"Gimme those ol' time spaces,
    they're wood enough for me."

    After our palooza at Unity Temple, we were invited for drinks in the
    Avery Coonley Playhouse. Lovingly restored and cared for over many years by the charming owners of the house, we had a grand time.

    And I felt wright at home. Something about the architecture, something about the wood,

    something about
    the playful windows.

    I've been looking at Wright houses since childhood and they always uplift me, and at the same time make me feel rooted, cultured and inspired. I like their east-meets-west sensibility.

    There've been times in life when I've been far from home, and I'd seek out a Wright building to look at, often at a corner, or the eaves, or the thin long bricks; it'd bring me back home, back to the prairie on which I was raised.

    Now I live in a high-rise Mies machine and I love it, but I remember when a friend bought a Chicago townhouse and I walked down the driveway to the front door, and stood in front of that wooden door, with bushes on both sides, put my hand on the knob, and as soon as I was let in, I was immediately in her domestic wood-lined space. All I could think was, "Mies van der Who?" I thought, "I'd rather live in organic architecture than in a machine."

    Frank Lloyd Wright was famously called "America's greatest nineteenth century architect" by Philip Johnson, well after the
    nineteenth had ended. it was meant as an insult and I used to smile at it, but now I understand how hand-crafted spaces with organic materials can comfort the soul in deep ways.

    They can reassure us. Wright homes take us back to a more innocent time, a childlike time (certainly the Coonley playhouse designed for little kids does that!) When we were more horizontal, crawling almost, before we stood erect.

    When I lived in Paris, I used to long to see that city before the intrusions put in after World War II. In a way, being inside a work by Frank Lloyd Wright is like that. You are encompassed by a more compassionate world. You experience wood and clay and light and colors, and hearth. Contemporary edginess, keep out! Wright's aesthetic is based on a deep understanding of the human soul, and on satisfying that. Or at least on satisfying his soul, (and aesthetic and ego,) and thus by extension, if we are willing, ours.

    So I'm not at all surprised that Douglas Anders of the very fine Frank Lloyd Wright newsblog writes of his recent visit to the FLW-influenced
    Alden B. Dow Home and Studio,
    From five seconds after you enter the Dow house until you leave, you flip between overwhelming feelings of awe and wonder, and a profound sense of comfort and rightness — as if you just returned home to the place that has been your home for decades.
    Read more, and link to the photos (as good as the writing) here.

    Makes me love everybody.
    Makes me love everybody.
    Makes me love everybody.

    And it's good enough for me.


    -EdoardoSource URL: http://ecleticsergio.blogspot.com/2007/04/gimme-those-ol-time-spaces-theyre-wood.html
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