Samuel Freeman House for Sale

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Tom
Posts: 3312
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by Tom »

How 'bout multiple new private owners funding the rebuild.
Producing a 'time-share' in Hollywood for the 1%

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

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by Roderick Grant »

The lower level lounge did have glass at the west end. However, RMS remodeled that space considerably once Sam and Harriett had divorced, but would neither of them agree to leave the house. The bedroom level became Harriett's bedroom on the east, a division setting the bulk of the lounge off, plus the removal of the wall between the lounge and the west bedroom, save for the 16" square column, creating a space for Sam's exclusive use. In the NW corner was a plywood kitchenette. The bath was shared, as were the living room and kitchen. At the east end of the downstairs hallway, a bathroom was insinuated for the use of tenants who rented the enclosed loggia and laundry under the garage.

There were so many alterations to the house, it is necessary to have a complete history of it on hand to understand it as a FLW design. Architect Jeff Chusid, who was a caretaker of the house after Harriet died, living in the apartment and working on the stabilization of the house, wrote a splendid book: "Saving Wright" (WW Norton & Co., 2011, 256 pp.)

Add to the problems of restoring or reconstituting the house would be the current trend among preservationists to save all the alterations made over the years, which would necessitate referring to the house as the work of Wright, Schindler, Lautner and Clark, plus a mention of Sam, who removed the garage door and took a sledge hammer to the blocks to widen the opening. Lloyd and a high school student also were involved in the construction, and would need credit. For an accurate version of FLW's vision, we must rely on Chad Solon, David Romero or Hugo Avila, or a collaboration of all of them. It should also include the view the house had in 1924, which was a much less-developed Hollywood, with orange groves south of the boulevard and no church tower limiting the view to the southwest.

Tom
Posts: 3312
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by Tom »

Bravo Roderick, I enjoyed that.
The idea that the coupled divorced but niether would leave the house is a riot.
And the image down the boulevard without the church tower, redemptive.
I'm for a rebuild of it as planned by Wright.

SDR
Posts: 20604
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by SDR »

The differences between preservation---and its descendant, conservation---on the one hand, and restoration (an increasingly discredited ancestor ?) on the other, bear examination. The implications are various: does conservation in the strictest sense entirely rule out restoration of earlier states, even the original one ? Is one approach friendlier to the originator of the object than the other ? Is it the materials, or is it the design, that will mean the most to future observers ? At what point must a building cease to perform its original function, and pivot to become a museum piece ?

S

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

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by Roderick Grant »

Rather than getting bogged down with precise definitions, each parcel has to be assessed for its own situation. True restoration, whether for public or private use, is the most difficult; it places restrictions on the property that conservation and preservation don't. Polymath Park seems like a good compromise: restored, conserved, with only a slightly redefined use.

In some cases, location can limit how a building is dealt with. Barnsdall and Dana, for instance, are located in places that make maintaining them as private residences unrealistic, Barnsdall in a public park surrounded by commercial development and Dana in a neighborhood that no one with the means to maintain such a splendid establishment would choose to live in. For others, like Ennis, the opposite is true: The neighborhood is too high end to put up with hoards of visitors creating traffic and noise problems. The neighborhood breathed a sigh of relief when Ennis stopped giving tours.

Freeman falls into the latter group. The cost of preserving or conserving it for continued private use, however true to the original image, or modified to accommodate alterations made over the years of the Freeman's residency by others, is prohibitive. The price set by USC is ludicrously overstated for a structure that is clinging to its hillside, totally uninhabitable. Time will tell, but I don't hold out much hope for Freeman's future. USC did not do well by it, and tagging it with a such a high price, even for Los Angeles, does nothing to ensure its future.

Matt2
Posts: 309
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:07 pm

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by Matt2 »

Was the home given to UCS? If it was, then I question the high price, even if they were paying property taxes on it all these years. Or is the high price an attempt to recoup what they've spent on the improved foundation of the house?

And who should really buy and restore this place is The Getty. They have the money and it could serve as a residence for visiting scholars.

Tom
Posts: 3312
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by Tom »

Matt2 wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 12:45 pm
And who should really buy and restore this place is The Getty. They have the money and it could serve as a residence for visiting scholars.
Now that seems to make some sense.

SDR
Posts: 20604
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by SDR »

Roderick wrote:

"True restoration, whether for public or private use, is the most difficult; it places restrictions on the property that conservation and preservation don't."

Could you expand or exemplify ? I'm not sure I understand.

S

juankbedoya
Posts: 231
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:30 am

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by juankbedoya »

I just wish that this house goes to good hands with someone with lots of love and tons of money because it needs. By the way is there any topic here with the plans of this house..?

SDR
Posts: 20604
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by SDR »

On the previous page is a link to the file of drawings. Here it is again:

https://library.artstor.org/#/search/Wr ... =1;size=48

The last eleven drawings are for an earlier client named Freeman.

(Save that link, Juan; by inserting the name of a client following "Wright," you can access at least some drawings for each of Wright's projects, built and unbuilt.)

S

outside in
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 9:02 pm
Location: chicago

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by outside in »

I believe an even bigger issue than asking price or restoration cost, is how to actually restore building? Its built of blocks that deteriorate and located on a hillside that may have been stabilized. The University has already spent a great deal of money, and we still see blocks cracking, deteriorating, exposed oxidized steel, etc. I remember the FLW conservancy conference in LA about 12 years ago, when two sets of architects and engineers presented work on restoring textile block houses, and neither group seemed to have a handle on what to do. My fear is that the house will never sell, as there is no consensus on how to make repairs. Perhaps the only remedy is to take it apart and put it back together with better blocks, epoxy-coated rebars, etc.

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

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by Roderick Grant »

Matt2, Harriett willed the house to USC along with several hundred thousand dollars to restore it. USC spent quite a lot of money (nowhere near $4M) to stabilize the structure after the '94 quake.

DavidC
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Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by DavidC »


SDR
Posts: 20604
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by SDR »

"The home takes its name from Samuel and Harriet Freeman, a Los Angeles couple with avant-garde tastes who commissioned the building for $10,000 after falling for another Wright property"

Can anyone elaborate on that ?

S

jay
Posts: 368
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 8:04 pm

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by jay »

If the exterior blocks are so beyond any reasonable repair or rebuild, I wonder if it might be worthwhile to forfeit the house's exterior facade, whilst being able to save the interior...? Such as, replacing the exterior blocks with poured concrete.

(...and if the exterior blocks were carefully dismantled and sold individually, a new owner could probably fund the entire restoration... :lol: )

The living room view, enmeshed in its architectural vista-frame, is one of Wright's finest moments. Above all, that feels to me the most important to save...[given the reality].

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