Pittsburgh's Kaufmann Department Store (now Macy's) is closing down, yet there's a push by the city's mayor to make sure historic items from the store are saved and accessible to the public. Public officials interested in saving historic materials is normally something to celebrate...but this news story keeps mentioning "Frank Lloyd Wright-designed water fountains" that need to be saved in the store. I'm not sure where they are getting their info, but I really, really doubt that the drinking fountains shown are Wright-designed. Can anyone confirm or deny? More on the store closing here.
Image via wtae.com
NorthJersey.com recently highlighted a photo from the Glen Ridge Historical Society that shows an interesting Prairie School home built in the early 1900s in the historic town. No mention is made of the architects, so I did a little digging and came up with what appears to be the same home featured in a 1910 Architectural Record. the architects of record are listed as Wagner & Fairchild. Do any PrairieMod readers know more about this architectural duo? Read NorthJersey.com article here.
Top image via Glen Ridge Historical Society/bottom image via Google books
Here's a mystery I hope PrairieMod readers can help answer: Does anyone know who the architect was for the 1912 Wilmette Woman's Club in Wilmette, IL? The little Prairie School building (as seen in the real photo postcard at left) has long-since vanished, being consumed as part of a larger 1920s addition, but it would be nice to know who was responsible for the original.
Image credit: PrairieMod
Krista Van Laan, author of Frank Delos Wolfe: California Prairie Architecture, was able to clear up the question of the why a Minneapolis home looks so much like one of San Jose architect Frank Delos Wolfe's California works. More after the jump...
Architecture aficionados know Peoria, IL is the home of one of Frank Lloyd Wright's most important Prairie School designs, the first Little residence. But there's another Prairie home nearby Little that has some mystery around it. The 1913 Deloss Brown residence has been rumored to have a Wright connection for decades, but no one seems to know who the real architect is. Anyone in the PrairieMod community have info to crack this case? Read more here.
Image via Peoria Historical Society
Scott T. has found a fantastic Usonian home for sale for $399,000 in Damascus, Oregon. We'd love to know what architect was responsible for this gem. If you know, send us the answer and we'll happily give you a shout-out on PrairieMod!
Image via realtor.com
I came upon the webpage for the Flying L Guest Ranch in Bandera, TX that has really intriguing villas that are said to be designed and built in 1949 by "associates of Frank Lloyd Wright." These were designed in Wright's lifetime, so does anyone know which "associate" was actually responsible for this commission? Check out more info and photos here.
Image via flyingl.com
The word "Usonia" has always been closely associated with Frank Lloyd Wright and his MCM architecture. However, according to the blog, 2paragraphs, it was originally coined in 1903 by writer James Duff Law in his book Here and There in Two Hemispheres. Wright just made it famous. More here.
Image via Google Books
Bill S. recently sent a link to a painted plaster sculpture in an upcoming auction that is reported to be a Wright/Iannelli study for Midway Gardens. At first blush, it looks geometric and has a music theme, but there's something off about it and doubts have been raised about attributing it to Wright/Iannelli and Midway Gardens.
I asked Tim Samuelson, Cultural Historian for the City of Chicago and Iannelli expert, and he agrees with the doubts. In his opinion, "it's probably one of the plaster figures from the Southtown Theatre [formally] of 63rd St - many people have mistakenly attributed these to Iannelli."
Anyone out there know for sure? Send me an email or post a comment and help solve the mystery.
Image via Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
PrairieMod reader Dave E. was able to find more info on the Fallingwater-ish house in Lake Geneva, WI we recently posted on. Dave says: "The architectural firm involved was Tilton & Lewis Assoc. out of Chicago. Appears to have been built around 1994 "for George Coleman". Can't find anything else about Coleman. House is over 9,000 sq. ft. inside with 4,000 sq ft of decking. It was roofed with soil and 1,350 plantings over a waterproof membrane. Not to say that the "green" roof still exists, but it does appear to have greenery on it's roof in the photo posted on line."
Thanks Dave! More here.
Image via gazettextra.com
Link G. sent-in a question about a Fallingwater doppelgänger in Lake Geneva, WI. Anyone know more about this expensive looking homage? Let us know!
Image via gazettextra.com
Many readers send word that they enjoyed the images I posted of The Island Woolen Company Dam Observation Deck (once located in Baraboo, WI and allegedly designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.) Author and architect, Randolph C. Henning was kind enough to send me a couple more rare photo postcard images of this mysterious structure to share with PrairieMod readers.
So readers: is this destined to remain a 'Wright" design (with quote marks intended) or does anyone think there might be a way to solve the mystery?
