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The Gunning House (Glenbrow) will be restored!
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Mod mom



Joined: 29 Dec 2013
Posts: 389

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:27 pm    Post subject: The Gunning House (Glenbrow) will be restored! Reply with quote

We have been in contract since October 10th due to estate issues and have finally closed on the the Gunning House. We will soon begin restoration efforts and plan on making the main house our home. The tower, from 1964 is in very poor condition, and will require further structural evaluation once mold remediation is completed. The main house was built in 1940, just after the 3 worked on FLLW's Armstrong House in Ogden Dunes. We hope to convert the tower into a B&B/artist retreat.

During the wait, we have had the time to research both the history of the property and how we should proceed with restoration. We've met with the children of the Gunnings, folks from Columbus Landmarks, and several advocators for the property. We have also been in contact with the architect writing a book on Van Fossen and The Tony Smith Foundation, all very supportive of our plans.

I appreciate all the information I was able to find on this site and the individuals I have communicated from here-all very helpful! I haven't figured out yet how to post photographs on this site but I'd love to share our journey. Our goal is to be able to move in by the summer of 2016. We have been fortunate in finding tradesmen who share our enthusiasm for this unbelievably beautiful property!

Here is a little information for those unfamiliar with the property:

http://tclf.org/landscapes/gunning-house
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 2076
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, smack dab in the middle of Columbus, cool.

Now, are we talking about Tony Smith the sculptor?
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14590
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's great news. It would be dandy to see this virtually unknown treasure "brought back." Let's hope not too many updates (alterations to the original fabric) will be found necessary . . .

Somewhere here on Wright Chat, several years ago, a number of photos of the house were presented. Can anyone find that trove -- assuming it's still available ?

Perhaps you can create an album of your own, and link us to it ?

SDR
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5619
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe this is the thread:

http://www.savewright.org/wright_chat/viewtopic.php?t=3095&start=0
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Mod mom



Joined: 29 Dec 2013
Posts: 389

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, we will eventually be living in the first house that Tony Smith designed. He partnered with Ted Van Fossen (Rush Creek in Worthington) and Laurence Cuneo (also a FLLW apprentice who served as Mr Wright's photographer in the late 30s and later was an art director for "I Love Lucy".) They met at the New Bauhaus School in Chicago and afterward Smith and Cuneo became Wright apprentices and Van Fossen worked as a laborer for Wright. At the time Glenbrow was built, Tony Smith was 29 while Van Fossen and Cuneo were 20.

We discovered after meeting with the eldest Gunning child that Tony Smith was the lead designer and his foundation provided us with early conceptional drawings and text to back this claim. We were told that at their mother's funeral in 1986, the children were surprised by Ted Van Fossen's claims of level of involvement in the design-different than what they were told growing up. There are also sketches from Mr Smith of additions that were added in the mid 40s, converting the original car port.

The tower added in 1964 was designed by Ted Van Fossen, while a covered walkway was designed by another FLLW apprentice, Noverre Musson. By chance, Noverre Musson's private residence was our home for the past 15 years up to a year ago when we sold the 5,400 sq ft house in order to downsize. The contractor for the tower and walkway were the Wakefields (of Rush Creek fame).
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Mod mom



Joined: 29 Dec 2013
Posts: 389

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our biggest change will need to be a replacement of the failed "gravity heating system" with a new hydronic system, but we will replace the concrete with original grids. I came here hoping to discover a method to retrofit existing hydronic pipes as we have the original layout, but to no avail.

We toured the Weltzheimer House at Oberlin in April, knowing they too have a failed system and discovered they are only open from mid April to the Fall because of the cold. Even with electric heat panels, concrete and stone need heat if they are to be lived in. We have found a very enthusiastic concrete contractor who sees "concrete as art" and is thrilled about being involved with this project. This will allow us to use energy efficient technology to make the house habitable. We will have to replace all plumbing and electrical wiring which has been stolen during years of vandalism. remember the photographs posted on here were from 2009-much more damage has occurred since then!

We intend to attempt to restore the house as original as possible-it is beautiful as is. For example, we have photographs from the Gunnings that shows the original kitchen (without painted cabinets and with butcher block counters instead of plastic laminate faux granite), which we will attempt to recreate.

