration feature -- and repeat it on both principal facades ? This is not a house with a "front" and a "rear"; even the elaborated entrance door is repeated on both elevations.

Does the Goff book provide a plan of this house ?

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Joined: 08 Apr 2010
Posts: 201

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What other images are available out there?
Presentation drawings?
Would love to see the floorplan.
These are a real treasure. Im guessing even friends of Kebyar did not know these photos existed.
Breathtaking, rare, charming. Like a story from a book being told to you by your grandparent after having the book burned or lost.
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Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I scoured my collection of "Goffiana": books, magazines, and photocopies, and could not find a plan for the Frank Cole house. In the catalog to the 1995 Art Institute exhibition was a pic of the rendering for the house which I remember seeing there. I'll scan and forward to SDR for posting. In the bibliography of DeLong's "Toward an Absolute Architecture" I found the following entry:

American Home? 1939? illustrations and plan Frank Cole house

Has anyone heard of this publication? I guess I have a new quest for Goff ephemera.

The alternative way to see the plan would be to go to The Art Institute in Chicago and look up the plan in the Goff Archive. Per their online finder, the built version is the second of two designs and its drawing file contains: 6 sheets of design drawings, 5 sheets of presentation drawings, and 11 sheets of working drawings.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Below is an excerpt taken from The Architecture of Bruce Goff: Buildings and Projects, 1916-1974, by David DeLong 1976 dissertation, pages 144 – 146. This excerpt is the portion of the dissertation that is on the Cole House in Park Ridge, IL. Frank Cole was the owner and editor of the Park Ridge newspaper and he knew Alfonso Iannelli well.

Like the more individual designs of 1938, these three houses of 1939 – Mack, Cole and Unseth – were also destined to remain projects. Two were redesigned and eventually built, again paralleling the 1938 designs. This time, however, the modifications were far less drastic, and the houses retain much of their original spirit, indicative of Goff’s increased ability to relate to his clients without sacrificing personal design ideals.

Because the client’s limited funds for building, the Cole house was redesigned according to much tighter plan, changing from a “T” layout to a more rectangular shape.

(Footnote 52: The original garage was later converted to other uses, and a new garage was added to the front of the house. Goff does not know who designed the addition, nor when it was built. I have been unable to contact the present owner of the house. The details of the addition duplicate those of Goff’s original.)

[Subsequent information: DeLong visited the house in May, 1974, at which time the roof top studio was intact, however the trellis structures were gone. An added garage had been built.]

The roof is flat, but at two levels, allowing a studio balcony of the original scheme to be retained. Almost the most striking features of the house are the large windows across the front: rectangular in their overall shape, diagonal members divide the glass into two fixed panes, connecting one corner of each window with an inset ventilating panel of translucent glass. This sense of the diagonal is continued in an architecturally scaled, triangular trellis on the garden side of the house.

(Footnote 53: The similarly shaped devices on the front elevations are part of a later addition.)

The studio, a glass-enclosed pavilion lifted above the main line of the house, is shaded by a horizontal trellis, which extends the line of the roof. From its outer edge, suspended rods carry climbing vines. A trellis is also placed along the sill of the front windows, labeled a “Flower Frame” on the drawings. The underlying rectangular mass has, then, been elaborated with devices which enrich its profile; not only do they complicate the line between the house and its surroundings, but they also allow for growing plants which further unite the house with its setting. Still distinctive today, the house blends so completely with its neighborhood of detached single, middle-class dwellings that it is difficult to spot. Indeed, Goff’s sensitivity to sitting and landscape, as well as to architectural form, make even his latest and most extraordinary houses seem quite at home in often tightly developed residential neighborhoods.

Inside, the simple plans of the original built-in cabinets and furniture, which Goff also designed, echo the lines and materials of the exterior.

(Footnote 54: The total cost of the house, according to Goff, was $4,000. plus $1,000. for the cabinetwork and custom-designed furniture. Photographs by Fons Iannelli were published in a magazine article, Ruth W. Lee, “Brown Study in Individualism,” which Goff has clipped from its original source.)

In an extremely personal touch, Goff used inexpensive glass dishes for windows in the main entrance door and as light diffusers in the ceiling fixtures. However whimsical these features may be they seem to work, for they blend effectively with the whole and could easily go unnoticed. Goff’s use of these inexpensive glass dishes grows from his attitude towards industrial materials, for in both he seeks unexpected and economical solutions, and demonstrates potential applications, which were intended by the manufactures. His use of found material contributes to the individual character of the Cole house, and initiates a sequence of increasingly unusual and sometimes startling choices of materials.

(Footnote 55: Charles Jenks * Goff out as an ad hoc architect because of his of such items; Charles Jenks and Nathan Silver, Adhocism: the Case for Improvisation (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1972), especially pp. 84-87. Goff finds the label hopelessly constricting in describing an aspect, which he considers significantly in only some, rather than all, of his designs. Certainly such “adhocism” as displayed in these Chicago houses is a by-product rather than a generating force of the designs: they obviously depend more on the nature of wood than on the nature of glass ashtrays.)
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Joined: 10 Jun 2014
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:53 pm    Post subject: Frank Cole's house in Park Ridge, Il Reply with quote

That house at 910 Hasting's street was my great Uncle Frank Cole's house. After they moved from there, they moved down the street to 1004 Hastings.

Thanks for posting the pictures. It brings back fond memories of Park Ridge.
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Joined: 30 Jan 2011
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Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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