Things are going well at the Little Red House. I received news that our new energy efficient sliding glass door and thermal pane window will be installed next week. This is fantastic news, because it will allow us to move forward on some much needed work in the main living areas of the house. In the mean time, we've been putting in some work on our new "victory garden" and going to a lot of graduation parties. One recent party required a trip to down state Illinois, which meant another road trip.
With gas close to $4.00 a gallon here in Chicago, it got me thinking about two recent stories I heard on NPR that deal with the price of gas and the way we drive. One made me cringe, the other gave me a little hope...
I found a link to All 120 Crayon Names, Color Codes and Fun Facts by COLOURlover through Coudal Partners. What a great site! COLOURlover has some sweet facts and resources about crayons. My favorite is:
According to a Yale University study, the scent of Crayola crayons is among the 20 most recognizable to American adults. Coffee and peanut butter are 1 and 2.
Mmmm, the refreshing smell of crayons. When Eric and I were kids we had the 64 color box and it was the best. I loved the sharpener on the side and was always looking for an excuse to use it.
Share some memories with us about your experience with crayons.
Image copyright Sir Fish
View looking from the living room to the bedroom. The skylight, pictured above will provide daylight for the bathroom, once the area is enclosed.
Last week the sliding doors were installed for the Prefabrication Prototype; moving the prototype one step closer to being "dried in". Cecil and Rick, the installation team from Milgard installed the doors in the living area. Then the students, with Rick and Cecil's help installed the bedroom doors; providing a great hands on learning opportunity. The project team would like to thank Milgard and their representative Mark Jacobson for providing the doors at a discounted price and the installation for free. We would also like to thank Cecil and Rick, Milgard's installation team.
Next week I will be migrating across the country for the start of the summer season, at Taliesin East (Wisconsin). In two weeks I will post an update on the progress of the project, the learning that has occurred and the intentions for the completed project.
Summer is on its way and that means lots of cool events! Leave the weekend of June 14 open for a trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Walter Burley Griffin Society of America is hosting their 9th annual meeting that Saturday and will feature lectures/presentations on Griffin, Mahony, and other Prairie School architects, including tours of the Mahony-designed Amberg House and the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Meyer May house.
Check out the link for all the info and get your fuel-efficient car tuned up for a road trip—See you there!
Photo of Meyer May House copyright Steelcase
Just when you thought everyone had "Wright-fever" in Buffalo, New York—this article runs in The Buffalo News about neighbors of the Walter V. Davidson House and their opposition to it becoming an overnight rental. As explained in the article:
Some [neighbors] voiced grave reservations Wednesday about what they perceived as essentially a small-scale hotel operating on their residential street.
“I don’t know if this is going to be good for the value of my house when I go to sell it,” said one Tillinghast Place resident. “I just don’t know if I want that on street.”
Seems like everyone appreciates architecture until it's open to the public on their street. So are these people being unjustly paranoid or do they have a legitimate gripe? Let us know what you think.
Photo courtesy of The Buffalo News
A family member had passed this information to me about a rapidly growing wind energy company that is truly fascinating. Horizon Wind Energy has projects all across the US, both built and currently in progress. Additionally, they are one of the largest owners of wind generation assets in the world. If this kind of story tickles your fancy, continue reading on to get the full account.
Next weekend of is probably one of the busiest ones this month. In addition to the 34th annual Wright Plus house walk event, the Concordia Arts & Crafts show and the Riverside garden walk—we got word of another really interesting event taking place Saturday, May 17 in Barrington, Illinois.
The Barrington Area Historical Society is hosting a presentation by journalist, critic, historian and photographer, Lee Bey titled "Documenting Architecture Through Photography." The event is from 2-4 pm at 212 west main Street in Barrington, IL. Admission is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Follow the link to find out more info!
Photo courtesy of re-building.com
The PrairieMod Squad thought Michelle Kaufmann's new Smart Home was so nice, we just had to see it twice! Actually, our second tour of the Smart Home exhibit was in conjunction with a fabulous party thrown in honor of the 75th anniversary of Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. Here's a special peek at the event and some of the cool stuff we saw...
We received word today that The John Christian Family Trust and the Wabash Valley Youth Symphony will host a Garden Party June 1 from 1-5pm. Guests will receive a guided tour of the home while hearing several Beethoven pieces performed by the Wabash Valley Youth Symphony. There will also be refreshments and children's activities.
Sounds like a great way to spend a summer afternoon! Check out the site for more information.
Image copyright John E. Christian Family Memorial Trust, Inc.
This sucks! After a week of insane craziness at the PrairieMod office, I decided to catch up on some items of personal interest. While skimming news headings, I found out this morning that a truly inspirational retail company is closing their doors!