My husband is an architect but we are also consulting with a preservation architect, Columbus Landmarks, The Tony Smith Foundation and members of the Gunning Family.
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 2076
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smith was interested in Wrights "honeycomb" module type houses. Is the Gunning house based on a module?
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outside in



Joined: 29 Jul 2006
Posts: 1066

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

regarding radiant heat - it the pipes were installed with radius ends (rather than elbows) there is a very good possibility that new flexible plastic piping can be pulled through the old wrought iron piping. that way the concrete floors can stay in place and, like electrical conduit, the plastic piping can be replaced in the future if it ever fails.


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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5983
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations, ModMom!!!

I know that you and your husband have been waiting for quite some time now - and have been very diligent and very patient throughout the process. This wonderful home is finally in very good and caring hands!

There will br great challenges along the way - and great rewards and satisfaction, too. Big, big thanks go to you and your husband for taking on such a grand task - for such a truly wonderful home and property! And I hope you are able to find continuing good help and support from folks here, too, as your project progresses.


David
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14590
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank, Peter. Unfortunately, all the photos and videos linked on that thread seem to have been cancelled or withdrawn.

David, is your album still available ?

outside in, what is the identity of the photo you posted ? The diameter of the pipe is impressive . . .

SDR
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DavidC



Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5983
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SDR wrote:
David, is your album still available ?


The hosting site I had used has since gone kaput. I'm doubtful that I will be moving to another site anytime soon.


David
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Mod mom



Joined: 29 Dec 2013
Posts: 389

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Outside In,

I will check with the hydronic contractor but I believe it was determined not to be feasible. I'm not an architect and leave technical discussions to my husband, but I recall that there were reasons why we couldn't thread PEX tubing through existing pipes. The house had additions put on each end (car port enclosed in 1944 at one end and a bedroom addition added by Van Fossen in the late 40s at the other end) neither of these spaces were connected to hydronic system. Also, this area has high radon levels, the new floor allow for a protective barrier as well as insulation so there is minimal heat loss through the ground. I believe I recall the geo thermal guy saying w/o insulation there is approximately 30% heat loss through the ground. I also believe there was discussion about the existing plumbing not being used for so many years (vacant since 2006) would most likely have issues.

Believe me, this is a huge expense. I had hoped that there would be a remedy for keeping the existing concrete floor but we have been told that it is not feasible in our case. The floor will look the same when completed but will provide us warmth for our cold winters so that we can live in the hose year round.
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Mod mom



Joined: 29 Dec 2013
Posts: 389

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom, There is no "honeycomb" module in this house but there is a 30-60 shift in the floor plan and the 2X4 floor grid utilizes this shift. The 3 architects had just finished working on Armstrong house, which uses the shift but on different floor levels. The Gunning House is a single level house with the "point room", as the Gunnings called it, and car port shifting from the remainder of the floor plan.

I will get some technical support from my family so that I can post photographs and plans. The photos you find online are usually from 2009. I can't emphasize enough how much more deterioration has occurred. What is interesting is the original house is in FAR BETTER condition than the tower, later car port/utility room and covered walkway.
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Mod mom



Joined: 29 Dec 2013
Posts: 389

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is the text by Tony Smith that is handwritten on an initial floor plan:

Tony Smith
Text from plan for Gunning house


This marks the planting of the city in this country place
it is an addition—not a growth
it is related to the whole as a fourth element and in terms of measure
the original unity is three-fold—from a common center
this does not however spring from the same center—nor does
it grow from one of the wings—it stands apart and yet
is an element of a new unity based on number or
measure—this is a very urbane attitude—it marks
the beginning of a specifically human institution as
opposed to a natural or organic unity


He was quite the renaissance man. He noted how his initials, APS, can represent Architecture Painting and Sculptor and he excelled in all three.
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Tom



Joined: 30 Jan 2011
Posts: 2076
Location: Black Mountain, NC

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha! Just now zoomed in on the location pin for the Gunning House in ModMom's lead post. Lo and behold the Ohio State House!

Is the home within 270? ... well there's a lot posted on this house already on this forum that I have not read before. Will have to catch up. Congratulations on securing the property.

I own Storr's monograph on Tony Smith. He argues that Smith's phase as an architect was fundamental to everything he did after he left the field.
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