Posted by Jim on July 09, 2003 at 12:05:16:
In Reply to: Re: Frank Lloyd Wright posted by JWmHarmon on July 08, 2003 at 12:03:51:
It was nice of Mr. Harmon to take the time to find and list that URL to a photo of Fallingwater. My comments about it were not to be understood as critical of it, merely that FLW had got to the point of using the materials of his day to the limits of their tolerance as demonstrated by the cracks said to be visible immediately after completion of the cantelivered decks, according to the recent TV documentary about the house.
Yes, all buildings need maintenance over time, but those more tempting of the limits of materials and design may need it more and sooner. Innovation always entails risk, as FLW did when he designed the "lilly pad" columns of the Johnson Wax Co. office building in Racine, Wis. The local permit granters there were suspicious that his thin columns could not withstand the rated load, so they conducted a test outdoors in public, and loaded the capital of the column with the rated load in the form of bags of sand for this test column. Only when the load was well exceeded did a portion of the capital break off; the shaft never faltered. The test was a glowing success, and affirmation of FLW's genius in materials as well as art.
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