Arthur R. Munkwitz duplex apartments windows

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toastedskin
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Arthur R. Munkwitz duplex apartments windows

Post by toastedskin »

https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/10 ... ntent=item

Do folks have any opinion on the attribution of these windows to Wright? Purportedly from the Arthur R. Munkwitz duplex apartments in Milwaukee. According to the listing:

These windows were purportedly removed from the Arthur R. Munkwitz duplex apartments, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The apartments, which stood on North 27th Street and West Highland Avenue, were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright prior to WWI and were built between 1915 and 1916. Each unit in the two-story duplexes featured a row of street facing leaded glass casement windows of the same dimensions as these. The apartments were razed in 1973 in a street widening project. These windows were advertised in the Maine Antiques Digest in December, 2000 and purchased by the consignor as being from the Munkwitz apartments.

toastedskin
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Re: Arthur R. Munkwitz duplex apartments windows

Post by toastedskin »

Photograph of apartment buildings. Hard to tell what the windows looked like:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/omeka-net/7760 ... 2vikfws%3D

SDR
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Re: Arthur R. Munkwitz duplex apartments windows

Post by SDR »

The drawing file, of only fourteen sheets, doesn't show this window; what does appear on them is in line with the ASBH series, with decorative wood-muntined sash. The horizontal dimension of the offered sash does, however, suit the ASBH construction scheme of wall studs located on 24-inch centers.

https://library.artstor.org/#/asset/285 ... 2212422411

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DRN
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Re: Arthur R. Munkwitz duplex apartments windows

Post by DRN »

I'll forward some pics from an Organic Architecture + Design issue on the ASBH's which has relatively good period photos of the Munkwitz Apartments. The windows up for auction are not from Munkwitz.
ASBH windows (Munkwitz was an ASBH building type) tended to be simpler than what is in the auction and had little, if any, colored glass.

SDR
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Re: Arthur R. Munkwitz duplex apartments windows

Post by SDR »

Dan provides visuals:

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Roderick Grant
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Re: Arthur R. Munkwitz duplex apartments windows

Post by Roderick Grant »

In Shirley duFresne McArthur's book, "FLW ASBH in Milwaukee," page 48A, there are elevations of Munkwitz. The street-facing façade indicates the same wood-mullioned windows shown in the 1924 photograph and toastedskin's posted photo, and are undoubtedly the original design. The mullioned windows are limited to the second story. First floor windows are blank.

I haven't seen much of Russell Barr Williamson's work, but if the window up for sale has anything to do with him or FLW, I would bet it is RBW. To me, it doesn't look at all like FLW's work.

ndhayes
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Re: Arthur R. Munkwitz duplex apartments windows

Post by ndhayes »

The pentagon pattern - the most often used pattern in the ASBH portfolio - is the only design I have seen on drawings and images of the Model J-521 Munkwitz Apartments.

SDR
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Re: Arthur R. Munkwitz duplex apartments windows

Post by SDR »

Looking at ASBH and other Wright drawings over a period of time, one gets the impression that Mr Wright's fecundity overwhelmed any notion of "this window pattern, and this only," for any particular client or building. Naturally, the large commissions like Dana or Martin had their own sets of patterns, gauged to be appropriate to the circumstance---but in the ASBH files, for instance, there seems to be nothing less than a joyous profusion of muntin patterns (the woodsy and "coarser" alternative to the delicate leaded glass of the Prairie period). It is interesting and a little surprising, therefore, to find a single pattern wedded to a particular project.

One associates W B Griffin with these patterned muntins; he seems to have gotten there early, and stayed with them. What is the earliest Wright work with muntined rather that leaded glazing ?

I should probably not have so blithely claimed that the windows offered for sale, with a width of each sash (original frames ? Probably not, in that finish) over 22 inches, might have qualified them as ASBH pieces. Nick, what is the width of the ASBH sash you're familiar with ? It has to be no more than 21 inches, I would think, to allow for the stud/mullion and associated trim . . .?

The elevation drawing of Munkwitz posted above might be a HABS as-found drawing ? It looks too clean to be Wright Studio work. Would Mr Wright have provided patterned sash for the second floor only ? I know that the two levels of a house often had different patterns---but with so much commonality between the exterior expression of the two floors here, the plain first-floor sash look . . . naked, somehow.

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toastedskin
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Re: Arthur R. Munkwitz duplex apartments windows

Post by toastedskin »

What is the earliest Wright work with muntined rather that leaded glazing ?

If "muntins" are defined as the narrow strips of wood that divide the individual panes of glass in a traditional sash, one of the candidates for the earliest Wright muntined windows is the Francis J. Woolley (1893) house in Oak Park.

http://www.artnet.com/artists/frank-llo ... khUiYW4zQ2

SDR
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Re: Arthur R. Munkwitz duplex apartments windows

Post by SDR »

Thank you. Now to look up when Wright forsook the double-hung window (he liked the word "guillotine") for the casement. He was very specific on that, at one point; said he used it on Winslow and not thereafter, wasn't it ?

