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The Island Woolen Company Dam Observation Deck (1913)
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 3713
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:04 pm    Post subject: The Island Woolen Company Dam Observation Deck (1913) Reply with quote

from PrairieMod

Storrer has this numbered as S143.
Does it have a Taliesin number?
Is it in the Monographs or the newer Complete Works?

http://www.prairiemod.com/prairiemod/2012/12/wrights-woolen-mills-dam.html

http://www.prairiemod.com/prairiemod/2013/01/more-wright-platform.html

One of the photos sure looks like Mr. Wright standing there!
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 7483

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't find Island Woolen Company in the Monos, Taschen or Storrer. My Storrer books list S143 as Horseshoe Inn, though my "Companion" is a first edition, and Storrer does alter his numbering system whenever the need arises, so the later edition may have that number reassigned. I find the dam only in Carla Lind's book, "Lost Wright," pp 144-5, in which she writes, "While no drawings have been located, it is believed that Wright designed the geometric observation platforms on the abutments where the concrete met the earthen banks."

One thing is certain: If the structure had survived, those steps would be off limits or encased in railings.


Last edited by Roderick Grant on Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14297
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wright/Hitchcock do not list this project in In the Nature of Materials . . .

The photo of "Mr Wright" shows the canopy supported temporarily by two posts -- with the upward extension of the central column absent. Apparently this (and the supporting chains) were added as a separate step. It seems odd that four temporary supports are not present; one of them would be placed about where the human figure stands, in the photo.

If that is indeed Wright (and I'd say it looks like him, complete with elevated shoes), then the headroom for a 6-footer would be scant indeed -- no ?

SDR
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krietzerjak



Joined: 30 Oct 2012
Posts: 125
Location: Fort Branch, IN

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen those postcards before, but not the construction pictures. I just glanced through Monographs 3, 4, 9 and 12, and the oldest Taschen (all the ones that should have covered it) , and didn't find it. If it was his design, you would think Wright would have mentioned it if not demolished until the late 1940s. It does look comparable to some of his other designs from that era, Larkin Exhibition in Virginia, Sherman Booth's park features, and Universal Portland Cement Co exhibit in NY.

Andy (my post #13 on 1/3/13). Twisted Evil
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krietzerjak



Joined: 30 Oct 2012
Posts: 125
Location: Fort Branch, IN

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Color picture!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sauk_county_historical_society/4879612111/in/set-72157624572457027/

Additional b/w views.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sauk_county_historical_society/4880220032/in/set-72157624572457027/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sauk_county_historical_society/4880277046/in/photostream/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sauk_county_historical_society/4880276958/in/photostream/

Looks like the one side had the roof removed at some point.

Andy
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RonMcCrea



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Posts: 313
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If they were built in 1913-1914 they were contemporaries to Midway Gardens. They certainly look the part.
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 1997
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The tension members in these b/w Flickr shots show chain link. Wright used chain link to hang the balcony in the drafting room at Oak Park too.

One of the posts on the Flickr thread states that the decorative ovals in the concrete are abalone shells which somehow his (the posters father) influnced
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krietzerjak



Joined: 30 Oct 2012
Posts: 125
Location: Fort Branch, IN

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another unfinished view, this one shows the temporary supports, and the Frank Lloyd Wright-like figure. The author of a message below it thinks it is his Grandfather:

"Who is the figure on the viewing platform? I would say it's Will Henry McFetridge, but I would since he is my maternal grandfather. James B. Delacour"

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sauk_county_historical_society/4879609363/in/photostream/

Andy
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14297
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be interesting to know how tall Mr McFetridge stood. He wouldn't have needed raised heels if he was six feet or over -- one would think.


SDR
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FarmerBill



Joined: 01 Jan 2011
Posts: 70
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't fine Island Woolen Company in the Monos, Taschen or Storrer. My Storrer books list S143 as Horseshoe Inn, though my "Companion" is a first edition, and Storrer does alter his numbering system whenever the need arises, so the later edition may have that number reassigned.


In Storrer's revised 2006 edition, S.143 has indeed been reassigned to the Observation Platform for the Island Woolen Mills (1912/1913), "demolished by floods and lack of maintenance."
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jmcnally



Joined: 24 Apr 2010
Posts: 854

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Storrer's third edition of the Complete Catalog also shows this as S.143 and includes the photo with the man, noting "the photograph shows not Wright but the owner of the mills."
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krietzerjak



Joined: 30 Oct 2012
Posts: 125
Location: Fort Branch, IN

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Picture of Carl Sandburg, Will Henry McFetridge (the tall one), and Wright at Taliesin about 1923.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sauk_county_historical_society/5352345105/in/photostream/

From what I have read, at least two of Island Woolen Company buildings were designed by Claude & Starck Architects: Claude, Louis W., 1868-1944 and Starck, Edward F., 1868-1947. A Power house in 1911, and Office Building in 1917. The Office Building is now being restored by Sauk County Historical Society for a museum. It is a Prairie style building. I thought this was interesting:

"Biographical Sketches for Louis W. Claude and Edward F. Starck
Louis Claude was born in Devils Lake, Wisconsin, in 1868 and educated in the public schools in Baraboo and Madison. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1891 with a degree in civil engineering and worked in the offices of Burnham & Root, Adler & Sullivan, and Schlacks & Ottenheimer for five years. In 1896 Claude returned to Madison and entered into partnership with Starck.

Edward Starck was born in Milwaukee in 1868 and attended the Madison public schools. It is not known what, if any, education he had beyond secondary school; perhaps he and Claude met at the University as students. Before entering partnership with Claude, Starck worked in the offices of D.R. Jones (Madison), E. Townsend Mix (Milwaukee), and Handy & Cady (Chicago).

Both men continued in partnership throughout the remainder of their professional lives. Both died in Madison, Starck in October 1947 and Claude in August 1951.

The firm produced a wide variety of buildings, but specialized in educational and institutional structures. Among their commissions were more than thirty small-town public libraries in Wisconsin and surrounding states."

http://special.lib.umn.edu/findaid/xml/naa114.xml

Andy
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 1997
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So most likely this is a project of Claude and Starck's. Claude's educational background and office experience seem to point in that direction. I don't think Wright would have condescended to abalone shells.

Any good biography on Dankmar Adler out there? I've heard he was a very good engineer and that Wright learned a lot from him.
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Reidy



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
Posts: 1343
Location: Northern CA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Twombly's biography of Sullivan has a lot about Adler. He seems to think that Adler's leaving the firm was the main reason Sullivan's high-rise glory days came to an end.
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 1997
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, I'll look into it.
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