Thursday, September 13, 2007

All Politics Is Local

You all did such a good job in the last election, I mean, contest, that I'm calling on you to do it, or rather something very like it, again.

We have this local paper that we subscribe to but I don't often read. This week was an exception. Twenty-five Chicago-area landmarks are up for some National Trust money. Two of them are in Hyde Park. While I don't much love the neighborhood paper, if your curious, the story is here: "Vote For Local Landmarks."

Then you need to go to the Partners In Preservation website, register, and vote for Robie House.

Don't let yourself get distracted by the Viking Ship, or the Chicago Cultural Center (The original Chicago Public Library Building. It has this mosaic Tiffany dome.), or Ragdale. Robie House. You want to vote for Robie House. This is another one of those early and often deals. You can vote once a day until October 10th.

Why? Well, it's here. Where I live. In Hyde Park. When I was a first year student, my window looked out on it. Even more important, when I was a 3rd and 4th year student, I had a job at the Office of Special Events (now defunct, I think). The Office planned things like the Nobel Prize Dinners when the University (not, please note, the actual faculty member) won another one. We also gave tours of Rockefeller Chapel, the campus, and Robie House.

Did you know the bricks used in Robie House are special? They're longer and thinner than ordinary brick.

Did you know Wright specified the pattern for the mortar between the bricks? It's white along the horizontal, but brick colored on the vertical. It's one of the reason the house seems so long.

Did you know that Frederick Robie made his fortune making bicycles? Or that the Robies lost their fortune when Frederick's father died and the family only lived in the house for a little over a year?

Did you know that Wright designed, not just the windows, but the furniture? The dining room table and chairs are on display at the Smart Museum of Art (also here in Hyde Park). The lamps are part of the table. So is a bell to summon the servants.

The way he got the roof to float?

It's cantilevered.

And if you're looking for a knitterly tie-in, surely someone could design a cable pattern based on the windows.

It can be like that shampoo commercial. I tell you, you tell 10 people and they tell 10 people and so on and so on...

1 comment:

diane h said...

I didn't even read that story! Office of Special Events is now in Development and Alumni Relations.