1890's Plan Type

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Tom
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Location: Black Mountain, NC

1890's Plan Type

Post by Tom »

Got a question.
From 1892 -1894 Wright does a group of houses with a similar type of plan.
Here are the houses I have in mind:
Robert Emmond 1892, Robert Park 1892, Walter Gale 1893, Frederick Bagley 1894, Peter Goan 1894, and Frances Wooley 1894.
Generally the plan is divided in two parts down the length of the house. Typically, but not always, on one side are the living spaces and on the other side are the "service" spaces. A refinement of this concept is the tripartite division of the "living" side which will figure prominently in the 1910's.

What I'm wondering is, for it's time, how generic was this type of plan or is this plan more closely to be considered a concept of Wrights. Does that make sense?

Woolley House:
Image

Goan
Image

Bagley
Image

Gale
Image

Parker
Image

Emmond
Image

In all of these plans the fireplace has not really emerged.

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Re: 1890's Plan Type

Post by SDR »

Well: Wooley could be a not too distant forebear of the oft-repeated Prairie tripartite plan, as in de Rhodes or Barton for instance:

https://library.artstor.org/#/asset/296 ... 9590750692

. . .while Goan stands in for Wright's plan for his own Oak Park residence.

If the fireplace isn't yet "a major determin[ant] of space," it is at least centered within the structure, in this second type--while in the tripartite (inline) plan it is usually off-center if not atypically (for Wright) placed on an outside wall.

Indeed, in what its owner styles "the first Prairie House in Chicago," the Davenport residence, the fireplace is centered and captured by a small symmetrical inglenook---very much as at Goan, et al.

As for whether any of these plan types were uniquely Wright's, I guess you'd have a lot of looking to do, at contemporary work. I don't see anything too outrageous or peculiar about any of them, beyond the strong urge for unilateral symmetry in the tripartite examples; it is only in hindsight that we see the seeds of more uniquely Wrightian plans to come.

S
Last edited by SDR on Sat Aug 21, 2021 7:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Tom
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Location: Black Mountain, NC

Re: 1890's Plan Type

Post by Tom »

Nice, I was just wondering about the off center fireplace at DeRhodes.

and yes - a lot of looking would be required - to make any conclusion.
My inclination is to say that these plans are typical and not uniquely conceptual to Wright, but...

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Re: 1890's Plan Type

Post by SDR »

The Davenport plan relates to Bagley, above, while the off-center fireplace of de Rhodes, etc, can be seen in another form in Emmond or Parker. In both cases, a symmetrical element is tempered by an off-center one.

S

Tom
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Re: 1890's Plan Type

Post by Tom »

Curious - I cannot find drawings for Davenport. Accessing the Artstor files thru Avery and even directly thru Artstor itself comes up empty.
Are they somewhere in WrightChat?

SDR
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Re: 1890's Plan Type

Post by SDR »

Yes, that surprised me as well. Wright Chat member and restoration architect Paul Harding is the owner of the house and was responsible for its major restoration. Webster Tomlinson's name is attached, not without controversy, to the commission; the drawings may have ended up with him, or even with the original client.

Earlier discussions of the house go back to the earliest days of Wright Chat; you will find them by searching the index.

In cases like this we turn to William Allin Storrer, who managed to find or create measured plan drawings for virtually every built Wright structure, published in 1993 in the first edition of his "Frank Lloyd Wright Companion," every Wright enthusiast's bible.

Here are his plans of the Arthur Davenport residence:

Image
© 1993 by W A Storrer

Tom
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Re: 1890's Plan Type

Post by Tom »

Thank you
... and wow - that's getting really close to a centralized free-standing fireplace facing down a long room w. porch extension.
Entry location obvious association to Robie.

SDR
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Re: 1890's Plan Type

Post by SDR »

What Davenport means to me is an early example of the cruciform or pinwheel type---distinguished from the inline plans like the tripartite and like Tomek and Robie. And the tripartite is the one where the fireplace is forced from the center of the plan to an off-axis location.

