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David Henken's Rudy Van Gelder studio in New Jersey

 
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rightwaswright



Joined: 03 Apr 2006
Posts: 96
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:53 pm    Post subject: David Henken's Rudy Van Gelder studio in New Jersey Reply with quote

I've been reading a little about this building and its place in jazz history. Designed by Wright protege David Henken and constructed in 1958/59. I've read that Henken considered it one of his best.

The couple of color interior photos I've seen of the studio show a red concrete floor slab, very Usonian-seque. But does anyone know whether Henken utilized a hydronic slab design for heating that space. Seems like a particularly well suited system for heating a recording studio.

Figured if anyone would know it would be a bunch of Wright freaks. Or maybe if someone lives near Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey they could drop by ask Mr Van Gelder (still working in his early 90's) about his slab?



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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3401
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought it best to tie in this thread with a previous one concerning the history of the studio:

http://savewright.org/wright_chat/viewtopic.php?t=6149&highlight=gelder
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christopherldr@yahoo.com



Joined: 16 Aug 2016
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:00 pm    Post subject: Grew up near the studio Reply with quote

...about a 1/4 mile west of it, and I never knew what it was until 4 years ago. Used to wait for the bus for school about 30 feet from the drive entrance.

I'm writing an article on jazz greats and Northern New Jersey now, which brought me here.

Mr. Van Gelder still lives there, I think, and his address and phone are both online, should you wish to ask him about the slab.

It always looked like a "Wright-esque" building to me, and now I know why.

I was never sure if it was a home or office (it's surrounded by office buildings), and now I also understand it's ambiguous presence since it's a recording studio.
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rightwaswright



Joined: 03 Apr 2006
Posts: 96
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Grew up near the studio Reply with quote

christopherldr@yahoo.com wrote:
...about a 1/4 mile west of it, and I never knew what it was until 4 years ago. Used to wait for the bus for school about 30 feet from the drive entrance.

I'm writing an article on jazz greats and Northern New Jersey now, which brought me here.

Mr. Van Gelder still lives there, I think, and his address and phone are both online, should you wish to ask him about the slab.

It always looked like a "Wright-esque" building to me, and now I know why.

I was never sure if it was a home or office (it's surrounded by office buildings), and now I also understand it's ambiguous presence since it's a recording studio.


Very sad to report that Rudy Van Gelder, the original owner and sole occupant of the recording studio he commissioned from David Henken in 1959, passed away on Thursday 8/26/16 at age 91.

If you are a mid-century American jazz lover it is likely that many of your favorite classic performances were created in his building.
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AJFarber



Joined: 06 Apr 2018
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:58 pm    Post subject: RVG studio Reply with quote

Well, this thread is a few years old, but I'll chime in. Dr Rudy Van Gelder (RVG) commissioned Henken to design the studio. The floor is indeed polished concrete, finished in red, like many Usonian structures. The walls are cinder block or concrete block of some kind in a natural finish. The ceiling is cedar wood planks and there is a giant wooden support beam that goes from the floor and rises to the top of the vaulted ceiling. I heard that the wood was brought in from Canada by rail.

I am a jazz musician by trade, so I know quite a bit of music that has been recorded there, and I know dozens of musicians who have recorded there. I have not, for reasons I cannot go into.

I don't know about the heating system at RVG's, or anything technical about the floor. Now that Rudy is gone, any questions about the studio could probably be answered by Don Sickler. He's a jazz musician and producer with connections to the studio.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15491
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that, AJFarber, and welcome to the board.

I wonder why this Wiki page hasn't be cited here before.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Gelder_Studio

SDR
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AJFarber



Joined: 06 Apr 2018
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there a list available of Usonian homes? Either by FLW, David Henken, or other FLW disciples?
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15491
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure -- they're all here, somewhere, on threads whose index is 176 pages long ! (Searching this archive is severely compromised at present, following a
site outage last year . . .)

We get asked that question from time to time. William Allin Storrer's "FLW Companion" contains all the built work; Global Architecture's Wright
Monographs from the 'eighties and the three-volume Taschen "Wright" published in 2009 illustrate most or all of the design work, respectively.

There is not a monograph on Henken, as far as I know; his work at Usonia New York (at Pleasantville) is seen in a book by Wright client Roland Reisley.
Wright apprentices John Howe and Aaron Green have recently-published volumes devoted to their work, with others perhaps waiting their turn in the
spotlight.

It's a very large field . . .

SDR
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8136

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Books about Usonians Jacobs I & II, MM Smith, Christian and Rosenbaum, and Usonian Automatic Pappas can be had. Go to any bookstore (if the still exist in your neighborhood) that specializes in the arts, and there should be a number of books you can buy. Where do you reside?
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