Mar 28, 2011

A bit of my book club

So you know how I mentioned my book club was going to be doing something this weekend that involved pictures? Well get ready for an overload. We read the book Loving Frank by Nancy Horan, and when we realized there was a house near us that was built by Frank Lloyd Wright, we decided to scrap the regular appetizers and chit chat and take a field trip to tour the house instead.

We couldn't take pictures inside the house (which is a shame because it was beautiful), but I'm going to try to give you a tour of what the outside looked like. This is starting at the front and working our way left around it. Bear with me, because the house was low and wide so I couldn't always get everything in one shot.

Left side of the front of the house with front entrance...
...then moving around to the left (front entrance is now to my right - where that bench is).
This is as you turn that first angle of the house and it starts to bring you into the backyard...
...And this is the view from the yard of the back of the house. The tall glass windows on the left are along the wall of the dining room, and the windows to the right were part of the bedrooms. Wright wanted the outside of the house to be an extension of the inside, so on the two far left windows of the dining room they actually locked at the top and bottom and became doors - opening right onto the patio. (One of the bedrooms also had that feature). It really opened up the space - and it must have been fabulous to sit at the table with the doors open on a beautiful spring or fall morning.
As you start to go around the back of the house, there are more angles and a close up view of the clerestory windows which had beautiful designs. The top of the house was also lined with these so the natural light really shone through.
This is my friend Brooke - isn't she chic? I feel like she would so fit in walking down the streets of Paris. (This is after she ran a 10K that morning. And for the record she was wearing boots with heels).
After you pass by the windows and round the back of the house, you come upon the screened-in porch. Our guide told us that Frank Lloyd Wright did not want to screen in the patio, (one of the apprentices designed that part), but he said if the client must have screens they had to be copper so you'd look through them, and not at them. I would have never thought of that, but it was true - you barely noticed the screens!
Just to give you a frame of reference, this is the looking to the right of the house from the front. (See the edge of the screens to the left?)
This window is to the left of porch, and is actually the window in the kitchen. That little portion at the bottom was so the cook could open just a little bit of the window and reach out to grab fresh herbs from the herb planter. Again, something I never would have thought of, but I'm sure was really useful.
The right side of the house (looking from the front)...
...And back to the front, coming full circle.
I wish I could have taken pictures inside the house - it was small, but beautiful! It's only 1200 square feet - but that's twice the size of our apartment, so if I could I would pack up and move in tomorrow! Wright did some work in Japan and you can definitely see the influence in this house. He built everything to not turn its back on natural light, and your eye is drawn to the open space, even though the house itself isn't that big.

This was a house built for middle-income clients so it's not as big or impressive as some of Wright's other houses, but I thought it was amazing for the amount of space. You could also tell it was built in the 1940s - all of us kept saying it reminded us of our grandparents' houses! I want to go back and tour again. From the little of what I've read online, and then reading Loving Frank, it sounds like Wright was a pompous ass most of the time, but man did he know his architecture!

Have you ever seen a Frank Lloyd Wright house? Do you think you could live in a house like this?

(Come back tomorrow for a review of Loving Frank!)

Happy Monday!


Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Wow that's really cool! There was actually a Frank Lloyd Wright house in AZ I was going to go to but somehow we never got there. Looks cool though, field trips for book clubs are a great idea!

Lucy The Valiant said...

Sounds like a really fun book club! I love stuff that ties into books like that!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

yes, I toured the FLW home & studio in Chicago a couple of years ago. I HIGHLY recommend that next time you are in Chicago. My SIL came with me and she loved it so we are going ot hopefully check out another FLW in the future as there is another one in their area. I checked it out after reading Loving Frank as my curiosity was piqued by that book. he was a total *ss, but talented. We will have to chat about the book this weekend!

Diana Mieczan said...

Wow..the place looks beautiful and what a fun book-club! Have a great Monday, sweetie

Nora said...

That's so fun! I love the photos. Very cool artwork/design on the outside.

I have not read Loving Frank, but my mom did. And she may have told me how it ended so yeah, I don't think I'll be able to make it through that book... =)

Amber said...

So cool! How fun that you guys went on a little field trip instead of doing the usual appies and chit-chat :)

I have never read Loving Frank but maybe I will have to check it out!

Mandy said...

I love that you all took a field trip instead of the norm. Sometimes you just need to shake things up and this is the perfect way to do that. I sort of adore the work of FLW. One of his more well known houses, Falling Water is not too far from Pittsburgh. I've been there a few times at different times of the year and its amazing. I really need to check out that book.

Stevie said...

How fun! I've always wanted to see a FLW house, especially the famous falling water house. What a great idea for your book club meeting!

How was the book? Do you recommend it?

Stephany said...

This is so awesome, Becky! I think it's amazing to take a book you're reading and bring it to life this way. Very cool.

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