Photographing Wright, redux

(c) Mark Hertzberg (2019)

Note: My photos of Minerva and Charles Montooth are the post below this one.

This is the final installment of my 2019 quest to find new photos as I visit buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that are familiar to me. I visited them five times accompanying Road Scholar trips this year:

https://www.roadscholar.org/find-an-adventure/22976/architectural-masterworks-of-frank-lloyd-wright

I have posted earlier photos on the website since May. Have a look, and let me know what you think!!! The photos are in the order in which we visited these sites…not all the sites visited are represented on this post.

Wingspread, Wind Point (Racine):

Wingspread.JPG

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wauwatosa:

AGOC 002.JPG

AGOC 001.JPG

Jacobs 1, Madison:

Jacobs 1 004.jpg

Jacobs 1 001.JPG

Jacobs 1 002.JPG

Jacobs 1 003.jpg

The Unitarian Meeting House, Madison:

Unitarian 002.JPG

Unitarian 001.JPG

Unitarian 003.JPG

Wyoming Valley School, Spring Green:

Wyoming Valley.jpg

Taliesin 3:

Taliesin 001.JPG

Taliesin 002.JPG

Taliesin 003.JPG

The original drafting studio at Taliesin:

Drafting Studio 001.jpg

Drafting Studio 002.jpg

Drafting Studio 003.jpg

Drafting Studio 004.jpg

Drafting Studio 005.jpg

Midway Barns:

Midway.jpg

Hillside Home and School:

Hillside .JPG

Michael DiPadova continues reconstruction of the Tea Circle:

Tea Circle 5.jpg

Tea Circle 4.jpg

Tea Circle 3.jpg

Tea Circle 1.jpg

Tea Circle 2.jpg

And, finally, my friends, I leave you with two more “selfies,” one at Wingspread and one at Taliesin!

Taliesin Selfie 9.25.19.jpg

Wingspread Selfie.jpg

Photographing my Friend Minerva Montooth

(c) Mark Hertzberg (2019)

Olgivanna Wright could not have picked a better and more congenial assistant for 25 years than Minerva Montooth, who I am privileged to call a friend. Make that “Friend” with a Capital F. We have been privileged to know Minerva Montooth since May 2003 when her late husband Charles invited me to give my “Wright in Racine” presentation in the theater at Hillside Home and School (that was indeed a heady invitation for a burgeoning journalist-student of Wright’s work!). Minerva has kindly invited us to the annual celebration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birthday at Taliesin every year since then.

I visit Minerva in her apartment at Taliesin whenever I am on campus helping lead Road Scholar explorations of Wright’s work in Wisconsin https://www.roadscholar.org/find-an-adventure/22976/architectural-masterworks-of-frank-lloyd-wright

Last week Minerva told me how she came to join the Wright community at Taliesin West in 1952 (gosh, I was only 18 months old!). She has a keen photographic eye. I admired the magnificent lighting of a photo of Charles, who died in December 2014, in her living room, not knowing that she was the photographer. When it was time for me to leave, I couldn’t just leave; after all my camera first had to photograph Minerva and Fifi:

Minerva Montooth Fifi 9.25.19 003.jpg

Minerva Montooth Fifi 9.25.19 009.jpg

Below are some of my earlier photos of Charles and Minerva:Evening at Taliesin 2004 008.jpg

Charles on the “Birdwalk” at Taliesin, Wright birthday celebration, 2004.

P50 JT Charles Montooth LR .jpg

Charles at The Prairie School in Wind Point (Racine), October 2003, with plans for the addition to the athletic center. Charles designed the original school building and each subsequent addition. He worked with Floyd Hamblen on the addition.

Johnson Athletic Center011 LR.jpg

Minerva and Charles at the dedication of the new facility, January 2005.

Johnson Athletic Center014 LR.jpg

Charles accepts accolades at the dedication.

By the way, if you email Minerva or write her something on Facebook, don’t expect a reply during your normal business hours: she is a confirmed computer night owl…1 a.m. is not an unusual time stamp for her.