Of course muntins are the age-old and accepted means of subdividing the field of a window frame. The orthodox solution is halving, quartering, etc, into equal-sized panes. It is the artists among the building set who have always applied pattern-making, an age-old and well-nigh universal designer's pastime, to the humble sash window.

It's a delight to see Wright, early on, turning the classic diamond-pane window, traditionally made of cooper, lead, and glass, into an object of glazed wood. One wonders how small his bits of glass could become, in such a window ? Small enough to block out the daylight altogether ?

In Wright, the Gridley house of the late Prairie era has sash perfectly like the above-described generic---a simple raster of squares. A Grid-ley ?


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SDR
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Re: Arthur R. Munkwitz duplex apartments windows

Post by SDR »

Sorry the images aren't larger:

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DRN
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Re: Arthur R. Munkwitz duplex apartments windows

Post by DRN »

Viewing this thread on my iPhone, I’m better able to zoom into photos. The 1960’s photo toastedskin linked shows a window matching the 1920’s photos and the HABS elevation: the rightmost sash in the closest bay of 2nd floor windows has the characteristic pentagon pattern.

Did the Munkwitz patterned windows have wood muntins? I had thought they might be wide metal caming holding clear glass. A number of ASBH’s have leaded glass windows.

Relative to wood muntins, the original 1895 Chauncey Williams house dormers had an elongated single diamond in each sash. One of these original dormers still remains on the north side of the house. I’ve stated elsewhere my hypothesis that the discarded Williams sashes were rotated 90 degrees and added to the nearly adjacent Winslow stable’s south facade. Williams and Winslow were neighbors and friends.

ndhayes
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Re: Arthur R. Munkwitz duplex apartments windows

Post by ndhayes »

SDR wrote:
Fri May 28, 2021 7:30 pm
I should probably not have so blithely claimed that the windows offered for sale, with a width of each sash (original frames ? Probably not, in that finish) over 22 inches, might have qualified them as ASBH pieces. Nick, what is the width of the ASBH sash you're familiar with ? It has to be no more than 21 inches, I would think, to allow for the stud/mullion and associated trim . . .?
We are in the process of restoring 26 windows in the the Elizabeth Murphy House and another 13 or so in the Oscar A. Johnson House, so this is close at hand. 90% of the sashes will be sized to a nominal 21 inch width. There are a few narrower (~16-ish) windows in ASB Homes, usually placed at corners. Here are some of the findings from our project:
https://elizabethmurphyhouse.com/2021/0 ... -richards/

All ASBH orginals that I have see are leaded glass. I've not seen any mullions. The designs are, indeed, typically coarser geometric patterns than might have been designed for more opulent spaces and color is rare (though there is some - often muted.) We believe that all ASBH windows were factory produced and shipped to the job sites, and I expect there was some risk associate with transport. I'm not sure they wanted to have many hours of labor in any one sash for a fixed-priced affordable home.

Interestingly, RBW homes that carry forward ASBH influence can be seen with both leaded and mullion glasswork, though modest homes like his Eggers Bungalow often feature simple 8" X 8" evenly cubed patterns even when leaded. Designed panes seem to have been limited to more expensive RBW Prairie commissions.

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-N

Roderick Grant
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Re: Arthur R. Munkwitz duplex apartments windows

Post by Roderick Grant »

What may be a HABS drawing was taken directly from a FLW drawing. The same elevation, the upper units with mullioned sash and the lower units plain, in McArthur's book has a square with FLW's name at the bottom, plus "J-521" notation. There are also an elevation of the back, plans of the stairwells, plus a second sheet of the side elevation and a longitudinal section. None of the windows, other than the upper unit, street-facing windows has mullions. Perhaps these drawings are hiding somewhere, mislabeled in Artstor?

SDR, not sure, but I believe, based on style, that ASBH perspectives were done by Lloyd rather than Griffin.

SDR
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Re: Arthur R. Munkwitz duplex apartments windows

Post by SDR »

Thanks. I hadn't formed an opinion on that last point; glad to have a direction. Those are lovely illustrations. Lloyd learned well from his elders---including presumably M Mahony. Griffin's use of patterned muntin sash is a separate issue from who drew the ASBH renderings.

Looks like I made a faulty assumption about the ASBH sash. Has anyone seen leaded sash with broader-than-usual caming, as suggested by Dan ? I'm struggling to reconcile what I thought I saw in certain drawings---including those Munkwitz elevations---with what appears in photos. Are we saying that the Munkwitz windows were metal and glass ? The photos show the glass division material as lighter in color than the sash frame and trim, suggesting metal rather than wood. The thickness of those divisions falls half-way between metal and wood, doesn't it, as seen in the photos.


Here's what I take to be a typical all-wood sash from Wright and company; this is a Stephen Hunt/1906 sheet (mislabeled by someone as from the 1917 Hunt residence). The muntin is labeled as such in the section. Putty is applied, as usual, on the outside of the glass. What puzzles me is the indication of two thicknesses of glass . . .

Another feature detailed here is the dimensions of the frame members. Both top and bottom rails are wider than the stiles; this seems right both visually and structurally (looking for the most generous rail tenons while maximizing the width of the glazing).


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