Wright's Heller House Back On The Market
Dwell magazine features the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Isidore H. Heller House. Back on the market, the Heller House marked a turning point in Wright’s career.
Designed and built between 1896 and 97, in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, this home mixes a classical, brick, and limestone exterior with an Arts and Crafts interior. The experimental design also represents a pivotal time during Frank Lloyd Wright’s career and his transition toward the now-famous Prairie style.
"Around the same time Wright was designing the Heller House, he joined fellow architects Myron Hunt, Dwight H. Perkins, and others at a new office inside Chicago’s now-demolished Steinway Hall. It was during his time here—lasting until approximately 1908—that Wright and the others discussed and defined what is today known as the Prairie School style of architecture, characterized by strong horizontal lines and a connection to the landscape. More local architects eventually began to gather in the space as well, devising ways to support and promote each other’s work. Wright referred to the group as The Eighteen."
Offering 6,100 square feet of interior space over four levels, the large rectangular Heller House mostly conforms to its 75-by-175-foot lot. The ground level contains the living room at the front, with the dining room and kitchen at the rear of the home. In total, the home contains seven bedrooms, two of which are part of a self-contained apartment on the top level. A newly reconditioned, vintage elevator connects all of the floors. Click here to see photos of the home, currently listed for $2,200,000.
Alden Dow's Riecker House Needs A Hero
Here's hoping someone will save this gem: Built in 1961 by architect Alden B. Dow, the Riecker House is on the market and being sold "as-is" after the horrible flood that struck Midland, MI earlier this year.
The 6,800 square-foot house was originally designed for Alden B. Dow’s niece, Margaret Towsley Riecker, her husband John, and their two children and nestles horizontally into a slightly rising site some 85 feet back from the street. From the front elevation, the house deceptively appears to be one level. The low entrance façade gives no hint of the two levels inside. A brick entryway continues around the sunken living room. Three levels of interlocking ceiling beams are interspersed with 88 light fixtures designed by Mr. Dow and built on site by his woodworkers. He was known to have enjoyed coming into the living room and lying down on the floor just to look up at the ceiling pattern.
If you are a heroic soul who loves a project, this wonderful house would be well worth saving. Check out the listing for more photos and details here.
Sullivan’s Grinnell Jewel Box Bank A Piece Of History
In 1913, Louis Sullivan was commissioned by a group of farmers who wanted a distinct building for their bank in Grinnell, IA. It opened on New Year’s Day in 1914 and has been dubbed one of the architect's "jewel box" bank, and it’s easy to see why it got that name. There are several incredible pieces of stained glass including a glass wall that faces the east, the front rose view window as well as the glass skylight. “We have a hand-carved check stand here that he had commissioned to be specific to this building... the furniture would have been original... the cabinetry... all of that would have been designed to specifically fit this building,”Kendra Vincent, with the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce, said. See the KCRG video piece on this iconic building here.
Create Your Own Japanese Art Wood Block Print
Frank Lloyd Wright loved the arts from Japan. One of his favorite artistic techniques was a Japanese wood printing method called Ukiyo-e that historically required a collaboration between four people. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has posted a new 3-day Virtual Classroom activity where you can learn how to make your own Ukiyo-e style block print. To learn more and get printing, follow the link.
The Space Between: Frank Lloyd Wright | Jun Kaneko
The Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Public Art Initiative has partnered with Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House to present an exciting installation featuring artist Jun Kaneko's monumental ceramic sculptures on view from May 22, 2020, through October 3, 2021. Titled "The Space Between: Frank Lloyd Wright | Jun Kaneko," the installation will comprise seven of the artist’s enormous, freestanding ceramic works for outdoor display on the newly restored grounds of the Martin House estate, as well as a series of smaller works on view indoors.
Born in Japan in 1942, Kaneko is an internationally renowned artist primarily known for his pioneering work in ceramic materials. His large pieces, called dangos, are the result of a complex traditional Japanese raku firing and glazing process that produces unique geometric shapes and vibrant color combinations.
“We are proud to partner with the Albright-Knox, and it will be a joy to collaboratively present this playful artwork that will engage and inspire visitors of all ages,” said Mary Roberts, Martin House Executive Director. “Much like Frank Lloyd Wright, Kaneko is a pioneer in his field of artistic design, pushing the boundaries of materials and their use.”
The installation will be a unique opportunity to experience the interaction of Kaneko's sculptures, Wright's architecture, and the surrounding landscape. Wright also had an enduring interest in Japanese arts and culture and a reverence for nature, all of which are beautifully captured in Kaneko’s work. Get more info here.
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