St. Crispin's Day

St. Crispin is the parton saint of cobblers, leather workers and tanners -- union guys. It makes sense that St. Crispin's day marks the start of Get Out the Vote season -- which makes this appropriate:

King Harry knows a thing or two about motivating volunteers. And, he's clearly a Democrat:

We are but warriors for the working-day; Our gayness and our gilt are all besmirch'd With rainy marching in the painful field; There's not a piece of feather in our host-- Good argument, I hope, we will not fly-- And time hath worn us into slovenry: But, by the mass, our hearts are in the trim;

Just Sayin'

Wisconsin has same-day voter registration

If you do what I do most election years, this is like living in the land of milk and honey (in your case, literaly, the land of fired cheese curds, good football and better architecture).

Mary Burke is close, or very slightly ahead in the polls -- it's in your power to stop the Frank Lloyd Wright Newsblog from obsessing about Scott Walker for the next four years.

Better, you can volunteer -- you'll feel like you can claim a tiny piece of a sweet victory and likely get invited to a fun election-night party.

Wisconnsin voter information is here.

You can help the Burke campaign here.

If you are in a union, they'd love for you to volunteer through them -- and they generally have better snacks and doughnuts for volunteers.

Touring Wingspread

SC Johnson and the Johnson Foundation have added Herbert F. Johnson's home, Wingspread to its tour options. They have also expanded the tour season through December (handy if, say, you joined a political campaign and have hardly seen your wife and child since mid-August, and likely won't see them again until the first Wednesday in November).

Wright designed Wingspread for Herbert Johnson in the late 1930s, at the same time he designed SC Johnson's corporate headquarters in nearby Racine. The house is grand (14,000 square feet) with a careful mix of elegant public areas and intimate family space. Wright was extordinarily prod of the house and its high level of workmanship -- he even refered to it as the last Prairie House.

Until this announcement, tours of Wingspread were sharply limited. As the home of the Johnson Foundation, it's used as a confrence and educational center it was not open on a regular schedule.

Wingspread joins the SC Johnson Research Tower as the newest additions to the tour options of SC Johnson's campus. The tours are free. Here is the link for more information and to book your tour.

For more information about Wingspread, AD Classics has a nice entry on the house, and the Johnson Foundation has a small collection of images of original renderings, plans and photo of Wright and the modle of house.

Wright's Baghdad Opera House

via PrairieMod:

Here is a YouTube video of Wright's design for an opera house for Baghdad, Iraq.

The opera house featured in the video was only part of Wright's proposal for the city. He also produced drawings for a number of other buildings, including a university.  Wright was one of a number of architects asked to modernize parts of the Iraqi capital city. His plan for the city was, unsurprisingly, grandiose, and ultimately fell victim to political upheaval and changing priories.

Here is an excerpt from a radio interview Wright did in 1957 discussing ideas for Baghdad and New York City:

For obvious reasons, interest in Wright's plans for Baghdad spiked about 10 years ago. _The Wall Street Journal_, CNN, and _The Washington Post_ all had stories about the plan.

If you are interested, the Wikipedia article has more information, and you can see some of Wright's drawings for the project with a Google image search.

Theodore Pappas House For Sale

The Theodore Pappas House in St. Louis is for sale. The house, a Usonian Automatic originally designed in the mid-1950s for an employee of the St. Louis Browns. The house was completed in 1964.

The house is being sold off-market, so there's no website. You can see the floor plan and B&W photos of the house taken in the 1970s in the property's application for inclusion in the National Resistration of Historic Places and there are a few more current photos availiable through a Google Image search

If you are interested in purchasing the house, you can contact modernstlinfo@gmail.com.

[Not Even Close to On-topic] This Makes Me Happy

Gov. Scott Walker is tied with his challenger in the most recent poll.

For God's sake, in Wisconsin you can register on election day. Trust me, it's harder to fall out of bed than it is to organize a state with same-day registration (remember, I do this stuff quasi-professionally).

If you guys haven't put Scottie Walker away by early October, I'll come to Wisconsin myself and teach you how to knock on doors.

Art at the Gordon House

The Oregonian has an article about an upcoming exhibition of art at the Gordon House, a Usonian designed by Wright in 1957 but not built until the early 1960s. The house was moved in 2002 and then opened to the public.

The piece includes a short but nicely-done photo gallery of the house and, easy to miss mid-way down on the left side, is a color drawing of the house done by Mr. Wright himself -- worth following the link by itself.

The Oregonian seems to like the Gordon House -- here's articles on the Gordon House and music, and the house's kitchen.

The Courtyard of an "Honest Building"

ScoutingNY is a blog by a New York City-based location scout. This past winter, he discovered and photographed the hidden-from-passers-by courtyard of the Plaza Hotel.

Wright, who once called the Plaza Hotel an "honest building" lived in the Plaza for a few years in the 1950 as the Guggenheim Museum was going up. His suite there was dubbed "Taliesin East".

Oh, for God's Sake ...

It's a damn shame that Wierd Al alreday shot the video for his parody of the "Happy" song, because the William Thaxton house would be a great setting for "Tacky".

And, it's for sale. Asking price: $3.2 million.

Only the delusional still consider it a Frank Lloyd Wright house. Wright's 1954 Usonian was about 1,800 square feet; the house today is a freakishly obese 9,100 sq. feet, though that includes the "children's wing".

The original house came close to demolition in the early 1990s, when the current owners bought it, undid years of garish alterations -- including pineapple finials on the roof and ionic (and possibly ironic) columns -- and built a U-shaped addition around the original and made various, sweeping interior changes.

As I wrote in 2011: "Your Bond villain called. He wants his lair back".