Ina Morris Harper house

To control SPAM, you must now be a registered user to post to this Message Board.

EFFECTIVE 14 Nov. 2012 PRIVATE MESSAGING HAS BEEN RE-ENABLED. IF YOU RECEIVE A SUSPICIOUS DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS AND PLEASE REPORT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION.

This is the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's Message Board. Wright enthusiasts can post questions and comments, and other people visiting the site can respond.

You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, *-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed). The IP address of all posts is recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. You agree that the webmaster, administrator and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time they see fit.
peterm
Posts: 6321
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

We would love to take you up on that! And you are welcome to visit us in Oskaloosa, (or Chicago for that matter...) if you ever get over this way.

As for Peter Beers... His photo collection is truly astounding! I notice on his site that his interests might be going in the direction of vintage cars, etc. I wish for our sake, that he would continue documenting the works of Wright...

Wrightgeek
Posts: 1548
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 5:21 pm
Location: Westerville, Ohio

Post by Wrightgeek »

I did a quick internet check on Dr. Ina Moriss Harper, and I came across the front pages of two local to St. Joseph newspapers, each dated 6/23/53. Both papers had a front page story about the death of a local businessman, F. LeRoy Bradford, who was the husband of Dr. Ina Moriss Harper, a local pediatrician. Mr. Bradford apparently died suddenly of a heart attack, and left Dr. Harper widowed, according to these accounts.

While this does not directly answer the question as to why Dr. Harper only owned the home for a relatively short period of time, it does clarify that she was alive and living in the home in mid-1953, and that she was preceeded in death by her husband at that time. Is it possible that this tragedy may have played some part in the brevity of her ownership/occupancy of this striking home overlooking Lake Michigan?

FYI, there seems to be some confusion as to the correct spelling of Dr. Harper's middle/maiden name. In some instances I have found it spelled as "Morris", while in others it is spelled "Moriss". I tend to think that "Moriss" is more likely to be correct, but maybe someone here can help to clarify this?

Here is a link to one of the front page stories I found. Be advised, it is somewhat difficult to read.

http://newspaperarchive.com/saint-josep ... 953-06-23/

Laurie V. and "gdf", I hope this small bit of information is somewhat helpful to both of you.

Wrightgeek
Posts: 1548
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 5:21 pm
Location: Westerville, Ohio

Post by Wrightgeek »

gdf-

Here is a link to a 2010 story from one of your local papers. It mentions that Dr. Harper was killed by a vehicle while in a drugstore in Grand Rapids. At the time, the story mentions that she had lived in her FLW home for only about two years, so she and her husband must have both died within a relatively short span of time.

It might be worth your while to contact the local historian who gave the presentation discussed in this article, to see if she can possibly shed more light on the history of your home for you.

http://www.dowagiacnews.com/2010/04/08/ ... n-berrien/

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10888
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

If Moriss was Ina's "maiden name," and her husband's name was Bradford, who was Harper?

Laurie Virr
Posts: 472
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:32 pm

Post by Laurie Virr »

gdf:

Thank you so much for responding to my query.

It is pleasing to learn that the Ina Morris Harper house is in good hands, and that you are attending to the essential maintenance.

The early 1950’s was a glorious period in the career of Frank Lloyd Wright, and of the Usonian houses designed at that time, the Ina Morris Harper house has long been one of my favorites.

As you would be aware, peterm and his wife are doing a watchmaker’s job in restoring the Lamberson house at Oskaloosa, Iowa. I am sure that if you meet up it will be beneficial to all concerned.

It is a long way to travel to where I live, but if you ever visit this country you will be most welcome to call on my wife and I.

Visit my website: www.laurievirrarchitect.com

Wrightgeek:

Thank you for two very informative contributions to this thread. It was a tragedy that the Bradford/Harpers had such a short time during which to enjoy their house.

Laurie Virr
Posts: 472
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:32 pm

Post by Laurie Virr »

Laurie Virr wrote:gdf:

Thank you so much for responding to my query.

It is pleasing to learn that the Ina Morris Harper house is in good hands, and that you are attending to the essential maintenance.

The early 1950’s was a glorious period in the career of Frank Lloyd Wright, and of the Usonian houses designed at that time, the Ina Morris Harper house has long been one of my favorites.

