Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bruce Goff-Architect- Save the "Space Rocket"!

This photo was taken shortly after completion in 1964 by our friend, architect Robert Bowlby and featured in the Friends of Kebyar -Bruce Goff in Oklahoma Guide( if your doing a Bruce Goff Tour in Oklahoma you need this guidebook!)...note the bright colors and pendants(colorful aluminum bubbles) on steel tension cables.

I took these photos in August 2009. You can see the rust and neglect but you can also see that this structure needs maintenance to be a sculpture and perhaps an engineer's report on it's structural integrity with repairs to be a playground "toy" as originally conceived. My wife played on this as a kid and said it was an exhilarating experience.

We wanted to bring attention to a seriously cool landmark in Sooner Park, Bartlesville, Oklahoma and to salute those that have made noise and created a discussion by calling attention to the importance of this civic design by Bruce Goff as a gift to the city by the H.C. Price family. The child's toy; fun to look at, fun to be in was welded shut years the 1990's it seemed all but forgotten; not painted, not accessible and definately not a "fun" place that Mothers would be comfortable with their children playing on. There has been a lot of "chatter" regarding this treasure but no concrete group has stepped up as far as I know other than the Friends of Kebyar ( I would encourage anyone that supports saving this rare landmark to contact them and the Price Tower( to encourage preservation voices be heard on the importance of this work.

Monday, October 19, 2009

In Salute to the Fall Parade of Homes!

The local homebuilders and the Home Builder's Association of Greater Kansas City have been having a tough year...we salute their efforts and see a parallel to this photo. This article trumpets the Parade of Homes in 1957...with a recession looming, builders were "digging in". Don Drummond, the builder, was very busy at the time building numerous modern custom and production homes in the south Kansas City area. He got a great photo-op here, though the site needs a final grading. Clearly the photo was staged; Mr. Quinn holding building plans, Mrs. Quinn in a snappy outfit, the child(who looks like he really wants to get in the dirt) and the family dog in tow. The article says they are moving in this weekend! It's interesting to note the photo promotes the HBA Homes Tour and at the time Don didn't belong to the organization...Talk about "digging in" and positioning at all costs. This is still a cool house, though modified greatly over the years from a stone and timber modern it has the open plan and sophistication you would expect in a 50 year old city home... Here's to Homebuilders and to the economy improving!