A month or two ago I discovered Nau Clothing, bought a couple shirts online, went to their super fresh retail store in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood and was planning to do a feature for PrairieMod about the amazing innovation this apparel group was trying to pursue. Now I find out they can't keep it going because lame investors are afraid of the uncertain financial times we're in, even after they have been exceeding sales goals. Total bummer!
In this edition: An interview with Michelle Kaufmann during a preview of her Smart Home exhibit opening May 8th, 2008 at Chicago's Museum of Science & Industry. Michelle talks about the 5 Eco-principles behind every project her architectural firm designs, plus we get some insight into how this project came into existence.
The purpose of this unique showcase home (the first museum exhibit home of its kind) is to inspire people to make eco-friendly living part of their lives. After a short afternoon visit today, we can say that the Smart Home's innovative plan and cutting-edge technology surely got us excited about the future prospects of thoughtful home design!
So you're one of the few towns in the entire country with a hugely significant cache of historically and architecturally significant buildings from the Prairie School. How do you manage this amazing cultural resource? How about tear them down or place them in danger of being torn down? Sound crazy?
May I introduce you to River Forest, IL.
We received news today about a new online store featuring environmentally sustainable, well-designed lighting called EekoWire Lighting. EekoWire Lighting was formed by Bryan Burgess because he saw a lack of social consciousness in the art and design world and the absence of art and design in the social justice world.
About Eeko Wire Lighting:
EekoWire Lighting is a San Francisco-based online store specializing in modern lighting fixtures and accessories that are design savvy, environmentally sustainable and supportive of independent design. Featured designers include Propellor Design, Jefdesigns and Trixie and Radar. Products range in price from $15 hand-crafted light plate covers to made-to-order chandeliers starting at $1,500. The The store is located on line at www.eekowire.com.
Pictured above is the Galiano Pendant by Propellor. It is a bio-degradable light shad that is made from reclaimed Douglas Fir with a twig that works as the pull switch.
Image copyright Propellor
The Park Inn Hotel in Mason City, Iowa needs your help! This architecturally important Wright-designed hotel (the last of its kind) recently received a grant challenge to help in restoring the endangered building back to its former grandeur.
However, the grant came with a catch. According the the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's website:
The Vision Iowa
grant is double-edged: while providing a great financial boost, it
carries a 180-day deadline. Counting from the day after the grant
announcement (March 12), a match of $4,300,000 must be raised for this
grant. This will be a daunting task for a town of 28,000, without
outside help. For $2,000,000 of this match, WOTP must seek help from
the wider Frank Lloyd Wright Community.
So, this is the moment of truth. Help make a difference and consider a donation to help save the Inn. Follow the link to learn more or make a contribution directly to Wright on the Park, Inc. by credit card through the WOTP web site: www.wrightonthepark.org, or by mail to P.O. Box 792, Mason City, Iowa 50402-0792.
Photo courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy
It's an upsetting sight to see fire trucks pull up to a Frank Lloyd Wright building—it usually doesn't bode well.
Luckily, the fire crew that pulled up to the Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio in Oak Park on Monday just had a smokey chair to deal with. Someone careless with a cigarette had started a chair smoldering and that prompted fire crews to the scene. Luckily, no one was hurt, the building is safe and the chair was not an artifact. Read more on the story by following the link and remember--it's never too late to quit!
Photo copyright the FLW Preservation Trust
This was a surprising find that a good friend passed along to me yesterday. The WSJ recently ran a story about Target introducing a new line of eco-clothing that will first appear in Barneys New York. Uh, what?
The Minneapolis-based retailer commissioned 60 exclusive pieces from Rogan Gregory, a designer at the forefront of the eco-fashion movement. The new line will debut at Barneys New York May 9th-11th, then from May 16-18th it will move to the Barneys location in Los Angeles, after which the clothes will begin appearing at Target stores. Interesting.
See the story details here.
Images copyright Target and Barneys
I've heard about the coming Planet Green Network, but just caught one of its shows this evening on Discovery Home. Wa$ted! is a show from New Zealand that attacks a spectrum of environmentally unfriendly households auditing their waste, energy, water and transportation consumption. Not surprisingly, each episode unearths dozens of eco-horrors that are killing both the environment and the homeowner's bank account.
The show seems a bit campy, but I'm sure that is me just being a Yankee snob. However, when Planet Green officially launches on June 4th, 2008, you'll be able to catch a new Americanized version of the show. Check it out after the jump!
Postscript: I do have to admit that it was unusual watching Discovery Home and seeing several Treehugger commercials.
