Thursday, January 1, 2009

Bartlesville Christmas-Wright and Goff: Then and Now

There are great buildings in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. You can drive around and see some very interesting architecture. I can't mention architecture in this town without mentioning the Price Tower, Frank Lloyd Wright's "Prairie Skyscraper", very artistic and great scale...They now have a hotel and restaurant on the top floors and a very cool museum on the first two floors.
Nearby is the Bartlesville Community Center designed by Taliesin Architects, notably Wes Peters, Wright's son-in-law.Frank Lloyd Wright and Bruce Goff is ever present in the town, whether it's work by them or architects influenced by them at the University of Oklahoma or other schools nearby.
I had heard Goff's Motsenbocker house had sold recently and went by to check it out... Very interesting house and the rear of the house, on the second floor which is ground level, it has a pool... now real estate beige, the original was redwood stain and a turquoise trim with beautiful masonry...
Just north of Bartlesville is a town called Dewey. That is where Goff's Comer house is located, it is in nearly vintage condition. These two homes were designed one after the other...Comer and Motsenbacker, in 1957, which is interesting to compare how Goff reacted to different programs, budgets and sites.Two doors down the street from the Motsenbocker house is a David Runnels(architect from Kansas City) designed house that was remodeled by Bruce Goff in 1959. From the front, it's all Goff in this extensive remodel, from clear glass ashtrays in the doors and wood panels to strong geometric elements in the overall fabric of the design. (click on images to enlarge)


Do You Remember...the first time you saw the movie, "The Day The Earth Stood Still"? I sure do...I watched it on our black and white television, in the living room of our house in Tulsa, OK, the winter of 1960. "We have come to visit you in peace and goodwill", said Michael Renne, as Klaatu the alien, in this 1951 science-fiction thriller. It was scary in a strange way, somehow the aliens were more reassuring than the humans... We went to the Leawood Theatre, in Ranchmart Shopping Center, the other day to see "Marley and Me".(Don't go see this movie unless you love to cry. As a pet owner, I thought "Old Yeller" was bad, this movie takes the cake)
Inside the refreshment area of the theatre was the owner, Wade Williams' collection of memorabilia from the movie, "The Day the Earth Stood Still", and standing behind velvet ropes was Gort himself... ...The alien's huge, silent but deadly robot He hardly did anything the whole movie but stand like a sentinel, and it still scared the heck out of me. I must say it was cool when he melted the soldiers' weapons with his ray-beam.
I grabbed the camera and here is a shot of Gort and one original of many posters used for marketing the show. The poster is mounted in a wall frame and some of the frame obscures the edges. Interestingly, on the poster the studio depicted Gort like King Kong, carrying away Patricia Neal who was conveniently attired in lingerie...there is no scene like that in the movie...
Gort! Klaatu Barada Nikto!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Modern Photo of the Week - Stahl Residence - Case Study House 22

Name: Stahl Residence - Case Study House #22
Architect: Pierre Koening
Year Designed: Unknown
Builder: Unknown
Year Built: 1960
Size: Unknown
Location: 1635 Woods Drive, Hollywood Hills, California
Type: Residential
Style: Modern
Status: Good and still owned by the original owner
Photographer: Julius Shulman

I was inspired by the previous post about The Best Houses of All Time in L.A. and decided to include a photo of number five from that list. This is one project that I have not visited yet, so I will rely once again on "Uncle" Julius Shulman to provide the wonderful eye candy for this house. I specifically did not use a certain famous photo of that house. Can anyone tell me what photo I am talking about?

Via Shorpy

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Best Houses of All Time in L.A.

It seems customary these days for newspapers and blogs to present all of their top ten lists at the end of the calendar year. Here is one list that I could not help but post here.

The Best Houses of All Time in L.A.
According to the Los Angeles Times panel of experts
Click here for the LA Times Article

What intrigued me most was that all of the houses were Modern or near Modern (ala Gamble House). I also could not help but notice that most of these houses were on my list of must sees when I have been in LA. So I have included one of my photographs of each of the houses that I have visited along with the list.

1: Kings Road House, Rudolph Schindler, West Hollywood, 1921-22

2. Kaufmann House, Richard Neutra, Palm Springs, 1946

3. Ennis House, Frank Lloyd Wright, Los Feliz, 1924

4. Eames House (Case Study House No. 8), Charles and Ray Eames, Pacific Palisades, 1949

5. Stahl House (Case Study House No. 22), Pierre Koenig, Hollywood Hills, 1960
I have not been here yet, but will definitely see this on my next trip to LA. More on that later.

6. Gamble House, Charles and Henry Greene, Pasadena, 1908
I love the work of Greene & Greene, but I have not made it to Pasadena yet.

7. Chemosphere, John Lautner, Hollywood Hills, 1960
Believe me I will find this one soon too, but I hear it is very hard to see.

8. Kappe House; Ray Kappe, Pacific Palisades, 1968

9. Dodge House, Irving Gill, West Hollywood, 1916 (demolished 1970)
Well, since it was demolished when I was seven, I will just have to enjoy the photos of others.

10. Hollyhock House, Frank Lloyd Wright, Hollywood, 1921

Bartlesville Christmas

We gathered for Christmas at my wife's parents house. My In-Laws own a fantastic house on a cliff. It was designed by Jim K. Lorenson, architect, and built by the most respected homebuilder in the area at the time. According to The Oklahoman Magazine, who first published a story on the house, Lorenson had Bruce Goff as a mentor, eventually finding his way to San Francisco. There he focused on "seismic" architecture. It's a great tri-level house, or should I say "tree-level" on one of the highest vantage points in town...the more I'm there, the more I appreciate the views, the "light play" and the detailed finishes.The photo from one of the many decks gives a pretty good indication of why the original owners hired Lorenson...look at that rock shelf! (Click on images to enlarge)