FLW's Forgotten House

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Roderick Grant
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Re: FLW's Forgotten House

Post by Roderick Grant »

The Wilmette and Lake Bluff Houses didn't make the cut until the "Companion." I am certain it was Thomas Heinz who found them and authenticated them as ASBH. The Lake Bluff House obviously used different fenestration, but apparently, according to Heinz (who is meticulous about such things), the rest is legitimate ASBH.

SDR
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Re: FLW's Forgotten House

Post by SDR »

I was interested to read in Hayes that an ASBH house is easily verified by its 24-inch framing-member intervals, visible in the basement where one can see the first-floor joists.

Another verifier, visible from the street, is Wright's unique fenestration detail for this project, where the steeply-canted window sill is matched by window head trim built to the same angle. Section drawings illustrate this characteristic feature:


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ndhayes
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Re: FLW's Forgotten House

Post by ndhayes »

DRN wrote:
Wed May 12, 2021 1:50 pm
Was there any mention in the ledger of a house in Lake Bluff, IL?
DRN,

Thanks so much for the feedback and the question.

The ledger is not a list of built homes, but a register of models and their respective features and available drawings. So no, the Lake Bluff home is not listed, nor are any other projects for that matter.

That said, I believe there is a clue in the Avery drawings about realized projects, and I discuss this in the book. Quoting myself:
In the Avery collection, there are only fifteen models represented by more than ten drawings and only six of them by fifteen or more drawings. It is unclear just how many American System-Built Homes were built, but this collection offers clues, assuming that it is the substantial representative sample that it appears to be. It is believed that there are a dozen homes remaining from the twenty to thirty constructed. Some models were built more than once, so quantity of model drawings loosely corresponds to built models if duplicates are subtracted.
The point is that the existence of construction drawing set suggests that a project needed drawing support.

I'd look first for the Lake Bluff model in the models that have sets. Let me know if you want me to dig in more.

ndhayes
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Re: FLW's Forgotten House

Post by ndhayes »

SDR wrote:
Wed May 12, 2021 5:35 pm
I was interested to read in Hayes that an ASBH house is easily verified by its 24-inch framing-member intervals, visible in the basement where one can see the first-floor joists.

Another verifier, visible from the street, is Wright's unique fenestration detail for this project, where the steeply-canted window sill is matched by window head trim built to the same angle. Section drawings illustrate this characteristic feature:

SDR,

I agree and would add another clue. Post-ASBH-separation Richards/Williamson adaptations continued to use the steeply-canted sill, but usually replaced the opposing canted header. Why? Of course, they leaked. This is confirmed in the Krause V Murphy/Kibbie lawsuit often cited in my book.

Here is that change, in action at the 1919 RBW Bellews House in Milwaukee. Note canting on the bottoms, traditional frames on the top.

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SDR
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Re: FLW's Forgotten House

Post by SDR »

Thanks, Nick. What an example ! We seem to see Wright, stripped---or perhaps "ghosted-in." And the colors are totally winning. Look at that very generous cantilevered "stoop" canopy---deflecting but still in service. I didn't notice such an extravagance in the ASBH "catalog" as revealed at Artstor . . .

The little tin tent flashing over the ASBH window is an extravagance entirely owing to the architect's willful pursuit of style. So often he is able to make his heart's desire align with convention's taskmaster, Good Building Practice, as a (written or unwritten) architect's code. As a designer myself I am entirely in sympathy with Mr Wright's attention to his muse. "Why build at all, if you're not going to make it something special---something from the heart" I can hear . . . someone . . . intone.

When all is said and done, isn't that why we pursue this paragon---because we are in sympathy with the artist, and with his art ?

S

ndhayes
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Re: FLW's Forgotten House

Post by ndhayes »

SDR wrote:
Thu May 13, 2021 11:49 pm
Thanks, Nick. What an example ! We seem to see Wright, stripped---or perhaps "ghosted-in." And the colors are totally winning. Look at that very generous cantilevered "stoop" canopy---deflecting but still in service. I didn't notice such an extravagance in the ASBH "catalog" as revealed at Artstor . . .
The "ghosting-in" deserved a bit more digging and that is written here: https://elizabethmurphyhouse.com/2021/0 ... at-a-cost/ (Richards and Williamson most certainly knew about our leaky header and were probably discussing steps to cure even before Wright "caught them" selectively curing without his approval.)

SDR
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Re: FLW's Forgotten House

Post by SDR »

The first section drawings of the ASBH window I ever saw were found in a 1993 publication; in both illustrations (redrawn from ASBH originals) the valley above the header piece is dealt with. See below.