Minerva Montooth 6.11.16 001.JPG

Minerva at the 2016 Wright birthday celebration.

We love you, Minerva!

 

Exploring Wright with My Cameras, 9.18.19

(c) Mark Hertzberg (2019)

This is a follow-up post to the one from two days ago and several from earlier this year, as I visit Frank Lloyd Wright sites that are familiar to me with guests traveling on Road Scholar tours. I have been with four tours this year, a fifth one is scheduled for next week. One of our guests this week was from Australia:

LR Touring Taliesin 003.jpg

LR Taliesin Selfie 9.18.19.jpg

My challenge to myself is to try to see (i.e. photograph) these sites in new ways on each visit. Earlier this summer Taliesin Preservation was kind enough to ask me to write about my photography for their blog:

https://www.taliesinpreservation.org/behind-the-lens/

I am dedicating this post to my friend Cate Boldt, docent and educator extraordinaire at Taliesin. First you see Cate, a Master Gardener, preparing for her role as a Taliesin Garden Fairy, and then with students in Taliesin’s summer architecture camp, as students prepare for their final presentations at Hillside Theater (the practice run was at Wyoming Valley School):

Taliesin Garden Fairy Cate Boldt  003.jpg

LR Cate Boldt Camp.jpg

Our first stop Wednesday morning was at Jacobs 1 in Madison:

LR Jacobs 1 9.18.19 001.jpg

I was taken with the glint of morning sun on the side of the house:

LR Jacobs 1 9.18.19 002.jpg

LR Jacobs 1 9.18.19 005.jpg

I have long admired James Dennis’s red Volvo P1800 sports coupe which sits under Wright’s first carport. Wednesday I challenged myself to photograph it in the context of the house:

Jacobs 1 9.18.19 009.jpg

Jacobs 1 9.18.19 012.jpg

Jacobs 1 9.18.19 013.jpg

Then it was on to the Unitarian Meeting House where I concentrated on the new copper roof. There is just a hint of light on the left edge of the prow in the first photo, the usual angle from which the church is photographed:

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 001.jpg

Then it was time to play with light and shapes:

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 003.jpg

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 006.jpg

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 007.jpg

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 008.jpg

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 010.jpg

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 012.jpg

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 013.jpg

As I shot the next few photos I longed for the days I worked for a newspaper, when I likely would have been given access inside the fence and allowed to climb up with the craftsmen restoring the landmark building:

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 014.jpg

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 016.jpg

Unitarian Meeting House New Roof 9.18.19 018.jpg

Our next stop was Wyoming Valley School. I have posted geometric photos in the past, but I found new lines to photograph Wednesday as Mary Pohlman told our guests about the school:

Wyoming Valley School 9.18.19 001.jpg

Wyoming Valley School 9.18.19 002.jpg

Wyoming Valley School 9.18.19 003.jpg

Wyoming Valley School 9.18.19 005.jpg

I found a new way to show one of the many mitered windows:

Wyoming Valley School 9.18.19 004.jpg

After lunch at Riverview Terrace, it was on for a Cate-led tour of Taliesin. What could I see differently? The first two photographs are reflections in windows:

Talesin 9.18.19 004.jpg

Talesin 9.18.19 001.jpg

Percy Jackson (Hamblen) thinks he rules the roost (Fifi Montooth sometimes loudly challenges Percy, but she can never catches him):

Talesin 9.18.19 006.jpg

Inside the original drafting studio:

Talesin 9.18.19 007.jpg

Talesin 9.18.19 008.jpg

Talesin 9.18.19 009.jpg

In Mrs. Wright’s bedroom:

Talesin 9.18.19 011.jpg

Outside Mr. Wright’s bedroom:

Talesin 9.18.19 012.jpg

I struck out at Hillside Home and School, but that is okay…I can’t force pictures that don’t present themselves to me. Earlier Cate had urged me not to miss photographing Kevin Dodds (white shirt) from Taliesin Preservation and Michael DiPadova from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation as they rebuild the Tea Circle:

Taliesin Tea Circle Rebuild 003.jpg

Taliesin Tea Circle Rebuild 005.jpg

Taliesin Tea Circle Rebuild 007.jpg

Taliesin Tea Circle Rebuild 008.jpg

Taliesin Tea Circle Rebuild 009.jpg

Taliesin Tea Circle Rebuild 010.jpg

Taliesin Tea Circle Rebuild 011.jpg

Taliesin Tea Circle Rebuild 012.jpg

I leave you with one more “Selfie,” my reflection in the trim of the headlight of Jim’s Volvo:

LR Volvo P1800 Selfie.jpg

Thank you for joining me on my photo adventures!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exploring Wright with my cameras: 9.17.19

(c) Mark Hertzberg

I have written several posts this year about the stimulating challenge of finding new ways to photograph Frank Lloyd Wright- designed buildings on my umpteenth visit to them. This week I am helping lead my fourth Road Scholar Wright – Wisconsin discovery tour of the year. Today’s photo adventure was in the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

LR AGOC Interiors 9.17.19 001.jpg

LR AGOC Interiors 9.17.19 002.jpg

LR AGOC Interiors 9.17.19 007.jpg

LR AGOC Interiors 9.17.19 008.jpg

LR AGOC Interiors 9.17.19 009.jpg

The photos above were all taken from the same seat.

LR AGOC Interiors 9.17.19 011.jpg

LR AGOC Interiors 9.17.19 012.jpg

LR AGOC Interiors 9.17.19 015.jpg

The next two pictures were quick grab shots at Monona Terrace in Madison. They show the Wisconsin State Capitol framed by jets from the water fountain on the rooftop garden level:

Wisconsin State Capitol Monona Terrace 002.jpg

Wisconsin State Capitol Monona Terrace 001.jpg

Tomorrow we are off to visit Jacobs 1, the Unitarian Meeting House, Wyoming Valley School, Taliesin, and Hillside Home and School. Will I see something new? That’s the challenge! It happened often in past visits with RS groups this spring – and I have posted those photos – but I won’t force a photo. If nothing speaks to me tomorrow, so be it; I can’t shoot something just for the sake of taking a picture.

Penwern: The Next Chapter

Contemporary photos and text © Mark Hertzberg (2019)

Frank Lloyd Wright Drawings: © 2019 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York)

2019 Reconstruction drawings © Russell J. DePietro, Architect/ DePietro Design Associates

Penwern Greenhouse and Wall 8.7.19 015.jpg

The gate lodge at Penwern, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fred B. Jones estate on Delavan Lake in Wisconsin (1903) was significantly altered in the 1970s and 1980s. Among the changes were the loss of  the gate lodge greenhouse, which though commercially built, was shown on Wright’s drawings, and about half of the semi-circular boulder wall which formed the east perimeter of the gate lodge property, past the greenhouse and gate lodge water tower.

Gate Lodge 003.jpgThe greenhouse is shown at left, between the gate lodge water tower and the semi-circular boulder wall. Photo courtesy of John Hime. The two historic photos below are thought to have been taken in 1935, two years after Jones died, while the estate was still in probate. They are courtesy of Betty Schacht, whose grandparents were the caretakers of Penwern at the time.

Historic_Scan_10aa.jpg

Historic_Scan_13a.jpg

Canty Carport removal.jpgThe greenhouse had deteriorated significantly by the 1970 when it was replaced by a carport. The Majors had the carport removed after acquiring the gate lodge in 2001 (they had bought the rest of the estate in 1994). Photo courtesy of Bill Orkild.

