Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Charred Wright

First a church by Sullivan on Chicago's south side, now a house by Wright in nearby Gary, Indiana. Unfortunately (or is it fortunately?), the pre-fire condition of the Wynant House - built ca. 1915 for the president of a local insurance company - wasn't much better than its post-fire condition, below.

Missing image - wynant.jpg

It's been determined that "torches used by workers putting final touches on a new church roof sparked the blaze" at Pilgrim Baptist Church, though the cause of the Wynant House fire has yet to be determined.

(via Archinect)

4 comments:

  1. brandon seez:

    i say architecture is not invincible. given its pre-fire condition, this is not such a bad terminus. makes me think of the bon jovi son.....'shot down in a blaze of glory'. obviously people did not want to restore it. the additional plywood skin would have sent a wave of rave through architects and buffs alike if this building held any weight in their understanding and appreciation of architecture. besides, i think that not all but a good portion of architectural preservation/restoration of modern structures of significance results in a building that will ultimately be a museum of sorts with a very limited audience, purged of its original function. to me that is where the problem is with a lot of these projects. especially the pope-lehey house outside of DC. they picked it up, moved it down the road due to one of the many beltway additions and reset it 35 degrees off its original axis. and upon entry and throughout the tour, the guide (whose only knowledge of the master comes from a single 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of info she carries) cant seem to stop telling you that he calculated the angle of the light and how it would hit a particular surface just so....."you se it! right there!" i really didn't have the heart to tell her. i do feel the need to preserve and restore, but not every FLW work is a masterpiece and this one is clearly does not fit that bill.

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  2. Ahhhh! a purist... how refreshing... but this morning as I was walking by the Medinah Temple, Chicago, I decided that I perfered the perversion of capitalism w/in the sacred shell than, just another box.
    With so little invention in contemporary construction, rotting, transposed or "perserved" artifacts add depth and texture, to an increasingly thin, flat built environment.

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  3. Very sad. The last time I was in Gary, I skipped out on looking at this house. I had just met with the city planner and he told me that there was little more than the walls and roof left, so I suppose "not much" was lost in a perverse way.

    The proximity and order in time of the Sullivan and Wright fires is creepy!

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  4. The home was being restored and was in the middle of serious work. See this photo taken just weeks before the fire gutted it:

    http://chicago.indymedia.org/media/all/display/19089

    The Moe House still stands: http://chicago.indymedia.org/media/all/display/19091

    White flight has sure created some big destruction for old homes and districts from Detroit, to Gary, and so on. This is a real shame.

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