Samuel Freeman House for Sale

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

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by SDR »

Ah---thanks. Now I'll have to look for a photo that shows those little cubes. I recall them now . . .

Yes, Tom, I'd say the Usonian Automatic window wall very much demonstrates the Chusid theory. Both steel and masonry perform well in compression. What if nature hadn't provided us with two materials that possess the same coefficient of expansion ?

That Neutra drawing may be the only one in the entire canon signed by an apprentice or employee while Wright was alive and published by him ? No---Marion Mahony initialed at least one of her renderings, the one for the de Rhodes house.

S
Last edited by SDR on Sat Jul 17, 2021 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by Roderick Grant »

One note on the Chusid claim of construction: The Freeman blocks, which were poorly made compared to Storer, could not possibly have supported a wall as tall as the stair tower, which is over 33', without the mortar/rebar grid. The weight would have crushed the blocks at the base. It is conceivable that the walls could have had structural integrity without the blocks, as impossible as it would have been to build them, but the reverse is not conceivable. It is worth noting that none of the block constructions that appear to be massive posts or beams were filled with structural concrete; all were empty. That was the same at Storer. The owner prior to Joel Silver intended to add a basement beneath the entry level, and in the process, filled the columns with reinforced concrete, but they, too, originally were just blocks enclosing space.

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

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by SDR »

Freeman is described by one writer as being composed of block walls interspersed with (or bookended by) columns. A look at the HABS plan posted earlier confirms that description. Thus, walls that appear as sheer planes of block are (quite conventionally) assisted by columns that are mostly invisible on the exterior. I had assumed that those columns were filled . . .

S

Roderick Grant
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Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by Roderick Grant »

Matt2, the protracted construction time was due to a lack of funds. Sam, a jeweler, retired as soon as he was able to, but didn't take into account the cost of the house he undertook to build. By the end of construction, there was only one person making and installing blocks, a high school student. All the other workers had been laid off. The Freeman finances must have improved later on, since the alterations and additions were probably costlier than the price of the house.

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by SDR »

Sweeney spends a little time with the Freeman finances; see excerpted text above.

S

Roderick Grant
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Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by Roderick Grant »

Notice that there are no columns, filled or empty, supporting the stair tower. HABS seemingly took liberties with the plan, showing some of the columns as filled. Another inconsistency is that the plan shows the lower level as rebuilt for Sam; the original plan had 2 bedrooms symmetrically placed with the lounge across the entire north end, lighted by a window in the west wall and 4' tall windows 5'4" above the floor in the wall separating the lounge from the bedrooms. The bedroom wall was terminated by 16"-square columns, which HABS does not show. The portion of that wall that was removed for Sam left the column in place, where HABS shows just a, 8"x16" support.

Tom
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Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by Tom »

Well - I've looked thru the Artstor files of all the built block houses in LA now.
All walls seem to hollow but there really is no clear drawing that nails the issue down unambiguously.
My guess however at this point is that they were built hollow.
... try to imagine how the mason handled that without getting grout all over the place - especially on the vertical sides.
Bet it was a tricky task.

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

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by SDR »

Yes. And, the vertical rods had to be located very precisely around the perimeter of the foundation, and supported while the walls rose---painfully---little by little. Of all the Textile Block and Usonian Automatic houses built, I wonder which one holds the record for the longest initial and subsequently placed rods . . .

S

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by SDR »

DRN provides a photo taken at the lower level of Freeman, where the inner wythe was removed to access a plumbing line. The grout channel seems to have been well-filled, for the most part . . .


Image

outside in
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Location: chicago

Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by outside in »

Roderick, have you performed tests on the block to determine their compressive strength? Have you calculated the dead load of the stair tower exterior wall? One would think that you would have these facts at hand before making such statements that the blocks "could have not possibly carried the load" of the 33 ft. stair tower. These statements only create confusion and myths about construction materials, much like Jeff Chusid's bizarre statement about the steel and grout.


DavidC
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Re: Samuel Freeman House for Sale

Post by DavidC »


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