We bought Frank Lloyd Wright's Elizabeth Murphy House with a plan to restore and care for her, but quickly discovered a curious and unexpected form of stewardship. Like nuns in a 19th century orphanage, we find ourselves caring for the forsaken.
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.
Imagine a couple of kids - one hundred years ago - sitting at the table, back to the warm morning sun, sipping milk while one parent flipped breakfast eggs and the other buttered toast and they all planned the weekend. It's not only about seeing things, but about living and being together in an American System-Built House.
You don't see many pictures of the kitchen in our gallery because we've not yet solved an aesthetically-complex issue: a sight-line destroyed by a modern appliance. We have a fix.
The level of Wright's brilliance and forethought contained on this one page seems stunning - out of this world - to us amateurs.
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.
Our goal is to mix historic-appropriateness with modern energy efficiency. We're going back to Wright's framed casement design, but will allow for double-paned glass and proper weatherstripping. We will make the stiles, rails and beads in Cypress and have organized a shop in which to mill, fit and assemble the windows in batches.
To make the main living space behave much larger, Frank Lloyd Wright designed an open and flexible floor plan that could be reconfigured for a special occasion, like a holiday party.
We were expecting some attention when we moved into this Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house, but we were surprised at how it would open our minds.
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.