The Wright Way?
Frank Lloyd Wright-designed houses are often on the market, at a variety of different price points. In October, the Wright-designed Norman Lykes House sold in a no-reserve auction for $1.6 million. In a recent article, Phoenix Magazine explores what the sale of a Wright-designed house means by speaking to Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Vice President of Communication and Partnerships, Jeff Goodman. Click here to read the full article.
Bruce Goff and Herb Greene: Painting The Continuous Present
A new exhibit featuring the paintings of organic architects Bruce Goff and Herb Greene will open at the Price Tower Arts Center in Bartlesville, OK on January 24 and run through March 22. Bruce Goff and Herb Greene’s respective trajectories as artists and architects, are rooted in synergistic theories, derived from inspiration found in the arts, classical music, literature and philosophy. Establishing harmony is of foremost importance in their work; a common denominator that they believe unites all the various elements of a fully realized endeavor, whether it be a painting or a design for architecture. The range of artworks on view in "Bruce Goff and Herb Greene: Painting the Continuous Present," bring notions of a perpetual composition into conversation. Fluid movement and rhythmic variation is a defining characteristic in each of the works, encouraging us to embrace memory and perception as a constantly evolving generative force. More info here.
Frank Lloyd Wright, Japan, and The Imperial Hotel
During the years from 1905 to 1923, Japan acted as a refuge for Frank Lloyd Wright, a safe haven to his conflict-drenched life. All told, according to scholar Kathryn Smith, Wright spent a total of four chaotic, chopped-up years in Japan, eventually building the Imperial Hotel, one of his most impressive works.
It's been suggested that Wright’s interest in and inspiration from Japanese architecture began when he attended the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. At the event, Japanese architects had constructed “a half-scale model of the Ho-o-Den temple pavilion, a compellingly delicate 17th-century design… that seemed to emerge organically out of the ground—meant to showcase the longevity of Japanese history by combining Heian, Muromachi and Edo-period design.
Wright also continued to collect Japanese woodblock prints of Hiroshige and other artists for decades. These prints heavily influenced Wright: “If Japanese prints were to be deducted from my education,” Wright wrote in his 1932 memoir An Autobiography: “I don’t know what direction the whole might have taken. The gospel of elimination preached by the print came home to me in architecture.”
Twelve years after the 1893 Exposition, Wright made plans to travel to Japan. He went back several times, including while the Imperial Hotel was being designed and built. It coincided with an especially tumultuous time in his personal life. Read more about this interesting period of Frank Lloyd Wright's life here.
A "Wright" Murdoch Mystery
Wright Society Subscriber Mary Beth D. sent along an item of interest to lovers of architecture and detective stories. Mary Beth writes "It's only a mockup and a stage set, but I love the idea that the main characters of Murdoch Mysteries, Detective William Murdoch and Doctor Julia Ogden, live in a fictional Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in Toronto. Wright "himself" appears in one episode (as do many historical characters), and the house contains several modern inventions, as well as looking quite Wrightian." Learn more here.
How Chicago Became America's Brashest And Boldest City
"Chicago is a city that doesn't worry about following the rules," says Chicago's official cultural historian Tim Samuelson. The Great Firet that swept the city in 1871 gave the architects of the time a blank canvas to create buildings that are still hailed to this day. In the wake of the Great Fire, there was scope to try to build a new city that reflected its place at the heart of American industry, technology and culture.
The people who came to Chicago to help rebuild were, says Samuelson, renegades. "They have a different idea of what architecture should look like," he says. "What's the nature of style? What about making a building that reflects its technology? "How it's built. Giving it a new vision. This is what made Chicago different, and because Chicago was a city of people who came from everywhere, there was no set idea of what something should look like."
Samuelson points to Louis Sullivan, who came to the city in 1873 to make his name as an architect, as perhaps the best example of this phenomenon. "He had ideas of making a building that would be a part of its environment, that would be expressive of its structure, that would have its form based on what the building is supposed to do, but also to do something that's like an analogy of what you would see in nature, that makes you sigh."