As you would be aware, peterm and his wife are doing a watchmaker’s job in restoring the Lamberson house at Oskaloosa, Iowa. I am sure that if you meet up it will be beneficial to all concerned.

It is a long way to travel to where I live, but if you ever visit this country you will be most welcome to call on my wife and me.

Visit my website: www.laurievirrarchitect.com

Wrightgeek:

Thank you for two very informative contributions to this thread. It was a tragedy that the Bradford/Harpers had such a short time during which to enjoy their house.

Tom
Posts: 3512
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

Virr, I love on your website: "belongs to no societies, plays no golf" made me laugh out loud. Bravo. Some handsome house plans in the background as well.

SWSinDC
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 3:35 pm
Location: St. Joseph, MI

Post by SWSinDC »

Although my handle is still "in DC," I have been living in St. Joseph, Michigan, near where I grew up, for the past 5 years. I drive by the Harper House every now and again just to drink in the beauty -- and it's worth turning away from the majesty of Lake Michigan to do it!

According to the county property records, the Ina M Harper Bradford Estate conveyed the property to Cornelia Harper in December 1955. I will try to get to the St. Joseph library soon and see what more I can find about Mr. Bradford and Dr. Harper and their untimely deaths.

Les@36726
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:58 pm

Dr. Ina Harper

Post by Les@36726 »

Well, this is how my search for the Harper House started. My mother received a complimentary copy of the magazine "The Week" dated May 22, 2015. On page 28, it makes reference to a home "designed according to FLW's architectural principles". She wondered if this might be her Aunt's former home. It was not, but it started my search for which one was formerly Dr. Ina Harper's home. I never knew my great aunt, but I always heard stories of her remarkable achievements. She became a doctor like her father, Dr. George Harper, who practiced in Monroeville, AL. It was during a time when very few women were doctors. She was killed in a terrible accident while in drugstore. A vehicle ran through the front of the store. Morris is her middle name. Harper was her maiden name that she retained after marrying Mr. Bradford. My mother's middle name is "Morriss". I am not sure if Dr. Ina Harper spelled her middle name the same way or not. I inherited a rug from my grandmother that came from this home. Cornelia Harper was my great grandmother.

RonMcCrea
Posts: 331
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:10 pm
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Post by RonMcCrea »

Thanks, GDF, I had the pleasure of visiting your lovely home during the Grand Rapids Building Conservancy conference tour. The story I read (somewhere) was that Dr. Harper was standing at a pharmacy counter, getting a prescription filled, when the car plowed in.

I also read that she was one of several women inspired to commission Wright after having read about him in editor Ruth Gordon's House Beautiful magazine. Another was Vera Schultz, who initiated the California commission for the Marin County Civic Center.

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10888
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

Ron, that's Elizabeth Gordon at HB.

RonMcCrea
Posts: 331
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:10 pm
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Post by RonMcCrea »

Yes, Elizabeth. Thanks for the correction.

juankbedoya
Posts: 239
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:30 am

Re:

Post by juankbedoya »

peterm wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:55 pm
Numerous photos here:

http://www.peterbeers.net/interests/flw ... _house.htm

This house intrigues me. The use of mirrors is unusual for Wright. Maybe the site only allowed for views to the lake...

Good question, Laurie...
Well I was looking for information of this house and I remember that I saw those amazing pictures of that site but unfortunately it no longer exist. For not writing an unnecessary new topic of this house... Do you have the plans of the Harper house..?!!

juankbedoya
Posts: 239
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:30 am

Re:

Post by juankbedoya »

SDR wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:24 pm
I believe that the structure here would be relatively straightforward; picture in the mind a simple beam at each of the peaks and valleys of that ceiling, and the means of support becomes clear -- as I see it.

The gas fireplace might be a solution for any Wright hearth in which the draft is problematic ?

SDR
SDR: do you have the plans of the Harper house, or is there other topic about this house with it? ( which I don't found).
Here's a beautiful shot of its interior.


https://www.instagram.com/p/CDmtjkMgpFu/

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10888
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Re: Ina Morris Harper house

Post by Roderick Grant »

I know the plan of Harper has been published, but I cannot find which book it is in. Thought "The Natural House," but no.

Post Reply