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 is not a spoiler alert to say that after Frank Lloyd Wright sued Richards and cancelled the ASBH program in 1917, Richards and Williamson continued designing and selling Prairie Style homes around Milwaukee. Distinguishing those homes from Wright's ASBH work can be difficult. Here is a clue.
Wright and Richards were exploring ways to ensure quality while lowering costs in the American System. So cabinet doors were built of "ply" fifteen years before "plywood" became a thing.
The Shorewood Historical Society and Boswell Book Company will co-host an evening with Nicholas D Hayes and Taliesin's Catherine Boldt (Educational Outreach Docent) as they discuss Hayes' findings in the new book FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT'S FORGOTTEN HOUSE: How an Omission Transformed the Architect's Legacy.
A group of ASBH owners have been meeting and collaborating in the last few years (first physically and then virtually), sharing ideas, tours, parts and pieces and pictures to study, and have even been purchasing materials for renovations in bulk to ensure affordability and continuity. Six of the homes are represented!
As we assembled the proper tools and processes to make Frank Lloyd Wright's window sashes as Arthur Richard’s factory might have made them, we uncovered evidence of a decision to slow production in order to ensure quality, made a century ago.
If you, like many fans of Frank Lloyd Wright, are on the hunt for a long-lost American System-Built Home, here is a simple tool that you can use in your field work and that may tell you if you're warm.
For Wright, American System-Built Homes met a complex design challenge: to create affordable beautiful modest homes. But for Richards, the ASBH program was one item on vast menu of real estate products he could offer.
While the historic Burnham Block represents the optimistic beginning of Frank Lloyd Wright’s first attempt to design modest homes, the Elizabeth Murphy House at 2106 East Newton in Shorewood, Wisconsin, marks the tumultuous end of the American System-Built idea.
Learn more about The Elizabeth Murphy House and its place in Frank Lloyd Wright's work and legacy, by attending a presentation on Friday, 6/14/2019 at 12:30pm at the Hefter Center at UWM.