My book about restoring Glenbrow/Gunning House is out!

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Modmom1
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:09 pm

My book about restoring Glenbrow/Gunning House is out!

Post by Modmom1 »

What started as a chronicle of the history I uncovered about Glenbrow (aka Gunning House) and our several year odyssey restoring the house from ruin, for my daughters and future owners, turned into a published narrative, Red Bird Against the Snow. During quarantine I was fortunate to have an ongoing correspondence with Nora Chalfont (nee Gunning) who not only shared a wealth of information about the house and her parents, but as a writer/editor convinced me to release my manuscript for publication. The title comes from a line in a 1941 letter from Mary Gunning to Tony Smith, expressing her deep gratitude and appreciation of her new home (Thankfully Tony Smith was very organized and saved his correspondences for archiving).

Of course, I wrote about discovering Wrightchat and how I learned background on our house through this wonderful site! It really was very helpful to us! Thanks for being part of the journey! Anyway, those of you who have restored a historic property know it's a money pit. I'm hoping proceeds from sales will help with our ongoing restoration of the Glenbrow Tower (1964 by Ted van Fossen). We just started up again post quarantine.

Here is a description of the book:

"In 1937, three young men - Tony Smith, Ted van Fossen and Laurence Cuneo met at the New Bauhaus in Chicago, a school headed by Lazlo Moholy-Nagy. When the school closed after a year, Smith and Cuneo joined Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin Fellowship, a total learning environment that combined fine arts with architecture, with an emphasis on learning-by-doing and designing to be in harmony with nature. In 1939, Ted van Fossen received a commission to design and build a house for a young Bohemian couple, Rob and Mary Gunning, on a wooded lot on the edge of a ravine. The three young designers adopted Wright’s principles of organic design for the Gunning House, which the trio named Glenbrow. Built of cypress and stone quarried on site, the house featured walls of glass that brought those who inhabited it into a close relationship with the natural beauty of their surroundings.

Tony Smith later became famous for his monumental minimalist sculptures, Ted van Fossen for Rush Creek Village - a central Ohio community of about 50 organic modern designed homes and Cuneo as the art director for the first season of the “I Love Lucy” show. Rob Gunning developed the Gunning Fog Index, a writer’s tool to ensure text can be read easily by the intended audience.

The years passed, and eventually the house fell into ruin. By 2013 the house had been abandoned for nearly a decade with virtually no maintenance. Red Bird Against the Snow tells the rich history surrounding the house, the people involved in its creation and the several year transition from ruin to restored.

Taking on a project of this magnitude takes skills, perseverance and vision. Dorri Steinhoff and Joe Kuspan discovered Glenbrow on a chance errand at a time they were looking to downsize after completing renovation of another Wright apprentice home. Their journey in reviving the 1940 modernist gem back to its glory led to experiences that enriched their lives in ways they could never imagine."



https://beltpublishing.com/products/red ... t-the-snow
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Bird-Against-Sno ... 950843467/
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/red-bi ... 1950843466
Last edited by Modmom1 on Thu Jun 17, 2021 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DavidC
Posts: 8235
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:22 pm
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Re: My book about restoring Glenbrow/Gunning House is out!

Post by DavidC »

Congratulations, Dorri!

It's wonderful that you have gone forth and published your and Joe's journey. Your saving of Glenbrow from the brink has been a fantastic thing to see over these years. And, having just ordered a copy of the book, I look forward to learning even more about the journey!

Take good care. And, someday when we are up your way again, perhaps we can see the great progress and work you and Joe have done!


David

Modmom1
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:09 pm

Re: My book about restoring Glenbrow/Gunning House is out!

Post by Modmom1 »

Thank you David! I hope you get a chance to visit in the future. It's a big change since last time you were here.

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