DA old timers
OK, Steve. Now I'm feeling somewhat ambivalent about encouraging anyone to try tracking down our dear old friend. It's understandable, in these times, for us all to want to reconnect with those we've loved. It's as understandable that some might rather not. But, if you do reach Mark, be sure to send him our best!
Perhaps his building management would be willing pass along your private contact info? That might be easiest and would leave the ball in his court. Just a thought...
Nice sunset pix, as always. Thx, and keep well!
Thanks, tk. Very sensible. I could imagine that Mark found the new situation here forbidding or even inaccessible---as I did for quite a while. Or he may simply have moved on. Perhaps we will do the same. He is missed, in any event.
Do let us know of your projects and thoughts, as before. Are there other threads here that you frequent ? Is there still a "Last thing you made" department ?
how's everybody doing? I have been holed up for 4 weeks. My outgoing packages are picked up by the mail carrier and my kids have insisted on doing my grocery shopping for me. I take the trash out and that's about it. I am determined to not get sick.
One of my favorite distractions is looking at old house real estate listings in St. Paul MN. Redfin.com started sending me listings after I looked for a house that I'd visited there once, just to see if i could find it (I did, in about 10 minutes, without knowing the address).
Anyway, @SDR--I thought of you. A lot of them have sort of Craftsman interiors. Very solid, midwestern and straightforward. Maybe Prairie style? Is there a difference? Anyway, i didn't notice right away but a LOT of them have dining room hutches that are built into the wall with beveled mirrors and sometimes leaded glass doors up top. Mostly oak, i think---and what I LOVE is that most have never been painted. Here in the Balto area, old house flippers paint all woodwork white and the walls are usually light gray, and bathrooms are redone in Home Depot tile and vanities. UGH, I can't stand to look at them anymore.
Here's a gem:
wait, that one is nice but this is one with the built hutch and also some pretty great other stuff going on with the trim and paneling and such: https://www.redfin.com/MN/St-Paul/1283-Fairmount-Ave-55105/home/51083297
Oho. Yes, finding unpainted woodwork is always a pleasure. At least they're using gray with the white, out your way. Here every listing I see is white white white. Sometimes the 100-year-old-plus house has retained its unpainted interior woodwork right up until, like, last week. Pitiful. And any Wright house suffers when the subtle ochers, wheats and greens are painted over in dead white !
And every square foot of roofed space in these old houses has been finished and made inhabitable. The mania for "more space" continues, I guess, with some exceptions. Finding a listing with a floor plan is a rare plus. The art glass windows in the 1923 quasi-bungalow is rich, though not likely original. But yes, the built-ins of the period are wonderful. Wright typically did a dining-room piece for the larger Prairie-period houses. Look up the Robie house; two walls have loooong and low built-ins in the dining room. The Boynton house in Rochester has this amazing "hutch," seemingly supported at its ends only. And not only the bungalow had that affair erected between the living and dining rooms, with a pair of round or square columns and low cabinetry on either side.
Craftsman and Prairie have one thing in common, at least: tons of woodwork---casework, millwork and trim inside and out, featuring generous widths, thicknesses, and lengths of stock. Prairie is characterized by Wright's generous roof overhangs, a visible base protruding beyond the walls at the ground, geometric art-glass windows, and no curves beyond the occasional Roman-arched entry and (even rarer) fireplace opening. Wright clung to his triangle, T-square and compass; no free-form curves for him !
Both Wright and the Craftsman architects found the banks of windows that their British cousins had been using; they in turn found these in older prototypes---the vernacular influence. Wright was well aware of developments in Europe at the turn of the century when he was hitting his stride: the British "Craft" architects, the Viennese Secession and its Scottish outpost manned by Mackintosh. That and the Japanese example heavily influenced Wright, but he generally disavowed all but his own innate genius, with a generous bow to Japan on occasion. He claimed that the Japanese print was of greater influence than the Japanese house, for him; the evidence might suggest otherwise . . .
Those Wright built-ins are beautiful! So functional and handsome. Though I do remember reading somewhere that he got annoyed when the people who live in his house wanted to replace some of his furniture with their own choices that were not always in the same style. (I probably would be one of those, but no worries-- the chances of me ever living in a Wright house are flat out zero at this point.)
My then-husband and I once went to see a nice old four square house to live in where there were painters actually in the process of painting the original wood trim white. I still wince to think of it.
I think what amazes me more than anything about the St. Paul houses is that so many of them are quite modest---three or four bedrooms tops, some with second floors that have very sloped ceilings. Yet they have generous wood trim and the built-in hutches---and more often than not, the wood has never been painted. I wonder how much it has to do with the ethnic groups of that area at that time (German and Scandinavian mostly, i think?), but why haven't more been painted? Painted wood trim was a HUGE style thing back in the 1980s.
Anyway. Here's one that did get painted--even the floors! And decorated with giant wall words. I hate wall words with a passion. I think they're even worse than generic paintings from Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Okay . . . it's been too long---again. Today we are reminded, by something in the funny papers, of Gianni Sacca di Frutti. Here's an early appearance (the first ?) at DA: https://designaddict.com/community/main-forum/Miami-Modern15462/
And here's what I saw in the Chronicle today: https://www.gocomics.com/badreporter/2020/05/29
As somone who was about 7 years late to that party (I think I joined in 2016?), I have to admit that thread had me in tears and I wish I'd been there for it. Sometimes something just gets you and my partner was looking at me very strangely, I don't think I could have explained it even if I'd wanted to.
I'll remember to appropriately attribute Di Frutta from now on. Embarrassing given his prolific reach, I've seen so many designs by him so no idea how I didn't know of him before now.
OMG. Eleven years ago ? "Bellissima Meloni Coperti di Leopardo di frutta, shown here in a 1989 photo" etc. Complete with "relevance" rating---as if ! I don't recall a poster called NULL NULL . . . but then there are a lot of things I don't remember . . .
Just wondering yesterday how you all are doing. More crazy times ? I assume you're keeping up with Randy Rainbow and Stephen Colbert as we go into this tunnel together. What's up ?