Sue and John Major, stewards of Penwern since 1994, are taking another step in the restoration of the estate this fall, having commissioned Bill Orkild of Copenhagen Construction to reconstruct both the greenhouse and the wall. Orkild is working from drawings prepared by architect Russell J. DePietro of DePietro Design Associates in Delavan. DePietro was able to study Wright’s extant drawings:

LR Gate Lodge 2nd floor, Greenhouse.jpg

LR DePietro Greenhouse 1 Side Elevation.jpg

LR DePietro Greenhouse Overall Plan.jpg

DePietro is no stranger to restoring and reconstructing Wright’s work, having worked with the Majors since their first project at Penwern, the removal of Jones’s two non-Wright (and unsightly) 1909/10 additions to the main house. He says, “I feel it’s an honor to work on a Frank Lloyd Wright restoration. I was very fortunate and I am forever thankful to the Majors for reaching out to me to help with the restoration, starting with the house and tearing off the additions to it.” DePietro has played a major role in every project at Penwern since then, including making the main house structurally sound, restoring the stable, rebuilding the boathouse from Wright’s plans in 2005 (it was destroyed in an arson fire in 1978), and in 2015 building new side porches that were in keeping with Wright’s plans for the main house.

DePietro, a native of upstate New York, and an architectural graduate of the University of Illinois, opened his office in 1985. But he was no stranger to Wright’s work. “I’ve studied most of the Master Architects’ during my career and became a Frank Lloyd Wright fan years ago at the age of 17 when my uncle took me to New York City to tour the Guggenheim Museum.  I’ve explored Taliesin in Spring Green, the Dana House in Springfield, Illinois, the Johnson Wax Headquarters in Racine, his Oak Park studio, the Oak Park, Illinois homes, Unity Temple and I’ve studied a number of
his other works over the years.  I’m planning on touring Taliesin West in Scottsdale this coming January/ February 2020.”

Architectural designer Robert Hartmann was the first to notice the significance of  half the boulder wall missing when he carefully studied Wright’s plans in 2017.  He pointed out that the lines (right, in the drawing below) echo the curves and arches that are prevalent in the main house and the boathouse.

LR Gate Lodge 1st floor, Greenhouse, Curved Wall.jpg

LR Orkild hat and Hartmann 001.jpgHartmann, left, and Orkild compare Wright’s drawings to buildings at Penwern.

LR Gate Lodge North, Greenhouse.jpg

Penwern Greenhouse and Wall 8.7.19 004.jpg

It is thought that the boulder wall was partially demolished after the property was subdivided in 1989 and a driveway was built for the new adjoining home.

Penwern Greenhouse and Wall 8.7.19 009.jpg

Penwern Greenhouse and Wall 8.7.19 008.jpgThe remaining original boulders (sometimes referred to as “bowlders” on Wright’s drawings, were marked and will be replaced whenever possible along the new wall structure.

Penwern Greenhouse and Wall 8.7.19 001.jpg

Jones was passionate about growing roses in his greenhouse but the new greenhouse will be used as an entertainment space, surrounded by roses on the outside patio. It is expected that the work will be completed by late fall.

Upcoming Penwern illustrated talks:

Tuesday August 20, 2 p.m., Geneva Lake Museum in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Thursday September 12, Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, co-sponsored by The Cliff Dwellers, the Society of Architectural Historians, Friends of Downtown, and AIA Chicago.

Cocktails: Cash bar opens at 4:30 p.m. Free Program: Begins 6:15 p.m. Dinner: Available after the program, a la carte. Reservations for dinner are requested: reservations@cliff-chicago.org or call 312-922-8080. Discount parking is available after 4:00 at the garage located at 17 E. Adams – enter on Adams between Wabash and State.  Ask for a discount coupon at the check-in desk.

 

 

Noshing with Wright, Part 2

(c) Mark Hertzberg (2019)

Last fall we presented a story about architect and gourmet chef Steven Freeman from Manchester, New Hampshire cooking his way across the Frank Lloyd Wright landscape in Wisconsin:

https://wrightinracine.wordpress.com/2018/11/01/noshing-with-wright-cooking-3-gourmet-dinners-in-3-wright-homes-in-5-days/

Steven and his cooking knives, spatulas, etc. were at it again in May, not only with a repeat performance at Wright’s Mollica House, but also at Wright’s A.W. Gridley House in Batavia, Illinois. His menu is always developed with the stewards of the particular house – in this case Peter and Laura Frost – and locally sourced. If you are the steward of a Wright home and these photos whet your appetite, Steven is looking for opportunities to cook in your home. His guiding principal is that while he is eager to experience as many Wright homes as possible he thinks it would be inconsiderate to do so without doing something for you in return. Bon Appetit! You can contact him at: freemansteven@me.com

Freeman Dinner Gridley House 001.jpg

Freeman Dinner Gridley House 007.jpg

Freeman Dinner Gridley House 010.jpg

Freeman Dinner Gridley House 013.jpg

Freeman Dinner Gridley House 018.jpg

Freeman Dinner Gridley House 021.jpgArchitect and prolific Wright author Tom Heinz is second from left, above.

Freeman Dinner Gridley House 022.jpg

Freeman Dinner Gridley House 025.jpg

Freeman Dinner Gridley House 027.jpg

Freeman Dinner Gridley House 031.jpg

 

SC Johnson Carport

(c) Mark Hertzberg (2019)

These are photos of the carport at the SC Johnson Administration Building in Racine on July 27, 2019 when we were taking a friend from New York City on his first tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings:

Administration Building Carport 7.27.19 001.jpg

Administration Building Carport 7.27.19 003.jpg

Administration Building Carport 7.27.19 004.jpg

Administration Building Carport 7.27.19 005.jpg

Photographing Wright Sites, Part 4

(c) Mark Hertzberg (2019)

This is the fourth installment of showing you different things I saw and photographed while visiting new and familiar Wright sites this spring. The next post coming is the same theme, but with a few more surprising photos.

Jacobs 1 – Peeking through the carport:

Jacobs 1 6.28.19 005.jpg

My first visit to Muirhead Farmhouse, Hampshire, Illinois:

Muirhead Farmhouse 013.jpg

Muirhead Farmhouse 019.jpg

Muirhead Farmhouse 021.jpg

Muirhead Farmhouse 064.jpg

Visiting the restored Robie House in Chicago (photographed with permission of the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust):

Robie House 5.5.19 002.jpg

Robie House 5.5.19 005.jpg

Robie House 5.5.19 008.jpg

Robie House 5.5.19 015.jpg

Robie House 5.5.19 016.jpg

Robie House 5.5.19 020.jpg

Robie House 5.5.19 021.jpg

Robie House 5.5.19 028.jpg

Robie House 5.5.19 040.jpg

Robie House 5.5.19 050.jpg

The adjoining McArthur (left) and Blossom houses in Chicago:

Blossom McArthur 5.5.19 008.jpg

The Gridley House in Batavia, Illinois, where we enjoyed another special Steven Freeman dinner…but that’s grist for another post down the road…

Gridley House 004.jpg

Gridley House 015.jpg

Gridley House 020.jpg

Gridley House 025.jpg

Gridley House 034.jpg

Gridley House 037.jpg

Wyoming Valley School Artifacts

(c) Mark Hertzberg (2019)

Wyoming Valley School 6.9.19.jpg

Saturday June 8, Frank Lloyd Wright’s birthday, started as an ordinary open house day for Mary Pohlman at Wright’s Wyoming Valley School near Taliesin. It was ordinary until a member of the late Paul Buchner’s family came in and presented her with heretofore unknown historic artifacts including a telegram from the architect to Buchner,  a member of the school board when the school opened in January, 1958.

LR Wyoming Valley School Artifacts 005.jpg

 LR Wyoming Valley School Artifacts 004.jpg

LR Wyoming Valley School Artifacts 006.jpg

The late photojournalist Don Nussbaum did a picture story for the Milwaukee Journal when the school opened.

LR Wyoming Valley School Artifacts 001.jpg

Wyoming Valley School Timeline: Designed in 1956, Constructed in the fall of 1957, Opened in January of 1958. The school is now the Wyoming Valley School Cultural Arts Center. A link to the website is:

http://wyomingvalleyschool.blogspot.com