The Mitchell House: The coda to Corwin/Wright?

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Mark Hertzberg
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Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 7:51 am
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The Mitchell House: The coda to Corwin/Wright?

Post by Mark Hertzberg »

Now on www.wrightinracine.com

Mark Hertzberg
Mark Hertzberg

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Re: The Mitchell House: The coda to Corwin/Wright?

Post by Roderick Grant »

It has been about 35 years since I visited the Mitchell House, but as I recall, the moment I entered, I felt it was not a FLW space. Whatever can be said of spindles, trim and canoodling in the Schiller office, the building as an enclosure of space is not Wright-like at all. As to gambrel roofs, neither Corwin nor Wright had anything to do with the invention of the 17th century style. That both used it in their early years only states that they were complying with the desires of their respective clients.

But it's nice to hear that John Eifler agrees with me about the design of Charnley.

DRN
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Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Re: The Mitchell House: The coda to Corwin/Wright?

Post by DRN »

From the article:
The “Who Did What?” debate will continue with some discounting Wright’s possible involvement, absent documentation to the contrary (Tafel’s remarks keep reverberating in my mind), and others agreeing with the perspectives offered above.
Tafel's remarks:
“On the very first trip to Racine (in 1936 for the SC Johnson Administration Building) we came down Main Street. In all the times I was there, we came down the Main Street, any number of times. He never mentioned anything about any house other than the Hardy House (four blocks south of the Mitchell House).
Wright's position of "Master" to Tafel as the "Apprentice" may have made meaningful and frank discussion of a collaborative project done early Wright's career difficult for Wright to broach. I don't believe Wright's silence in this instance is necessarily indicative of Wright having no connection with the Mitchell house. But given what we have read about Wright's behaviors, it is likely that if Wright was the lead, or sole designer of Mitchell, he probably would have readily noted that to Tafel.

The similarities between the Mitchell and Bagley houses, two contemporary projects both coming out of room 1501 of the Schiller Building, and even their being published on the same page of a trade journal, certainly points toward cross pollination of the designs.
A little to the south of Mitchell is a house that some believe may be by Corwin...
https://www.christmashouseracine.com/
...as the slide show at the link progresses, look at trim details in the interiors and the roof forms, particularly that of the out building.

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