Image credits: The Collection of Randolph C. Henning
Tim M. contacted us recently looking for some help tracking down plans or photos of architect Arthur Carrara's David Voorhees House. It was built in Colden, NY (south of Buffalo) but was destroyed by fire many years ago. So PrairieMod readers, can anyone help Tim out by sending in any information on the Voorhees House? We'll post what's submitted so that everyone can enjoy!
Image via interiordesign.net
The Hyde Park/Kenwood neighborhood of Chicago has a handful of works by Frank Lloyd Wright, but is this early Queen Anne style home currently on the market one of his? The listing makes that audacious claim, but 4830 S. Kenwood Ave. is not listed on any official list as being "Wright."
PrairieMod readers are excellent in helping to solve these types of mysteries—anyone know? See the listing and more photos here.
Image via estately.com
Speaking of Iannelli, as I'm in the process of working on the upcoming monograph on the life and work of Alfonso Iannelli, I was struck by the shear number of posters designed and hand painted by the then Los Angeles-based Iannelli Studios for the Orpheum Theater (now known as the Palace Theater).
It begged the question for me: Where did they all go? I know some have appeared in auctions and sales over the years, but it's a small percentage of the speculated 80-100 that were thought to have been created. Several were exhibited at Oklahoma University while Iannelli was still alive, but I wonder where they all went after he passed and the collection was bought and sold-off in the 1980s/1990s.
Anyone know? If you own an original hand painted poster from the turn-of-the-last-century (not the 1967 silkscreen repros) please let me know!
Image via PrairieMod
Some time ago we posted on the mystery of the lost Olinka Hrdy murals that were executed for the Riverside Music Studio in Tulsa, OK. The artist of the colorfully abstract murals was Olinka Hrdy, who was working for architect Bruce Goff at the time.
Hrdy also had connections to Alfonso Iannelli—working for, corresponding with, and having him write her recommendations for future jobs.
I'm wondering if an PrairieMod readers out there have any more information or work examples related to this fascinating and little-known Modernist artist. If so--send me an email and I'll be happy to share with everyone!
Image via thislandpress.com
With all the recent excitement surrounding the discovery of the little cottage in Wilmette, IL designed by Rudolph Schindler while working for Frank Lloyd Wright, it's stirred up interest in trying to locate other buildings in the Chicagoland area that may bear Schindler's fingerprints.
One such mystery is a renovation that Schindler apparently did of a house in Maywood, IL for a J.B. Lee in 1916 while working for another Chicago firm: Ottenheimer, Stern, and Reichert. Problem is, no one knows the address or if any part of it still stands. Anyone have any clues?
Image via trianglemodernisthouses.com
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? If so, based on a couple of photos sent by Marty Hackl, perhaps Frank Lloyd Wright thought highly enough of the 1878 Peabody Library at John Hopkins University to emulated it in the main atrium of his 1904 Larkin Administration Building that once stood in Buffalo, NY. Any PrairieMod readers know if there's a connection?
Images courtesy of Marty Hackl
We love Eames as much as the next mid-century maniac, but the proliferation of Eames-chairs-as-graphic-treatment has us wondering if these iconic pieces are one potholder away from becoming a Portlandia spoof. Thoughts?
Images via the web
Wright Chat user "DRN" was kind enough to share some fantastic period photos of the Bruce Goff-designed Frank Cole House (1939) originally taken by Fons Iannelli (Alfonso Iannelli's son). These stunningly rich images showcase this Usonian-esque home, which was built in Park Ridge, IL.
PrairieMod readers may remember a post that stirred-up some confusion about whether or not this home still stood when it was advertised for sale in 2010 as a "Bruce Goff-designed" home.
However, the recently posted period photos may reveal that the original house was not actually torn down to make way for a new one—but instead extensively renovated beyond recognition. To shed a little more light on this mystery, I came across some recent exterior and interior photos to see if it can be determined if this home was actually lost or if perhaps enough of its bones remain to one day restore it back to its "Goffian" state.
If anyone know more on the history of this home and if it has been lost or remodeled beyond recognition, please let us know. To see all of the photos follow the link.
Image credit: DRN (top)/tours.vht.com (bottom)
Artdaily.org reports on an art glass window from a residence in upstate New York attributed to Frank Lloyd Wright and being sold in the December 10-11, 2010 auction at Dan Morphy Auctions. Thing is—it looks like it could be related to the D.D. Martin House windows (of which there are a lot) but something about it doesn't seem quite Wright. Anyone have any insight on whether this is really "Wright" and which house it belongs to? Read more here.
Image via Art daily.org
Any thoughts on how I could find a mod architect in Traverse City, MI? I am contemplating some remodeling, but need professional help.
If you have helpful info or tips for Lyn, please leave a comment to this post.
No, it's not Hasbro's Cold War-era subsidiary. The Red Square Toy Company was founded by John Lloyd Wright (son of Frank) and produced many building-related toys, including Lincoln Logs. Does anyone out there have an image of what the company logo might have looked like or other images of original packaging? Send it along and we'll share.