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from "FLW: Experiments in the Art of Building," essay by Kenneth Martin Kao in "Craft in Architecture," Modulus 22, The Architectural Review of the University of Virginia, © 1993 by MODULUS, Inc


Among the seven original window section drawings found at Artstor, only three show flashing or other treatment at the subject problem area. I don't find Wright to be sparing in his provision for necessary flashing; construction drawings from throughout the Prairie period, for instance, are replete with examples of careful detailing. It is puzzling, therefore, to see such a glaring omission in these ASBH drawings.

I learned from your book that others---Williamson in particular ?---was given the burden of producing hundreds of drawings for Richards. Would this omission be a rookie error on Williamson's part ?

Curiously, the flashing or other solution to this problem would have been virtually invisible from the ground, unlike the roof-edge flashing which Wright avoided, to his peril, in the Usonian flat-roofed houses.)

(The opposite of "header" would be "sill"; see Kao's list of window parts at p 86, above.)


The seven window detail sections:

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ndhayes
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Re: FLW's Forgotten House

Post by ndhayes »

SDR wrote:
Fri May 14, 2021 11:00 am
Among the seven original window section drawings found at Artstor, only three show flashing or other treatment at the subject problem area. I don't find Wright to be sparing in his provision for necessary flashing; construction drawings from throughout the Prairie period, for instance, are replete with examples of careful detailing. It is puzzling, therefore, to see such a glaring omission in these ASBH drawings.

I learned from your book that others---Williamson in particular ?---was given the burden of producing hundreds of drawings for Richards. Would this omission be a rookie error on Williamson's part ?
Wonderful! So glad to see the evolution and the fix - though it is interesting that it was applied in a variety of ways (E. Howard Hyde House owners have shared an image with me showing wood, not tin, in this space. - Perhaps Mike will attach here.)

I wondered the same thing about rookie error. Who knows what version of the drawings Hermann Krause was working with? That, coupled with no site supervision and builder Krause not getting paid would make the flashing leave-out easy to understand.

kliw
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Re: FLW's Forgotten House

Post by kliw »

That’s correct. The H Howard Hyde House has wood “flashing” filling the space above the headers and tops of the trim. I assume it’s original to 1917, but seeing the question of it here makes me wonder if PD Diamond, the builder, took it upon himself to add it, if it was included in the supplies from Richards, or if it was modified when the stucco was re-done on the house.

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ndhayes
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Re: FLW's Forgotten House

Post by ndhayes »

SDR wrote:
Fri May 14, 2021 11:00 am
I don't find Wright to be sparing in his provision for necessary flashing; construction drawings from throughout the Prairie period, for instance, are replete with examples of careful detailing. It is puzzling, therefore, to see such a glaring omission in these ASBH drawings.
Duly noted and corrected my overstatement. https://elizabethmurphyhouse.com/2021/0 ... at-a-cost/

I am transported to the heated conversations by every one of these lovely puzzles. And the pieces keep appearing!

SDR
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Re: FLW's Forgotten House

Post by SDR »

Yes. We are blessed to have such a richly endowed imagination as the subject of our studies. Any one of Wright's many ideas could provide a lifetime of pleasurable pursuit; that he left behind so much for us to investigate and enjoy is a true blessing. As a visually-oriented person I would not much enjoy a study of the written word---as in, a literary pursuit. But the world of design is an open book for me. The problem becomes, what can one say about visual poetry, architectural music ? Finding meaningful things to say about a non-verbal art is indeed a challenge. But we try . . .

When all is said and we fall mute, the drawings are still there as silent witness to a long and rewarding series of architectural ideas---or Ideas, as Wright would have it. Lucky we !

S

ndhayes
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Re: FLW's Forgotten House

Post by ndhayes »

SDR wrote:
Sat May 15, 2021 8:04 pm
The problem becomes, what can one say about visual poetry, architectural music ?
I think you're doing just fine!
-N

Paul Ringstrom
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Re: FLW's Forgotten House

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

RBW-designed house for sale in Shorewood, WI

https://www.realtor.com/news/unique-hom ... uilt-home/

I couldn't find the exact street address or listing on realtor.com.
Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

SDR
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Re: FLW's Forgotten House

Post by SDR »

Did Williamson work in Wright's studio ? Did Mr Wright have, or acknowledge, "protégés" ?

S

ndhayes
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Re: FLW's Forgotten House

Post by ndhayes »

SDR wrote:
Thu May 27, 2021 7:54 pm
Did Williamson work in Wright's studio ? Did Mr Wright have, or acknowledge, "protégés" ?

S
Williamson was employed by Wright for about 3.5 years, first as a draftsperson at $10/week, and then as a site supervisor on Milwaukee projects. He was gone within weeks of the the cancellation of the ASB Wright/Richards contract. What Wright would have called him will probably always be a mystery.

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