Perhaps the best example of Sullivan's work is the Schlesinger and Mayer department store, now known as the Sullivan Center. "If you look at the base of this building, and this strong, green base to it, this is like rooting the building to the ground," says Samuelson. "And as you look up, it rises up to the sky, and then a cornice spreads out that's like the blossoming of a flower."
Sullivan's work, along with that of numerous other architects, helped turn downtown Chicago into nothing short of a fine art museum for buildings. Few places, if any, in the United States, can match its grandeur. Read the rest of the CNN Travel article here.
Rattenbury House Featured In "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" Hits The Market
A John Rattenbury-designed home, built in 1968 and located located on nearly two acres of land in the Upper Wyoming neighborhood in New Jersey is for sale and currently listed at $2.5 million. Rattenbury was an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright and continued his work through the Taliesin Associated Architects (TAA), the architecture firm created by Wright’s apprentices following his passing. The Kessler’s commissioned TAA to design the home for them because they admired Wright’s Fallingwater, and wanted a luxurious custom home with a similar feel.
The eight-bedroom home was recently featured on the hit TV show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, in the fifth episode of season three. In the episode, the Kessler residence is the backdrop for a fictional variety-style talk show. Read more here.
Northfield, IL Home Designed By Architect Bruce Goff Lists For $599K
According to * Curbed Chicago*, at first glance you might be tempted to describe this home in suburban Northfield, Illinois, as midcentury modern, but you’d technically be wrong. The Rant residence actually dates back to 1938—a testament to the forward-looking talent of notable designer Bruce Goff. It is now on the market, listed for $599,000.
Though mainly self-taught in the field of architecture, Goff regularly corresponded with friend and mentor Frank Lloyd Wright. Although significantly altered from the original layout, hints of a relationship to Wright are seen in Goff's design of the home, which incorporates elements of Wright’s Usonian details, as well as the influence of the emerging International Style that shaped the early modernist movement.
The five-bedroom home has a boxy, asymmetrical arrangement topped with flat eaves and wrapped in oversized windows. The arrangement provides the house with ample natural light in its open living and entertaining spaces and the newer white kitchen. There’s also parquet flooring, two fireplaces, and a backyard tennis court. See it here.
Midcentury Modern By Frank Lloyd Wright Apprentice Asks $625K
If you love midcentury style, check out this five-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home in Weston, Connecticut. Designed and built in 1965 by architect Allan Gelbin, the home follows Frank Lloyd Wright’s theories on organic architecture. Gelbin was an apprentice to Wright at Taliesin East in Spring Green, Wisconsin, from 1949-1953, before establishing his own practice in 1957 in Connecticut.
The focal point of the design is an expansive living room and dining room that features a stone fireplace. Clerestory windows let in light, while wooden ceiling panels and built-in bookshelves add coziness. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows showcase a wraparound deck and views of the 2.25 acre property, and the master suite also offers panoramic views and access to a terrace. It is listed for $625,000. See it here.
Threatened Frank Lloyd Wright House In Glencoe Could Be Preserved
The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Booth Cottage in Glencoe, Illinois, whose owners last year filed for a demolition permit, would be turned into a museum under a proposed public-private partnership involving the Glencoe Historical Society and the Glencoe Park District, the district announced Friday.
Under a proposed 99-year lease agreement, the historical society would pay $1 per year to secure a small portion of Park 7N at the corner of Maple Hill and Meadow roads, according to the park district. The original portions of the cottage would be moved about 750 feet south, with the nonprofit covering the cost.
The Glencoe Historical Society will use donations and grants to move and restore the historic structure, with assistance from the Village of Glencoe on building permits and the installation of an accessible sidewalk," the park district said in a statement announcing the proposal. "The lease agreement mandates all exterior restoration must be completed within one year." Once restoration is complete, the home would be used as a research center, museum, and small program space for the nonprofit Glencoe Historical Society, according to the district. Its hours of operation would be limited to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and six evening meetings a year. More information here.
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