S

Roderick Grant
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Re: 1890's Plan Type

Post by Roderick Grant »

Although there are connections between the DeRhodes type plan and "A Home for the Prairie," I would say the differences are greater. The entrance to the "front-to-back" tripartite scheme is the center space with the stair, with the end rooms distinctly separated from one another, while the entrances to the likes of DD Martin, Cheney, Henderson, et al, are behind the centrally placed chimney with the axis of symmetry perpendicular to the fireplace. The guest sneaks in around the fireplace, while at DeRhodes, the fireplace is on the opposite wall of the entrance. In that plan, FLW deliberately removed the fireplace as the principal focal point of the main living areas with respect to the process of entering.

There are two interesting variations on the Trinity Room house plans. The first departure was Stewart, which has small, low-ceilinged areas between the 3 major spaces, creating a "pentapartite" (?) plan. In that version, the transverse axis passes from the library to the dining room just 4' in front of the fireplace rather than bisecting the room. The added anterooms both maintain an openness and establish a more definite separation. The change from Hickox - which is basically one huge room - and Stewart is dramatic. Stewart is almost the scheme used in DDM, where the transition from room to room is slightly extenuated, and the axis of library to dining room does not bisect the living room ... quite.

The other example is Barnsdall, which started out as more or less the same sort of scheme as Stewart, but with the transverse axis bisecting the space from music room to library (which originally was to open to the south anteroom), including the living room. FLW had two problems with this plan of the living room: As a 24'x24' square (shown in a perspective only ... no plan) the vaulted ceiling would have created a tent-like pyramid, which FLW would never have desired. But the bigger problem was that locating the fireplace in its usual area would have blocked the flow from living room, through loggia and into the garden, which FLW regarded as a fair-weather living room. Placing it on the south wall also was a problem with the entrance process, which is why he used the monumental couches-cum-tables-cum-torchiers to create an abstraction of the tripartite plan. This was augmented by making (for the first time) the chimney rise above the lintel level all the way to a raised ceiling with skylight. The 'cathedral' effect might be considered flaw in the design, over-aggrandized, temple-like, and not particularly useful. But there it is. He never used the plan again.

SDR
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Re: 1890's Plan Type

Post by SDR »

Winslow:
Image

Home in a Prairie Town:
Image

De Rhodes:
Image

Cheney:
Image

Henderson:
Image

D D Martin:
Image

Robie:
Image

Stewart:
Image

Barnsdall:
Image

Roderick Grant
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Re: 1890's Plan Type

Post by Roderick Grant »

SDR, the plan you posted for Stewart (from Storrer) is not as-built. The version built is on the next page. The spaces between the main rooms is a unit shy. Storrer shows the as-built version with the addition to the west end, which was done a few years after the house was built and which was integrated seamlessly with the original. The two bedrooms above the main block were originally about half the size. The 2 bedrooms over the wings were built as open air sleeping porches, but were enclosed early on. None of the alterations were done by FLW.

Mrs. Stewart left the house to her housekeeper, who lived there until the 1980s. She tried to sell the house for what she thought was a good price, but it did not sell. When she practically doubled the price, it sold immediately.

SDR
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Re: 1890's Plan Type

Post by SDR »

Storrer's plans:

Image

Tom
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Re: 1890's Plan Type

Post by Tom »

I learned a lot from the last sequence of posts here.
Much appreciated all round. RG's is a master.
He even invents a word: "pentapartite"

Quick question on the LHJ Home In A Prairie Town plan: what's going on at the entry door? The door seems to be included in some sort of passage that is formed by the extension of four of the large bays of the Hall. From the door moving left the first two bays have columns and extra lines, while the third and fourth bays are open to the Hall. I'm confused about what you do when you enter. I assume you go straight down the hall between the fireplace and stair - but not sure. What does that passage of of four bays slightly extended from the Hall to the left of the entry door get him - what's he doing here?

Roderick Grant
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Re: 1890's Plan Type

Post by Roderick Grant »

The front door opens into a narrow, 2-bay vestibule that funnels visitors leftward into the reception hall. The vestibule is glazed. The built version of this approach is the Thomas House (S 67, 1901).

Tom
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
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Re: 1890's Plan Type

Post by Tom »

Ha!
So one is immediately deterred or delayed from attaining that main axis.
One sort of get's lost first.
Should've known.

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