PrairieMod reader, Eric S. sent me a link to a McHenry, IL home for sale that bears several very cool Mod features. Anyone know who the architect is? Follow the link to see more.
Image via ditlove.com
There is not much info to be had about architect, Paul Schweikher. Having worked in the Chicagoland area before moving onto Pennsylvania and then Arizona, Schweikher was responsible for several amazingly beautiful progressive works of architecture–including his own home and studio in Schaumburg, IL. However, what's frustrating is a lack of information about his work, where they are located and how many buildings are left. Can any of our fantastic readers provide info or (better yet) photos?
Image courtesy of www.vinci-hamp.com
While Frank Lloyd Wright did stay in an Italian Tuscan villa, working on the Wasmuth Portfolio (and spending time with Mamah), there is no evidence that he designed and built anything while over there. So this recent claim of being able to rent a Wright-designed Tuscan villa seems dubious. Does anyone know something we don't about this? See more here.
Image via Tuscany Rent Direct.com
From time to time, people write us with design, product or decorating questions they are looking to PrairieMod readers for help answering. I thought I'd start a new column called "PrairieMod Help Line" to call attention to these questions. I'm going to start it off with a request of my own. Read about it after the jump...
We recently received a comment that contains a great question for the PrairieMod Community to help answer.
If you have any leads or tips for them, leave a comment.
I live in Cedar Rapids, IA, which was recently devastated by flooding. The city is in the process of deciding how to “flood proof” for the future. The proposed flood mitigation plan is a system of Flood Walls and Levys, which in its current form would require the demolition of many historic buildings. One of these would be the Peoples Bank Building built in 1911 and designed by Louis Sullivan. We are against the flood walls for many reasons, but think the demolition of these buildings would be devastating to our town. We are looking for a group or foundation who can advice of how we can save this building and many others. Please let me know if you can point me in the right direction, or have any advice on who I can contact. Thank You!
If you have any info, leave a comment.
Image copyright Einar Einarsson Kvaran
I recently acquired a 1960 Herb Fritz house in rural Wisconsin and am trying to find out more info about Herb Fritz and his other projects. Thanks, and keep up the great work! - Tim
If you have any info, leave a comment.
Image from Eric Saed's Flickr Photostream
One of our readers, Sean from Illinois, needs your help!
My wife and I are putting up some new curtains in a prairie style home and are having trouble finding some nice prairie inspired curtain rods. I was wondering if you or your readers knew of any? Thanks...Sean.
If you have any leads or tips for them, leave a comment.
I own a 1957 ranch, which I believe is inspired by the Prairie Style. The brick is orange-rust in color & the accents are a creamy white. I'm in desperate need of some paint colors for the trim & window sashes. I want to emphasize the Prairie elements & move it from looking like the other ranches in my neighborhood. I am open to any ideas!!
Leave a comment here with any tips.
Tanya and Jim, need help! If you have any leads or tips for them, leave a comment.
We just bought two very cool mid-century chairs and I'm trying to find out more about them. They were made by Stow Davis Furniture of Grand Rapids, MI. One of them still has the original tag. They were part of order number 54823, style no. 113, finish no. 51. We'd love any help folks can give about their origin.
Jaime from Minnesota wrote us asking about the best way to use native plantings for his modern prairie home. Let us know if you have any resources or tips for him by leaving a comment.
We own a very contemporary home that takes its cues from the Prairie vernacular. One of the last finishing touches is the garden and we have struggled with this. I had hoped your team or your readers could help point us to some resources for native plantings to consider as we finalize this very important detail to our home. Thank you PrairieMod!
Image copyright Mark Baldwin
Seriously? No one has any insight into Sean's question about Prairie-Inspired Patios for his modern prairie designed home? You guys always have so many great leads and ideas that you email to us, I'd think someone could point Sean in the right direction.
Okay, enough chastising on my part (sorry to be a bit of a meanie). I'll help get things started by leaving my personal suggestions in the comment section for our proposed question. If I'm way off base, let us know. If you have a better idea, please share it. Thank you!
PrairieMod constantly receives tons of questions (some we can answer, some we cannot) from you guys. So, we'd like to be able to put forward those requests to the PrairieMod Community. Send us your questions and we'll share with everyone else to uncover some great answers.
Kicking it off for us is a question from Sean...
My wife and I are working on designing a external stair, patio, and retaining wall for our modern prairie designed home (limited yard size). Needless to say I'm having trouble finding some good pics/examples of some prairie inspired patio designs. I was wondering if you might be able to offer some links or insights into where I might look?
If you have resources or suggestions to share with Sean, leave a comment in this post.