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"Richardson was the grand exteriorist and what a commotion he created." I agree with that FLW statement. Richardson's work was a repudiation of mid-19th century American architecture. But FLW's comment that Richardson had touched upon "an organic architecture for America" just adds to the confusion of what exactly FLW meant by organic. I do not buy O'Gorman's assumption that FLW's comments on Richardson were ambivalent, nor that FLW was jealous of Richardson or Sullivan.
No one gets Wright completely, I suppose; how do you pin down a mercurial figure like him . . .
I'm going to post the rest of that chapter from O'Gorman. Perhaps you'll find him going further off the rails where Wright is concerned---or not. I'm just pleased to have a Richardson biographer spilling so much ink on our hero.
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... SF_-_1.jpg
Glessner Dining: https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/cont ... ormat=750w
Ames Memorial Library: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ames_Free ... e_view.JPG
Woodland Station: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... 8927294829
Ames Gate Lodge: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ames_Gate_Lodge
Richardson uses that entrance detail---a short stair parallel with the street, housed under an arch---at least twice more, at the Trinity Church Rectory (Boston, 1879-80) and in a preliminary study for the Hay house in Washington, DC (1884-86). The Glessner house dates to 1885-87.
in his chosen spot, Brookline, MA, where he lived and practiced. It seems there's more on the house, the subject of this thread, than I had realized. I'll begin by posting the first five pages of this essay, with its illustrations.
Frederick Law Olmsted is an integral part of this story; the 30-page essay ends with Olmsted's name as the second-to-last word. I'll be posting the remainder, including six pages of endnotes, tomorrow.
(Note that Richardson was married in the year that marked Wright's birth. Olmsted was Richardson's senior by 16 years.)
Just wanted to note, on the old map you included, the three homes to be demolished are F.A. White (John C Olmsted's house), E.W. Hooper (Richardson's house and office), and Parsons (39 Cottage) which is interesting to see it shared the looping drive with the Hooper-Richardson house.. Comparing with the current aerial view posted on the first page of this thread, it appears that the main structure of Parsons (seen on this old drawn map) is already gone.
"An interior view of the drafting room of the office of Henry Hobson Richardson in the residence, originally the Samuel Gardner Perkins House, on 25 Cottage Street in Brookline, Massachusetts where he lived and worked from 1874 to his death in 1886. Men are working at drafting tables and skylights illuminate the rooms."
Here are the remaining pages of O'Gorman's essay. I wonder if there is a more complete description of the working process of an architect, anywhere in print. Wright's name pops up repeatedly; clearly Mr O'Gorman has the younger man in mind as he writes. Readers will find parallels in the practice of the two men. Note 54 describes the colors found on plan drawings by European architects in the later nineteenth century at least---black, pale gray, vermillion---and the shadows cast at 45 degrees, and one thinks of Wright's drawings with their vermillion poché and omnipresent shadowing.
The chapter picks up from the last page of text displayed above . . .
From H H Richardson and His Office--a centennial of his move to Boston 1874, the essay titled "The Making of a 'Richardson Building,' 1874-1886' by James F O'Gorman, © 1974 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College
I have added numbers (my own, not the author's) to the pages of the text above, for aid in reference of any discussion or questions. I will be happy to reproduce mentioned drawings, where they exist in the book, upon request.