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Disassemble the house to the ground, or as far down as to reach usable new structure already in place; save interior elements; make new blocks; and built it right this time. Perhaps, for the sake of economy and structural viability, lower portions of the block walls could be precast as complete units, saving the proper textile-block assembly for portions of the house most closely visible. Whole interior wall sections might be made of original undamaged blocks, while other walls, and the exterior, would be made entirely of new ones---providing, that is, that original blocks (tiles) can be separated from their grout and steel without damage.
This would no doubt be more costly than constructing a shell of concrete or steel, an armature to contain the original interior---but going half-way to recreating the house seems not good enough, for this Wright masterpiece.
It seems to me the owner could expect to recoup monies spent to date out of pocket (i.e., beyond the endowment)---but no more ? Let them solve their financial problems elsewhere, rather than cashing in on a piece of America's cultural heritage. America is awash in money, if very unequally distributed; major restoration projects occur with increasing frequency (and quality). Why not Freeman ? Is all the California cash in Silicon Valley; is Hollywoodland doing poorly these days ?
The floor is of wood, within its block border. Could it have been the intention, from the start, to be carpeted ? An early and a late photo shows the floor bare:
Well, to be honest I prefer your drawings of the monographs. Those are clearer and enough for me instead of the tons of Artstor.SDR wrote: ↑Tue Jul 13, 2021 12:18 amOn 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.)
I'm beginning to regret the $1600 I spent, just a couple of years ago, on a set of eight Monographs in paper, now that all those drawings and so many more, enlargeable well beyond what was printed (if not always found at an acceptable level of resolution), can be had at the the touch of a (mouse) button, free for the asking. Enjoy them !
For instance, those delightful tall cube lanterns seen in the photo of Freeman above, appear very clearly and fully detailed on a sheet in the Storer file. The amount of detail that was committed to paper over the seventy years of Wright's career offers an endless trove of information on the building art as it was practiced by one of the most creative and prolific designers who ever lived.
Many believe that it is the built work which provides the clearest and strongest evidence of Wright's mastery; for me it is the drawings which led to those buildings which can best attest---in exquisite and endless detail---to his genius, and from which we can learn the most about those buildings, inside and out, the visible and the hidden. And the drawings are filled with written specifications about every aspect of their construction: we learn what was important to the architect, and what materials and methods he tried, and favored, over the course of the decades. They are an historic treasure trove---and fine examples of the drafter's art, as well.
During his tenure at Freeman, Jeff Chusid found that the entire structural integrity of the house was contained in the grout and rebar; the blocks were dead weight. Perhaps a structural cage could be built, with the decorative blocks clipped on?
Even though FLW did not specify carpet for the living room (or any other space), I doubt he would have been concerned that it was added. If the Freemans had asked for a FLW-designed carpet, he would have complied, as at the David Wright House.
The advantage of the books over Artstor is that, with Northern California burning, and the power about to go out, you might find yourself in the dark, unable to log onto the Internet, yet able to light a candle by which to read.
The intersections of the steel grid would take shear loads; the bars could run full height or width, depending on location in the building, and/or there could be triangular gussets at some or all intersections. Or, the tiles could be structural, taking or sharing the shear loads. Bars could be pierced strategically or at regular intervals for electrical and plumbing.
Deeper grids could form the floors and roofs. Of course there's no necessity for east-west and north-south grid members to be equal in section . . .
At Freeman, they excavated behind the downstairs-hall retaining wall, inserted reinforced concrete behind it and left the original blocks in place, no longer retaining anything. If the house collapses it won't take the hillside with it.
I'm going to consult Volume 8, Number 3 of the Journal of Organic Architecture + Design (2020) devoted to the Freeman House and authored by Kathryn Smith. (Back issues are still available, I see: https://www.oadarchives.com/category/journal-oa-d )
No one author will have found and presented the house in the same way and with the same visual evidence; who else is recommended, from among those who might have written about Freeman ?