Fallingwater Colors and G Plus Reminder

Found this great link to colors you can select from Pittsburgh Paints that will match Fallingwater’s color palette: http://www.voiceofcolor.com/collections/fallingwater

It will also let you order the brochure or use the colors in their paint color visualizer tool. Very cool!

The background color is now Frank Lloyd Wright’s classic Cherokee Red (#79413A, R121/G65/B58, H4/S84/L84 on the addative color system for your info).

Just a reminder as well, please be sure to hit the G+1 buttons on as many pages as you possibly can so I can continue to provide you much more Usonian content. Thanks so much for the help so far! It should also help you to find more Usonian and Frank Lloyd Wright Information into the future.

Update on a New/Old Usonian House in Florida

Usonian House comes to life in Florida Photos: Florida Southern College

It was fantastic to hear that the Usonian house on the campus of the Florida Southern College is complete. Original designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1939, it is of a concrete block and cypress masterpiece.

We have mentioned their blog here before but here is the link again to have a look at all the great content: http://www.buildingtheusonianhouse.com/

Congrats and a super job, FSC!

“The Fountainhead” movie about Frank Lloyd Wright?

The Fountainhead Movie “The Fountainhead” is a Warner Bros. movie written by Ayn Rand and loosely based on Frank Lloyd Wright – peppered with Usonian references.

I recently saw a documentary about the author “Ayn Rand” and they mentioned that Warner Bros. made her novel “The Fountainhead” it into a movie in 1949. I found it only here: http://vimeo.com/68662628

Most certainly this was loosly based on Frank Lloyd Wright’s colorful life and beliefs. I want to study more about the concepts mentioned in it which I am told are Ayn Rand’s musing about Objectivism.

I have also been watching the first two episodes of Atlas Shrugged but the Fountainhead movie certainly had me interested especially parts that semi-related to Usonia and the Usonian housing concept (Cortlandt housing project).

Funny enough, Ayn Rand was born “Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum” which I do not know if it relates to the Rosenbaum House we are some what basing our Usonian Design on. Well I do recommend watching the movie if not to see the really high quality B&W film they use.

As a short update, we are still awaiting word on if we should put offer in on property I mentioned in last post. The R/E agent is playing a bit of a game and we need to back away for a few days on it. More to follow.

Quick Note on our Usonian Master Plan

Someone asked me a question about our Master Plan we figured out…

“Why not just place a mobile home on site and sell when the house is done?”

This was certainly something we considered from the beginning but unfortunately in all the areas we considered, unless you are zoned as a mobile home park, cannot place one on your property for any reason.

You will also have to have septic installed and electrical/gas run to a hookup, which the cottage/garage/shop will later need anyway (and in fact accounts for a large portion of the $30K cost).

If it wasn’t for those restrictions, we would have been out in the country already.

One thing that comes to mind is an architect recently told me one reason Frank Lloyd Wright said to go 50 miles out (or farther) was because the rural areas were not governed by such petty rules and building restrictions. It is so bad here in some areas that they even restrict the length your soffits can be, so I can understand his thinking.

VIDEO: Contemporary Usonian Floorplan modeled in Google Sketch Up

Video 2 shows the inside a bit without furniture. Lots of work to do but at least it’s moving along.

Spent the day going to another lumber mill discussing what woods are available and costs. Will update this information soon.


Frank Lloyd Wright reveals his magic trick…

Now for the most interesting fact I have yet to learn about organic architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright and his thousand something buildings he designed…

It also taught me his secret…the one thing that people perceive but have no idea how he does it.

First I will paraphrase it (it’s actually more how I interpret it) and then give you the passage he wrote referring to it.

“Horizontal is of the earth. To go vertical, an object must earn it. It must be of nature or ethereal, beautiful and heavenly.” – J. Adams 2012

“What the heck does that mean?”, I know you are asking…


Horizontal Emphasis on Brick Joints - One of Wright's tricks! Click image to see close up.

…It means most surfaces on FLW’s buildings were emphasizing the horizontal. In fact, he would go to great length’s and expense to make sure the ‘grounded elements’ of the structure were horizontally emphasized. He would even ‘rake’ the horizontal joints of bricks and match the mortar color to that of the brick to hide the verticalness of the brick. (see picture of Robie house in Chicago).

You can see it in the brick, in the horizontal board and batten, in his solid looking foundations, his cantilevers, his furniture surfaces, ceilings and roofs.


Now, for an object to be grandly displayed or emphasized in the vertical plane, he would make sure it was worthy of that. It would usually be a large window showing the nature outside, a lighted window shape or stained glass window letting in natural light, art, plants, people, furniture of an ethereal nature (dining chairs), water or water feature, sculptures, special metals or anything else of great beauty that he wanted you to look at specifically.

To me, it was his way of showing you the nature of your surroundings…the nature mirrored in your home. It is the tree or flower rising from the prairie. It is the waterfall. It is a human standing or even sitting. This is GREATLY juxtaposed next to SOLID HORIZONTAL NATURAL AND DOMINANT MATERIALS.

Here is how he describes it in “The Natural House“.

I loved the praire by instinct as itself a great simplicity; the trees, flowers, and sky were thrilling by contrast. And I saw that a little of height on the prairie was enough to look like much more. Notice how every detail as to height becomes intensely significant and how breadths all fall short. Here was a tremendous spaciousness needlessly sacrificed, all cut up crosswise or lengthwise into 50-foot lots, or would you have 25 feet? Reduced to a money-matter, salesmanship kept on parceling out the ground, selling it with no restrictions. Everywhere, in great new, free country, I could see only this mean tendency to tip everything in the way of human occupation or habitation up edgewise instead of letting it lie comfortably flatwise with the ground where spaciousness was a virtue…

I had an idea (it seems to be my own) that the planes parallel to the earth in buildings identify themselves with the ground, do most to make the buildings belong to the ground.

He goes on to describe the general idea of the house from there but in those paragraphs, I learned Frank Lloyd Wright’s trick and made it my own…Horizontal means earth, vertical reaches to the heavens (even though I know FLW was not a very religious man).

The Natural House – By Frank Lloyd Wright

I received a copy of this book soon after I finished reading the Usonian Houses book.

It was written by Frank Lloyd Wright in I believe 1954 and describes his thinking process of how he designed the first Prairie homes as well as Usonians.

It was quite complicated to read the first section, but well well worth understanding his mind state.

In the next post, I will give you the most significant line I have read about Frank Lloyd Wright about what made him such an architectural genius for America. I bet it is even a fact most architects have no idea about…