Thursday, April 17, 2014

Do Two Sinks Tell a Tale? -1951 Rancher Teardown

With sale stuff strewn everywhere - all those personal mundane things - in rooms mostly unchanged for 40 years it was like looking into the coffin of a stranger. But these "D" shaped sinks with porcelain spouts were clean and looked almost new. It was easy to imagine loved ones brushing their teeth there thousands of time.

It's a teardown, a 1951 rancher on Wildwood about 2,300 square feet over a full basement. The last owners bought it in 1977 and I'd guess they lived there until the end. I went to the estate sale to look at the house. Architecture tourists do this sort of thing when we can.

It's a very livable house but they don't build them like this now. And you don't update ranchers in this neighborhood. You build 6,000 square-footers.



The master sink in taupe. 

IMG_3954 2014-04-11 sink 1951 Rancher on Wildwood teardown
The other sink in blue.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Two New Corner Houses from Harrison both Blend and Show Off

Architecture tourists have the sweetest dreams about corner houses. Even the little ones are important.

I've followed these two corner teardowns for a while. I cheered when the Harrison Design Associates signs went up. Harrison is particularly clever in adapting elements from neighboring houses. It's one of their trademarks and very important for small lot neighborhoods. It doesn't matter so much on "estate" lots where you can only see one house at a time

2013-07-27-HDA-Sussex-before-3-N-east-elev
This one is on a little hill in Lenox Park a block from Shutze's Dwoskin house and across the street from two Ivey and Crook houses. That is a high bar.

The teardown was a low-slung mid-centry modern camouflaged in ivy. It ignored the street. It was more a green space than a house lot.

IMG_1005-2014-02-24-HDA-Sussex-foundation-wip-painted-brick
Here's the new house emerging from the clay with a coat of primer. The front door points diagonally into the corner. I call this "honoring the corner" because it contributes to the feeling on the street. They divided the lot so they'll build another house to right some day.

It's bit smaller than nearby teardowns. You can't tell that it's a skinny "L" shape, a house of wings that will bring in the light. Pattern Language fans will remember "107. Wings of Light"

IMG_1011-2014-02-26-1610-WEST-SUSSEX-Teardown-WIP-detail
The other corner is the most prominent setting on the street. It takes a lot of detailing to manage this much restraint. Who doesn't love a shield with swags?

IMG_1011-2014-02-26-1610-WEST-SUSSEX-Teardown-WIP IMG_1012-2014-02-26-1610-WEST-SUSSEX-Teardown-WIP
They aren't matching bookends but they go together in shape, style, mass and the aim of the front door. Someone suggested the left house is a Shutze. I don't know if there is any evidence but I wouldn't be surprised if that proved true.

26 second video:



Now the other house:

P1060271-2012-03-29--3130-Lanier-Drive-teardown-before
The other is in Brookhaven. It's not in the country club proper but within the halo. You build 5,000+ square feet if you are doing a teardowns around here. This was picturesque, doomed, and I loved it, see "The only one I care about will soon be a goner."

IMG_3645-2013-03-31-3130 Lanier-Drive-Teardown-Oglethorpe-Harrison
The old house looked like farmhouse; the new one will too but grander. It looks like it has evolved over the generations with outbuildings. It's smaller and more restrained than nearby teardowns.

IMG_3647-2013-03-31-3130 Lanier-Drive-Teardown-Oglethorpe-Harrison
Here's the other corner on a little rise, a high quality design I think. The new Georgian "farmhouse" will be a good neighbor on what will be a memorable corner. Other than the pretty gabble facing the side street the modern ignores the corner, ignores the street.

IMG_3647-2013-03-31-3130 Lanier-Drive-Teardown-Oglethorpe-Harrison IMG_3648-2013-03-31-3130 Lanier-Drive-Teardown-Oglethorpe-Harrison
Not bookends but related, horizontals galore broken up by vertices in the widows, and board and batten siding (in the gables of the teardown). Fancy gables are a bit rare in a mid-century but here they are. The deep overhang in the modern echoes in the teardown. Overhanging roofs are NOT a Harrison Trademark. The embracing crook between garage and house honors the corner.

18 second video:



I'll show you when they are finished and landscaped.