16 September 2013

John Lloyd Wright's overdue accolades

I've written about John Lloyd Wright, the son of the other famous Lloyd Wright, Frank, on this blog before.  JLW was a skilled architect in his own right and started down his road to fame right here in Indiana.  LaPorte County to be more specific.  In fact, other than the Arcades Hotel he designed (and was razed) at the Indiana Dunes State Park in Porter County, all of his work during his independent early years from 1923-1946 was done in LaPorte County, and mostly in Long Beach.  Recently JLW received accollades previously reserved only for his father when four of his designs were first listed in the National Register of Historic Places this year.  So here are the earliest two houses......

Hoover-Timme House, 1929
Wright was commissioned to design a home by Adelaide H. Hoover after she purchased the lot in 1929. Adelaide Hoover was a widow and private school teacher who lived in Chicago.  Mrs. Hoover was born in 1893 in Illinois.  She had been married and widowed by the 1920 census.  She lived in Hammond, Indiana during the 1920s and was a school teacher at Wentworth High School.  Mrs. Hoover owned the house only a few years before it was sold to Raynor and Ruth Timme in 1934.  Raynor was born in Nebraska in 1900; his parents were natives of Germany.  They moved to Chicago where Raynor attended school and registered for the draft in World War 1.  He was involved in the insurance and investment business when he married Ruth Bedford in 1933.  They had two adopted children and appeared to make the Long Beach home their permanent home by 1935.

The Hoover-Timme House is one of the finest residential examples of the Prairie Style created by John Lloyd Wright during his career in Long Beach, Indiana.  The son of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright came to design prominence in his own right as he developed his design philosophy in the exclusive lake community of Northwest Indiana.  Created in 1929, the house exhibits the architect’s skill and creativity in creating spaces and fitting the building into the landscape.

Burnham "Pagoda" House, 1934
The John and Isabel Burnham House was designed by John Lloyd Wright in a blended interpretation of the Prairie Style and the International Style.  The house was constructed in 1934 in the Lake Michigan resort community of Long Beach, Indiana for the owners of a local manufacturing company.  The house is also referred to as the “Pagoda House”.  The house resembles a Japanese pagoda because its five floor levels are delineated by roofs and because of its position on the Lake Michigan shore.  The original owners of the Burnham home were John and Isabel Burnham.  They were close friends of John and Hazel Wright and frequently attended parties in each others’ homes.  John Burnham was the son of Frederic H. and Alice Burnham.  Frederic established the Frederic H. Burnham Company, Inc. at 1602 Tennessee Street in Michigan City in 1902.  The company is still in operation.  Burnham was attracted to the area because of the available labor of experienced glove makers.  The company became a large manufacturer of gloves and mittens throughout the United States.  In 1918 the company purchased Tecumseh Facing Mills.  John Burnham became president of the company after his father passed away in about 1928.  His mother, Alice, remained vice president of the company.  By 1938 the company had grown to include three buildings that covered over 40,000 square feet.  During World War II the company opened a plant in Missouri and reached its peak employment of 250 employees.

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