Image copyright Discover Networks
David Kennedy takes some amazing architectural photos! I recently stumbled across his website, where he has several fantastic shots of Frank Lloyd Wright's S.C. Johnson Wax campus, Tower and the Johnson family house, Wingspread.
He also has taken some breath-stealing photos of the Louis Sullivan designed Merchants National Bank in Grinnell, Iowa (which can be admired in the most recent book on the bank by Pomegranate Press.)
Check out the site and if you fall in love with any of the photos, you can order them for your PrairieMod pad!
All photos copyright David Kennedy
I recently posted on one of my favorite Mid-century modern galleries in the Chicago suburbs, Arte Moderne. Well, I got word that the gallery owners are wanting to extend a 10% discount to any PrairieMod readers who mention the write-up. So check out the gallery and tell them PrairieMod sent you!
Photo copyright Arte Moderne
John Lautner was one of those rare examples of an apprentice that escaped Frank Lloyd Wright's shadow. An Organic Architectural virtuoso in his own right, Lautner's designs have often been compared to frozen jazz music--and man, do they sing! Case in point: two Lautner houses that are currently for sale and recently featured in the Los Angeles Times.
Last week in Minneapolis, we got a personal tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Willey House (check out our post Some Cool Things to See in Minneapolis). It was amazing to see the meticulous and careful attention that owners Steve & Lynette Sikora have paid to such a fantastic treasure.
As a result, I wanted to share you with an article from MSP Mag that ran last fall about the homes restoration. Enjoy!
Image Matt Coppersmith
little ditty about Heath Ceramics owners Robin Petravic & Catherine Bailey. The article talks about their home in Sausalito and how its decor mirrors the ideas found in the ceramics at Heath (it even uses some of the Heath tile). I thought the except below was a bit humorous...
The pair was cautious about tiling projects in their house. They considered an installation for the kitchen floor but opted instead to continue with the fir flooring from the neighboring rooms. "We didn't want people to walk in and immediately think, 'The owners of a tile company live here,' " Petravic said.
Image Chronicle/Eric Luse
Sarasota Modern by Paul Rudolph, the Cohen House built in 1955 is up for sale. Nestled into a huge island waterfront lot (nearly 27,000 s.f.), gorgeous tropical foliage, private boat dock, quick access to Gulf of Mexico.....this architectural treasure is just a dream for many of us. However, if you have the funds ($1.25 million) and are looking for something this amazing to call home...you can try to snatch it up.
The Cohen House was first featured in Architectural Record in 1956 with original house plans and photographs. A careful restoration from 2004-2006 included Rudolph's dropped covered walkway rebuilt between house and carport, built-in furnishings around living room pit rebuilt by hand to Rudolph's specs, restore the rolling walls along east side of house, fascia, overhangs, posts, screen porch off living room pit.
If interested, check out Modern Sarasota for details.
Image Sarasota Modern
We received word from the current owners of Frank Lloyd Wright's Turkel House in Detroit, that some fantastic things are going on in the restoration process (view a YouTube video tour). It sounds like the house will be brought back to its former Mid-Century Modern glory! Here are some details they shared with us...
“We didn’t have to bring experts from other parts of the world—we had the talent right here in Detroit” say owners Norman Silk and Dale Morgan. When finished, the Turkel House will be returned to its 1955 mid-century appearance.
The new owners were faced with major challenges caused by years of neglect. Cracked and broken exterior concrete block needed repair and replacement. The leaking roof had caused structural damage to the carport and wiring. Mechanical systems no longer worked. Original kitchen cabinets have been mostly replaced, Philippine mahogany paneling and built-in cabinets had faded from the sun.
Want to see some great architecture in miniature size? Richard Meier is opening his New York warehouse holding hundreds of his architectural models starting May 2nd from 10am-5pm by appointment (Fridays only).
Via Interior Design:
On May 2, Meier will open the doors of his storehouse in Long Island City, offering a rare glimpse into the creative process behind the Pritzker Prize winner's 40-year career. Visitors can view 3-D mini-works-in-process from the 1960's--including the first model for his breakthrough Smith House in Connecticut--through the present. This presentation is a reprise of last year's enthusiastically received four-month event, which prompted the septuagenarian to open the space on a seasonal basis. (The warehouse is closed to the public during the winter due to climate-control issues.)
The most prominent display in the bare bones 3,600-square-foot space are large scale presentation and study models of the Getty in Los Angeles, which took 15 years to develop and is considered his masterwork. The warehouse also contains his prototypes for furniture and product design as well as sculptures composed of wax elements, architectural model pieces, and stainless steel.
I love to seeing buildings in model size to get an idea of what it looks like from every angle.
Image copyright Interior Design Magazine