18 September 2013

John Lloyd Wright's second round of accolades

The most popular image of John Lloyd Wright

Here are the other two John Lloyd Wright homes recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places....


Jackson House or "House of Tile", 1938

Lowell E. and Paula G. Jackson no doubt were well aware of the work Wright had created in Long Beach when they contacted him to design his own retreat.  The Jacksons purchased the lot in 1938.  Lowell Jackson was a division manager for Sears, Roebuck & Co.  Jacksons owned the home only a few years before they sold it to Earl St. Pere and his wife in 1942.  The Jackson House became Wright’s eighth home designed in Long Beach and it was just two doors east of one of his better known works “Shangri-La” completed just a year prior.  Wright’s residential work leading up to the Jackson House had shown the Prairie Style as an over-riding influence in his design.  Wright received a commission to design the Long Beach Town Hall and Coolspring School near Michigan City in 1931 and 1938 respectively.  Both of these designs reflected Wright’s desire to apply the International Style.  In the Jackson House Wright was able to embrace the International Style fully and the result was genius.
 
The George Jaworowski House was the last building designed by John Lloyd Wright during his career in Indiana.  It is a unique design not repeated in his other work, particularly as it relates to the shape and function of the roof which is its most identifying feature.  Created in 1945-1946, it has strong similarities to the officer housing Wright proposed for the Kingsbury Ordnance Plant.  It is unclear if any of this housing type he proposed was ever created, making the Jaworowski House the only building constructed with this unique Prairie styling.  The house is also known as “Early Birds” and fits neatly into the natural dunes landscape of Duneland Beach, Indiana.
George Jaworowski was a Chicago radio personality who had an early morning show targeting Chicago’s Polish population during World War II.  The home he and his wife had designed in Duneland Beach was nicknamed “Early Birds” because of the early nature of his radio program.  Jaworowski was probably referred to John Lloyd Wright by others in the Long Beach and Duneland Beach community.  Wright had created over a dozen residential designs in the lakeside communities and Long Beach’s Town Hall and School.  Several of his early designs had Prairie styling as the guiding principal influence, but Wright had begun to develop his work in the International Style since he traveled to Europe in 1930.  Commissions for design dried up at the opening of World War II and with the exception of a parking addition, Wright had not completed any private work during the 1940s.
"Early Bird", 1945-46
Wright had, however, worked for the Federal government in the design of buildings and officer housing at the Kingsbury Ordnance Plant south of LaPorte, Indiana.  One, and possibly two, buildings that were constructed can be attributed to Wright.  Industrial in nature, Wright provided hipped roofs and wide overhanging eaves in a nod to the Prairie Style, but also included large expanses of glass asymmetrically arranged that lent itself more to the International Style.  Most related to his design of the Jaworowski House were Wright’s proposed designs for officer housing at the ordnance plant.  Wright experimented in the designs to create three, four, and five bedroom residences for officers’ living quarters at the plant.  The designs featured tall hipped roofs with wide overhanging eaves, tall chimneys, and corners of buildings cut away with large expanses of glass or enclosed porches.  Of all Wright’s work, only the Jaworowski House is similarly designed to these proposed buildings, and appears to be the only extant design because the officer housing, if built, no longer exists.

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