In a way, our quest to preserve this tiny home is like time travel. We want to understand what Frank Lloyd Wright intended at the time he intended it.
Though Wright designed over a hundred modest American System-Built Homes he quickly cancelled the program with only twenty or so built and filed away the drawings forever when he realized that his art would not be preserved if its occupants didn't themselves participate in the preservation.
If you had created something, a piece of art, for example, that was subsequently altered by others in ways that you disapproved, would you want that object preserved?
Through features like the Place of Greeting, we can see that Wright assumed that working-class people - the people with modest means who would live in and visit his ASBH designs - were inherently kind, trusting and trustworthy.
Did Frank Lloyd Wright plan to furnish his American System-Built Homes? Evidence suggests that limited studio resources left most owners to their own decorative devices.
Antonin Raymond and Rudolph Schindler escaped Frank Lloyd Wright's wrath when the American System-Built Program was summarily cancelled and covered up in 1917. Russell Barr Williamson did not.
It can seem strange to think of a Frank Lloyd Wright dwelling as a standard product - something that could be built with interchangeable parts and pieces - but American System-Built Homes were exactly that. One of those pieces was Byrkit Lath.
Wright's statement chimney was meant to welcome a visitor like a smoke signal emerging from the heart of the house and saying, "we're home, it's warm in here, and you're invited." But in 1918, it leaked.
Upcoming book begins by unravelling a mystery: how might a house designed by the world's most famous architect become lost in the first place?
Since CoVid-19 has made it impossible to attend a First Church Sunday Morning Forum in body, let's get together in spirit and look at the work of one of our own.