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Old 06-01-2006, 09:54 AM   #15
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I'd love to see Falling Water. As an Architecture student at WSU, we were a bit far removed from much of his work. Most of what we saw came from books and slides. I've been to Talliesen West in Arizona and they did an exibit in Seattle, for which the built an Usonian house. Fascinating stuff, but FWL did not design for tall people! If your stature is over 6 feet, his furniture was uncomfortable and some ceiling heights were a touch claustrophobic! LOL!
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Old 06-01-2006, 02:40 PM   #16
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I believe the reconstruction is finished. Should be an amazing experience.
Great American Design Caravan anyone????
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Old 06-01-2006, 03:13 PM   #17
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cameront120, you are wrong about FLW furniture. It is not uncomfortable for people over six feet tall; it is uncomfortable for everyone! I once sweet-talked a curator at one of his buildings (and I won't say which one, so as to keep her out of trouble) into letting me try out one of those original high-backed chairs from the early prarie period. It was excruciatingly painful. Probably the worst chair I've ever endured, and that's including the impossibly narrow seats at the old Kabuki theaters in Tokyo.

Later in his life, he came up with furniture that feels a lot better to me. I'm particularly fond of the origami chairs as used at Taliesen West, and some of the chairs he did for Herman Miller. The FLW foundation will not allow anyone to use his plans to build repros, unless you live in an actual Wright-designed building. Too bad, because I'd love to have a set of those origami chairs in my screen porch.
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Old 06-01-2006, 03:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
I believe the reconstruction is finished. Should be an amazing experience.
Great American Design Caravan anyone????
That could be a great trip!
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Old 06-01-2006, 04:08 PM   #19
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Reconstruction is done..

The restoration is complete, and the roof and windows will likely continue to leak (tour guides state Wright didn't care about engineering or leaks..) and locale is very impressive in mid-dummer when creek babbling and water falling and birds singing...

There is campground within 20 miles near Seven Springs as well.. Check out http://www.mtpinesresort.com/default.htm There may be several other state campgrounds in area, if you search on Laurel Valley and Ligonier area of Pennsylvania.

The parking lot is small, gravel and carved up with islands, and not worth trying to pull larger trailer into. Busses get special parking, but there's also a long walk down trail to get to house.. Main road that runs past the house is OK for trailers, but driveway in and parking are not RV-Friendly...

You should also definitely call and make reservations, as all visitors take escorted tour, and tours fill early. Arriving mid-day could mean no chance to see house, as you can't get past visitor center without being on a tour.

John McG
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Old 06-01-2006, 06:26 PM   #20
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Long term personal experience says otherwise!

AgZep -

I would offer a counter-point to your statement that all FLW furniture was/is uncomfortable.

Our family had the original dining room tables ( all 3 - all out of 3"+ OAK! HEAVY!!!!!!) and the original priarie chairs that Frankie designed as well. 8 were the high backs Pararie design, and 8 were the lower back design.

They were quite comfortable for innumerable family meals as well as many larger friends & family functions. Now, I will say that they were not as comfortable as some other furniture, but then....

To me, it's like the back seat in a Ferrari convertable. Best seat in the place?, nope, but it sure beats everything else! And 'you look Mah-ve-lous!'

The furniture in Pope-Lehigh was actually very comfortable. I think I mentioned that it was the plywood furniture he created for the Usonian series.

As to the copies, there are many available. More than a few are 'exact' copies. They just can't be marketed, sold or advertised as such. Check in the back of the "American Bungalow" magazine for numerous cabinet makers that could make you whatever you desire and can pay for.

Gotta run right now. Will add more later.

Axel
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Old 06-01-2006, 11:17 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by cameront120
FWL did not design for tall people! If your stature is over 6 feet, his furniture was uncomfortable and some ceiling heights were a touch claustrophobic! LOL!
i agree most of the early furniture isn't meant for leisure usage....
i think it was his way of reminding the client.....who frank was.

yes he was short and yes he had shortman syndrome.....

i've read/heard that he had no use for tall people
that tall people weren't capable of appreciating finer things,
that taller peopler were 'less decended'.......
and that he felt they were better suited to being out of doors!

there are many features of fallingwater that taller people will notice....negatively or from above or bent over....

the sisters? that lived there were small like him.....

cheers
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Old 06-02-2006, 12:02 AM   #22
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Experience!

2air -

"i agree most of the early furniture isn't meant for leisure usage....
i think it was his way of reminding the client.....who frank was.

yes he was short and yes he had shortman syndrome.....

i've read/heard that he had no use for tall people
that tall people weren't capable of appreciating finer things,
that taller peopler were 'less decended'.......
and that he felt they were better suited to being out of doors!

there are many features of fallingwater that taller people will notice....negatively or from above or bent over...."


Again, your broad areas of 'expertise' and 'experience' are showing.

Have you 'met' the guy? Anyone who knew him? His son? Any of his students? Where are you getting this 'stuff'???

Certainly my experience and personal knowledge, as well as personal long-term "living with" and "trying" the furniture of many FLW designs, of friends and aquaintances, over several 'periods of design'....

seemingly pale to your broad and extensive knowledge of FLW's outlook over time, his design(s), expressions of his 'outlook' over several decades both in buildings and furniture, his obvious distain of anyone taller than he, ie "Short man 'syndrome' ", and his long term obvious appeal to all peoples and cultures, over decades.... not to mention the comfort question! I could go on....

There is obviously no point. You have your opinion.

For me,anything less than living with the stuff ( house as well as furniture) really offers nothing like insight - puff, bluster, and opinionating at best.

FLW could be a PITA, tough, uncompromising, and not given to suffering fools gladly. There is no doubt of that. Sound like a certain WB??? Do the same words and opinions apply?? What if you go back and substitute WB for FLW, does it sound appropriate to you?

I find the opinionating about things where we have no personal insight and experience, to be very tiresome, and very derivative. Others have usually said the same and better, far more eloquently.

Sorry to go on here, but FLW is a legend for a reason. As is Wally Byam.

Peace

Axel
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Old 06-02-2006, 10:32 AM   #23
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SilverToy - You are a truly a blessed person to have actually lived in a FLW building with original furnishings, but you must have a far straighter back than I. That high-back I tried was too vertical to accomodate my curved spine. I might be able to handle it for a formal occasion, where one is not likely to lean against the chair back, which is undoubtedly what FLW was thinking anyway. But, as I said, the furniture from Usonians seems quite comfy to me, which makes sense given the more relaxed design philosophy of those structures.

And I would never expect any chair design to be perfect for all people, although I do think our new Morris chair ought to satisfy many guests. We are in the midst of renovating an adobe-walled 1910 craftsman bungalow (see my feeble web page about it at http://www.wesandcarol.com/HouseBeforeAfter.htm). We've seen the Wright repro furniture in the back of American Bungalow, but I don't think it would work well in a house with so many mission elements as this one. I've only ever seen one origami chair repro, but the builder gave no indication he was authorized by the foundation. I'm intrigued so much by that particular chair because it's supposedly made from a single sheet of plywood.

As to the body height issue, the fellowship members we met at both Taliesins seemed to have differing opinions on the degree to which Wright suffered from "short guy syndrome." I think some may be tempted to seize upon that idea because Wright was one of the few architects who so agressively modulated vertical space. For example, he often built residential entry portals with very low ceilings to lead visitors into the grander living areas inside (see another of my feeble web pages at http://www.wesandcarol.com/cedar_rock.htm for an example). That kind of thinking is unusual in the US, but standard practice in Japan and elsewhere. So maybe people walk into one of Wright's low entry halls, and just assume, incorrectly, that it was built for or by short people.

Condolumium - I think it would be too harsh to say Wright didn't care about engineering. More that he considered architectural design to be his primary foucs. He definitely created some buildings that developed problems, but remember that his Imperial Hotel in Tokyo was one of the few structures that survived the enormous earthquake of 1923, sparking a lot of international research into quakeproofing. Later in life, an MIT-trained engineer by the name of Wes Peters did a lot of the actual calculations for Wright. The two of them were real pioneers with materials and extreme design, so we should expect some of their experiments to be more problematic than ordinary construction.

Come to think of it, the conventional 1992 townhouse in VA that we just sold was starting to develop roof and window problems itself, but I doubt anyone will be interested in living in it 50 years from now, much less restoring it.
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Old 06-28-2006, 12:15 PM   #24
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My old Boy Scout camp is now an RV Park near Champion, PA off the turnpike at Donegal. This is very near Falling Water and is now Roaring Run RV Park. They have a web site.
Falling Water has now been completely restored and would definitely be worth a visit. Make reservations.
P.S. Anyone else from the McKeesport/Clairton area that did their early camping at Camp Alliquippa?
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Old 06-28-2006, 06:19 PM   #25
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The restoration is complete, and the roof and windows will likely continue to leak (tour guides state Wright didn't care about engineering or leaks..)
It bugs me when tour guides say those kind of things. Wright cared very much. Think about it for a second. The house was built in the 30s when cantilevered construction was unheard of. It was an engineering feat and it stood the test of time. The windows are unique corner windows. How many homes can you find that still have functioning windows that are that old?

What building withstood a devastating earthquake in Tokyo that shook most buildings to the ground? Wright's Imperial Hotel. Have you ever visited the mushroom column building at Johnson Wax in Racine, WI? That was a fantastic engineering feat. I could go on and on.

I've toured Taliesen East and West and have visited just about every major building Wright designed still in existance except maybe the Guggenheim and his high rise in Bartlesville. Maybe I tromped all over SilverToy's yard.
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Old 07-02-2006, 03:57 AM   #26
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I Remember You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dave -

I REMEMBER YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You were one of the considerate ones - an AS trait! He asked IF he could take photos, and how many. Then he did, and left.

Yeah - I remember you!

It is amazing to see the number of people that opine about this and that - with ABSOLUTELY NO EXPERIENCE AS A BASIS FOR THIER CLAIMS!!!!! Opinion is supposed to suffice. Not today.

There are at least one (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!! :>) 'know it all' members on this board who lost ALL credibilty for me with pompose and self-agrandising comments about FLW + his buildings, based on 'less that nothing' other than reading books written by hacks and rip-off-artists.

Attourneys call that sort of info 4th hand at best. And then when the basis of the previous assumptions is non-existant..... well......then the extrapolations based on that poor/non-existant basis is well,......crap.

I am currently in Chicago and touring the FLW homes of friends, foundations, acquiantances and 'new' owners of the classics I grew up with. Since these thoughts were all fresh in my head, I posed the "questions", I "posited the statements" made by the 'man' who shall remain nameless - and to a 1 - THEY ALL added their voices to mine in saying, that what 'nameless' said was all BUNK. WORTHLESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FLW is an amazing architect. His work stands by itself, for itself, and will continue to do so into the distant future.

Everyone but one uninformed (though apparently 'well read' person) holds FLW in high esteem, and has nothing for admiration for him, his work, and the houses, furniture and interior details are perhaps the most permanent tribute to him going forward. They will be here long after I am long gone.

I know the next generation of FLW fans will see the Genious that I and so many others also see immediately.

Enjoy - that is what it is here for!!!!

Axel
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