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Winn House in Kalmazoo, MI
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8408

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill Storrer replies:

"I have photographed Strong, walked around it, checked its grid, and denied its entry into the Catalog. I don't chat. Tell the chatters just what you have said here, for both of us. Thanx."

Typically terse. It suggests, at least, that he was aware that Strong was the client. I still say it's worth investigating further.
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J.Meyers



Joined: 06 Dec 2011
Posts: 48
Location: Kalamazoo - Parkwyn Village

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was told by Helen McCartney many years ago that the original owners (Strong) who had the house designed by FLLW had begun construction of the footings and block walls. Tragedy struck however and one of the Strong's father's or grandfather fell and struck his head while working and later died. The Strong's abandoned the project only to be picked back up several years later by a new owner(?). I image if someone went the K-zoo public library they could locate this information in archives and or the City of Kalamazoo Archives would hold previous building permits for the address and the assessors typically have the original assessors card contain original owner name, dates, etc. I previously worked for the City of K-zoo 13 years and used the resource for putting together house rehab projects for the City. I would like to validate Helen's story but am so busy. But I'll try to go over to library on lunch hour thru the winter months and do research.

Very busy as new owner's of McCartney House.

John Meyers
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John



Joined: 25 Mar 2005
Posts: 390

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:07 pm    Post subject: Winn/Strong/McCartney Reply with quote

Very interesting!
Can you supply we chatters with photos of what you are doing with rehab or have you already done so and I missed.
I hope we will be able to visit your home during next year's FLWBC Conference!
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jmcnally



Joined: 24 Apr 2010
Posts: 858

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like some of the chatters here, Mr. Storrer does not consider a structure to be a Wright structure if too many modifications have been made. He has expressed those concerns in an interview about Monona Terrace. He has even dropped incomplete projects from his book - he and I discussed the removal of the Wetmore service station in Michigan because Wright's involvement was minimal in the end.

As those who follow his research into "newly discovered" Wright buildings know, he relies a lot on the interior and the grids that Wright used for planning those spaces.

This is one reason I have been searching for a convenient list of all Wright designs. The Storrer books are excellent guides for constructed projects, but there is some room for interpretation and discretion as to whether he includes specific projects.
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 3885
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roderick Grant wrote:
Recently there have been some contrarians asserting that architecture is not even an art.


Not all architecture is good art, and not all art is good art, either.

Architecture should be good practical shelter first and good art second.

Is all of FLW's architecture good art? ...or even good shelter?
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Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond
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KevinW



Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 1269

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

add.....not all buildings can be considered Architecture..
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 3885
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jmcnally wrote:
I have been searching for a convenient list of all Wright designs.


Wouldn't a combination of the original Monographs and the new Complete Works contain all of his designs?
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jmcnally



Joined: 24 Apr 2010
Posts: 858

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps. Since I don't own either of those publications, I can't answer the question. I have posed that type of question before, and I am usually pointed to publications costing hundreds of dollars. That's why I have asked for a "convenient" list (easy to access, not very costly). You can find almost anything on the Internet, but you can't find a list of every building Wright designed.
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Macrodex



Joined: 12 Sep 2010
Posts: 233

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jmcnally: buy The Seven Ages of FLLW; it's quite inexpensive and has a list of everything Wright designed and executed chronologically.
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Education Professor



Joined: 05 Jul 2005
Posts: 590

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The story of the "disowned" Strong house is fascinating, and I do hope that more info can be shared. Is a floor plan available?

EP
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John



Joined: 25 Mar 2005
Posts: 390

PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:22 pm    Post subject: Strong Reply with quote

And there it is! In "The Seven Ages..."
1950 Laurence Strong project Kalamazoo, MI!

Thanks for the reference.
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J.Meyers



Joined: 06 Dec 2011
Posts: 48
Location: Kalamazoo - Parkwyn Village

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John - I have posted a brief description of the past 9 months of work that has been completed and in process in McCartney posting. Technically I did not start working on it until mid May due to bungalow I was finishing for new tenant. Not sure how to post photos. Overall all the previous owners exterior landscaping is 100% gone, A.C. unit gone, and much more.

We are hopeful that McCartney house will be included in the Conference tour. Work in progress for next summer will be finishing yard area of the deconstruction of previous owners work. The workspace will be my focus next year. Workspace focus includes it's roof, skylights, boiler vent penetrations height of workspace, and block work.

My plan is a slow meticulous 10 plus year process of restoration.
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 6439
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

J.Meyers:

Welcome to Wright Chat! Thanks for updating us on your progress on McCartney - and for all of the good work you are doing to the home and property, too!

If you would like to share some pictures, Wright Chat's own "SDR" would, I'm certain, be glad to post them for you. You can find his email address on this page.


David
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3512
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roderick Grant wrote:
Quote:
Typically terse. It suggests, at least, that he was aware that Strong was the client. I still say it's worth investigating further.


It's a shame Dr. Storrer didn't elaborate...this would be a great opportunity to illustrate in a step by step example how he determines authorship. This house obviously caught his eye, too. I'd be very interested in knowing what he found as he researched the house's history: letters between Taliesin and the Strongs, requests for changes, a resignation from the commission, etc. Also, it would be interesting to know what exactly he means by "geometrical analysis" as he has stated elsewhere...what are the "fingerprints" or "markers" that he says he sees when looking at a plan? The house clearly uses Wrightian materials and design grammar...what makes this house "tell" him Wright was not the author: placement of ornamental blocks, localized symmetry, lack of mitered glass corners, odd carport placement?

This is a possible "teachable moment" don't you think?
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HOJO



Joined: 19 Oct 2006
Posts: 45
Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:59 am    Post subject: Re: Winn/Wright/not-Wright Reply with quote

John wrote:
The house next to the Winn house is a FLLW house that he "disowned."
I will post photos of the plans with his signature.
The original owners modified the plans significantly by substituting slit windows for a window wall he specified. The hause has also been added to over the years and otherwise modified by subsequent owners.
Current owner is very friendly.


When I visited the Parkwyn Village development more than 40 years ago I also noticed this house and asked later about it at Taliesin: I was told it was a Taliesin design.
If the project was picked back up several years later by a new owner, was FLW then still alive to have it "disowned"?

In the german book (FLW, Humane Architektur, Bertelsmann Fachverlag) I used for the adresses there was a fifth house designed by FLW listed: a house for Ward Greiner, 2617 Taliesin Drive (1951). Seeing this house it looked more like a Swiss chalet.
I remember that the owners left the house by car and stopped beside me to tell me that the house was originally designed by Wright, but that they left him because "Mr. Wright wouldn't compromise".
Maybe this is the house that FLW "disowned" ?
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