Monday, August 30, 2010

Wright's Building Blocks

Jori Finkel of the Los Angeles Times has recently reported on the uncertain future of Frank Lloyd Wright's textile-block homes. The 1923 Millard House (AKA La Miniatura, shown left) has been on the market for years, and its listing price has dropped from $7.7 M to $4.99 M. The 1924 Ennis House (lower two images) went on the market last year at $15 M but is now being offered for $7.49 M, not including the $6 M the buyer must keep on reserve for future preservation efforts. The Millard House may be sold only to be dismantled and reassembled in Japan.

Wright designed his four textile block system homes in southern California after returning from Japan, where he had used cast brick on the Imperial Hotel (1912-1923). Although the latter was razed in 1968, its entrance lobby was preserved, reconstructed at the Meiji Mura Architecture Museum in Nagoya.

The Southeastern Architectural Archive retains a drawing of a full-sized detail of the Imperial Hotel's cast brick, which was once exhibited in the Max Protech Gallery in New York, and was the gift of New Orleans architect James Lamantia.

A number of New Orleans architects visited Frank Lloyd Wright structures in their youth, and brought back photographs and kodachrome slides of their destinations. Tulane School of Architecture graduate Philip H. Roach, Jr. documented La Miniatura and the Ennis House during a long architectural road trip that he took during the 1950s.

Images: Philip H. Roach, Jr., photographer. Frank Lloyd Wright, architect. Circa 1950s. Philip H. Roach, Jr. Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

No comments: