interesting article on why houses failed in Hurricane Andrew

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interesting article on why houses failed in Hurricane Andrew

Postby L.A.kevin » Wed Nov 03, 2004 10:35 am

Older houses do much better than new construction (read: McMansions)

http://www.taunton.com/finehomebuilding ... h00152.asp

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Wind

Postby SDR » Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:17 pm

Hmm -- a good read. Although we seldom see hurricane-force winds on the west coast, the discussion of various materials and methods, and their use and misuse, would be of interest to any builder. . .and the effect of roof shape and pitch, and of correct flashing and fastening techniques, in the life of the building, is worthy of note. When building construction methods are reduced to the bare minimum under rewritten codes, and inadequate or fraudulent inspection fails to prevent violations of those codes, severe under-building can result.

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Ya always wondered....

Postby modfan » Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:46 pm

When they would show aerial news clips of hurricane damaged areas, and you would see a few houses standing nearly intact. It's kinda interesting to note that the 'Florida traditional' style (for lack of a better term) usually had a hip roof, and most of those that seemed to be left standing had a hip roof.

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Roofs

Postby SDR » Wed Nov 03, 2004 5:29 pm

See, old Frank Lloyd had it "Wright" in the beginning! Harwell Hamilton Harris is one of the few modernists (c 1940) to make much use of the low hipped roof. Schindler used whatever shape would shed water and look good from inside, sometimes concealing a pitched roof behind a parapet to present a horizontal sillouette -- a real pragmatist, with a strong sense of style nevertheless.

SDR

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Re: Roofs

Postby PortlandModern » Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:15 pm


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article on H.H. Harris

Postby L.A.kevin » Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:49 am


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Havens et al

Postby SDR » Thu Nov 04, 2004 11:25 am

Thanks so much for the heads-up on this Chronicle piece -- I occasionally miss their Saturday architecture specials, which have included a number of regional 'lesser lights' in recent months. Lisa Germany's Harris monograph (U of Texas Press, 1991) has a number of color photos of the Havens house, and two of the architect's wonderful color drawings, but the plans included are much smaller than for other buildings in the book, and the 'racetrack-shaped' (not 'oval') stair was a surprise -- and the S-shaped wall does not appear on the plan at all! I love a mystery. . .(the on-line photos are enlargeable, and give unique views of this amazing structure). The section here is a variant of one published by Ms Germany, providing additional information.

I wish we could resurrect E. McCoy and put her to work on a proper series of studies (well-illustrated, of course!) on: Anshen and Allen; Pietro Belluschi [bell-ushi? bell-uski?]; C W Callister; Mario Ciampi; Gardner Daily; Gordon Drake; Joseph Esherick; E H Ficket; Herb Fritz; John Funk; Aaron Green; Henry Hill; Jack Hillmer; George Homsey; George Howe; John Howe; William Kaezer; Carl Koch; Ernest Kump; Roger Lee; J R McDonald; Howard Meyer; Alynn Morris; Claude Oakland; Ralph Rapson; Paul Thiry; Henry Wright; and John Yeon.

. . .For starters. . .additions? SDR

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Shulman photos of Harwell Hamilton Harris

Postby moderns-r-us » Fri Nov 05, 2004 8:47 am

I have always enjoyed the work of Harwell Hamilton Harris. I was just looking at an old issue of House Beautiful in which there was a feature on a House Beutiful Pace Setter House by Harris that was constructed at the Texas State Fair in 1955 (Hmm, I wonder if it is still there?). It was a great house with many solar shading features and Harris' signature Japanese influence.

My favorite Harris House might be the Ralph Johnson House in LA. It had an almost Maybeck-like style with exposed rafter vaults! Does anyone know if it still exists? I might have to add that one to my "LA Residential Architecture Pilgramage."

I seem to recall seeing b&w shulman photos of the Weston Havens house. I have looked through all the Shulman books that I have at hand with no luck. Can anyone else remember seeing this photo that was taken below the balconies looking up the hill at the house?

Joe:
Thanks for the heads up about the Harris book I will have to get that one through an inter-library loan?

RM

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Ralph Johnson House

Postby Josquin » Fri Nov 05, 2004 2:10 pm

The Ralph Johnson house still exists at 10280 Chrysanthemum Lane off of Beverly Glen. It was for sale not too long ago and it looked as if it had the board and batten exterior restored. What a beautiful and beautifully sited house. I have had the opportunity to visit both the Laing and Birtcher-Share house. The Birtcher-Share house is surely one of HHH's masterpieces. The house is being restored/remodeled. I will post some pictures when possible.

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H H Harris

Postby SDR » Fri Nov 05, 2004 2:39 pm

I love the Birtcher house -- first cast eyes on pictures of it in "If You Want To Build a House" (Elizabeth Mock; MOMA, 1946) -- a different 'front' view from that in Germany's book -- also shots of the Havens AND its downhill HHH neighbor; and the Greta Granstedt house (1938), which is very near Julius Shulman's house (down the hill and across the street). Like early photos of his house, the 'rooftop view' shows few houses and little vegetation in the vicinity. What a difference 60 years has made!

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HHH take your obscure book to work day.

Postby moderns-r-us » Fri Nov 05, 2004 8:30 pm

SDR
I owe you an apology for not paying attention to the names on the previous posts to the thread.

-So- Thank YOU for the lead on the Harwell Hamilton Harris book!

I called the local library and a loan would be plus or minus 10 days so I just bought it online! $7.95 for a new copy with a remainder mark. That was the cheapest book I have purchased in months. I could have bought it even cheaper used.

Since we are talking about "take your obscure book to work day." (I did pull my Elizabeth Mock out of my home collection and look up the HHH houses.) How about Built in the USA, another Museum of Modern Art book.

p.34 you will find the 1935 House in fellowship park 2311 Fellowship Parkway, LA.

Or in The American House Today by Katherine Morrow Ford and Thomas H. Creighton (My two favorite Mid-Century authors)

p.173 you will find Loeb House Redding Connecticut
very similar in form to the Johnson House with Japanese flavoring added

p.216 you will find Share House LA CA
more of a FLW affair (boy did HHH love the sisal rugs!)

I dare not go on at the risk of sounding like an obsessed fanatic.
I did say that I really like HHH, Right?

RM

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HHH Havens House

Postby Josquin » Sat Nov 06, 2004 9:29 am

RM
If your a real freak for HHH and love the Havens House check out the August 1944 edition of House Beautiful. The article "How to Judge Modern" is a 11 page spread with 25 photos and additional drawings of the Havens House. The photos are in color and black and white.
JD

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Books Houses Life

Postby SDR » Sat Nov 06, 2004 9:41 am

The Lisa Germany HHH book, new, for $7.95?? Geez, I've been shopping at the wrong places!

Yeah, those sisal "tile" floor coverings -- you can almost tell a HHH design by that clue alone!

The architects' statements at the end of Ford and Ford's "The Modern House in America" (reprinted as "Classic Modern Homes of the Thirties") are interesting. . .

Fellowship Park house in "Built in USA"? Not in my copy. . .Someone else found a Mies house in the Ford and Ford book (!) -- has the whole world gone topsy-turvy?

I thought I had a Ford and Creighton volume -- maybe it's at the library -- thanks for the references.

Ever hear of Van Evera Bailey? Pomerance and Brienes? There are wonders yet to be unearthed. . .

SDR

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HHH

Postby SDR » Sat Nov 06, 2004 11:19 am

JD and RM -- Obsessed? We? Did you note that the lovely (and world-reknowned) Fellowship Park "treehouse" (accesible by steep path only?) was designed around existing sets of glazed doors, which had been rejected after installation in a clients' house? And how about that outrigger structural system? Sometimes an architect will disappoint or puzzle us in what he builds for himself -- always with the EXPERIMENTING! -- but not often. . .

SDR

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[u]The American House Today[/u] and other ramblings

Postby moderns-r-us » Sat Nov 06, 2004 12:38 pm

I will look for the House Beautiful!

Your copy of Built in the USA does not have the House in Fellowship Park? That is odd. My '45 addition does have it. I have heard that the post war additions were a little different. I am sitting here looking at it, but there are no exterior pictures. Now where did I put my copy of Classic Modern Homes of the Thirties.

If you come across a copy of The American House Today by Katherine Morrow Ford and Thomas H. Creighton please check out a local Kansas City favorite of mine on page 134. The firm of Runnells Clark Waugh & Matsamoto. This is not my favorite house of theirs, but the firm did some great late '40s houses for builder Donald Drummond (Kansas City's version of Joseph Eichler).

RM

One of the houses was a "Revere Quality Home Program" house (as in the early Arapahoe Acres Houses).

The partners were mostly Cranbrook grads and Runnells worked with Ralph Rapson and in the office of Eliel Saarinen (see Design in America or Ralph Rapson). Matsumoto went on to teach in North Carolina and did some really cool houses there including his own. After the firm broke up Runnells concentrated on his specialty of Urban Planning including lots of University Master Plans. His daughter is in the process of moving back to KC so I hope to meet her soon and do more research. Unfortuantely Runnells own house and the house he designed for Drummond were torn down recently for McMansions before I moved back to KC. I am determined to raise awareness about the remaining Runnells houses.

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Moderns

Postby SDR » Sat Nov 06, 2004 1:55 pm

Aha -- We have the two editions of the title (according to the preface) -- this one is post-war work, pub. 1952.

Where did I see one or two photos of the Arapahoe Acres, and who were the architects? I recall a prow-shaped carport knee-wall, matching the raked eaves?

H H Harris's color perspectives are second only to Schindler's for me -- and far more subtle. . .

SDR

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More Harris rambling and obsessions

Postby moderns-r-us » Sat Nov 06, 2004 2:22 pm

Found my copy of Classic Modern Homes of the Thirties by Ford and Ford. I sure wish that Dover had done better quality reproduction.

Perhaps Harris himself was not thrilled with the results of the diagonal bracing at the Fellowship Park Res. They seemed to be nearly cropped out of every photo that I can find of the house. They look good in plan, but marginal in the few photos that they are visible in. Do you suppose that they were a structural afterthought, for added earthquake resistance perhaps?

Have you seen the house in person? Do tell all!

It is such a small house. It is hard to imagine someone living there today without alterations but that would be a shame.

I have not heard of Evera Bailey or Pomerance and Brienes? Were they Califronia based? Where can I find them?

RM

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http://www.arapahoeacres.org/

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Postby moderns-r-us » Sat Nov 06, 2004 2:25 pm

Now I have to buy another addition of Built in the USA!

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Fellowship Park House

Postby Josquin » Sat Nov 06, 2004 5:14 pm

RM
I have seen the house. It has been remodeled, but has essentially the same foot print. It certainly doesn't have the open character and appearance that it once had. Fellowship Park is an odd area in Los Angeles. The streets are public right of way footpaths, many remain dirt, along the hillsides, but some new residents have gated the streets (paths) making it difficult to visit.
JD

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I found the photo

Postby moderns-r-us » Tue Nov 09, 2004 8:16 pm

I accidently discovered where I had seen the picture of the Weston Havens house balcony taken from below. The picture is in
Eichler/ Modernism Rebuilds the American Dream on page 35. It is a Man Ray photo, not a Shulman photo, but it may be the best photo of that work by Harwell Hamilton Harris. It is a cropped version of the same photo used in If You Want To Build a House.

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Fellowship Park House

Postby SDR » Wed Dec 15, 2004 11:13 am

For want of something better to do at the moment, here's the color description of H H Harris' Fellowship Park kitchen (from "Classic Modern Homes of the Thirties"): ". . .drainboard, backsplash and floor are a deep blue, window frames black, walls pale vemilion, open shelves deep vermilion, upper walls and ceiling mustard yellow."! The coverage here of this house is the most complete that I've seen.

Close study of a 1937 house by Alden Dow (ex Taliesin) in Midland, Michigan, from the same volume, reveals an interesting and luxurious Tee-plan, rendered in white-finished "patented Dow cinder blocks" and steel sash with patinated copper spandrels, with floors of cork tile or "brilliant green carpet." Two chimneys offer fireplaces in a living-room "cozy corner and an office/study 1/2 flight down (where the rear carport, dining, kitchen and maid's quarters reside); two stairways serve the upper level, one to the master bedrom with fireplace, the other to a large connected siting room and extensive guest bedroom suite.

SDR

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Fellowship Park House

Postby Josquin » Wed Dec 15, 2004 4:54 pm

For a detailed discussion of the Fellowship Park house, see the February/March 2001 issue of Fine Homebuilding. There is a color diagram of the Fellowship Park House's color scheme. Also, there is a discussion and photos of HHH's last studio/home in NC.

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Postby SDR » Wed Dec 15, 2004 5:56 pm

Fine Homebuilding (Taunton Press) should be encouraged to publish, in addition to the annual (?) Houses issue, a collection of their historic architecture coverage. . .I would at least love to see what's on that list.

Speaking of Wrightians, I found a Georgia practitioner at

www.robertgreen.com
Robert Miller Green, who passed away last year, built a number of houses, which are
presented by his son in dozens and dozens of (mostly) oversized photos (and some drawings) in which to swim around, panning one's view like the denizen of some wood, stone -- or brick -- and glass fishbowl!

SDR :cheers:

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Postby johnnyapollo » Fri Dec 17, 2004 8:49 pm

I've personally viewed some of the Green designs and they are truly inspiring - you can definitely see the FLW influence.

-- John

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Wright again

Postby SDR » Sat Dec 18, 2004 10:52 am

Just revisited the site and read all of Mr Green's reminiscences of time at Taliesin, both before and after Wright's death. The truth of Olgivanna Wright keeps on being revealed, little by little -- one feels for the long-time apprentices who had to endure her in the years after 1959.

I was looking for something architect Green or his son said about one of the houses (?) being "the best Wright-style building in Georgia;" more easily said than if Wright himself had built there!

SDR :cheers:


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