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Welcome to the Walter Burley Griffin Society of America web site. Our mission is to preserve the legacy of architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin and the Prairie School of Architecture.

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Saturday-Sunday, 17-18 JUNE 2017
Join us in Southern Illinois:
Edwardsville & St. Louis!

The eighteenth annual meeting of the Walter Burley Griffin Society of America will be held in downstate Illinois near St. Louis, Missouri on Saturday, 17 June, and Sunday 18 June. The featured building will be the Ralph Griffin house in Edwardsville, built for Walter’s brother’s family in 1909-10. Visited by the Griffin Society in 2002, the house is now fully restored and is one of the subjects of a new book being issued by the Society at the June meeting (see announcement to follow).

We will meet Saturday morning at the Lovejoy Library on the campus of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE). Doors will open at 8:00 for onsite registration and book sales, and the meeting will begin at 9:00. Following the morning presentations in the library’s Abbott Auditorium, we will visit the extraordinary collection of architectural ornament by Louis Sullivan housed on campus and tour Buckminster Fuller’s powerful geodesic dome, completed in 1971, and now housing the Center for Spirituality and Sustainability. The afternoon with continue with tours of several buildings in Edwardsville, including the Ralph Griffin house, and will end with a reception in the Griffin house yard. On Sunday morning, we will meet to visit Sullivan’s Wainwright building in downtown St. Louis, and have scheduled the Wainwright tomb in Bellefontaine cemetery to be open for us at 11:00.

The conference hotel is the Holiday Inn Express at 1000 Plummer Drive, Edwardsville, IL, 618-692-7255. It is five minutes by car from the Ralph Griffin house and close to the campus of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Ask for the Griffin conference rate. Reservations must be made by 17 May to get the conference discount.

[NOTE: The fall announcement that the meeting would take place on the campus of Principia College proved to be premature. After the newsletter was mailed, we were informed that our use of the campus was no longer possible.]

The REGISTRATION FORM can be found here and in the newsletter. Please fill it out, indicating your choice of sandwich and beverage for lunch, and return it to the Griffin Society’s headquarters. Please be sure to include your email address. The cost will be $35 for the Saturday/Sunday meeting and tours, $10 for the box lunch and, of course, registrants must also have paid their annual dues of $25 to the Society.


The Walter Burley Griffin Society of America
is proud to announce

On His Own: Walter Burley Griffin’s
First Two Houses
The Gables, Diamonds and Flowing Spaces
of 1906 and 1907

By Paul Kruty, with contributions by:
Tannys Langdon, Paul E. Sprague and Richard H. Berry

The latest book published by the Walter Burley Griffin Society of America, On His Own: Walter Burley Griffin’s First Two Houses; The Gables, Diamonds and Flowing Spaces of 1906 and 1907, is now available. The book includes essays by Paul Kruty, Paul E. Sprague, Richard H. Berry, and Tannys Langdon. With over seventy illustrations, and a dozen color plates, it presents detailed histories of the Harry V. Peters house, built in 1906-07 in Chicago’s Mayfair neighborhood, and the Ralph D. Griffin house, designed in 1906 and constructed in 1910 in Edwardsville, Illinois. Forays into the stories of the clients, social and aesthetic contexts for the houses, and close analysis of historical photographs, contribute to a clearer understanding of two of Griffin’s most important buildings.

By focusing on Griffin’s first two years of independent practice, Kruty reveals Griffin’s initial experimentation with the gabled roof, a form that was to preoccupy him, despite his precocious use of flat roofs, for the rest of his life: “The two buildings are part of an initial creative endeavor that flowed from Griffin’s imagination, pent-up as it was during the last year of his fraught relationship with Frank Lloyd Wright.” As Kruty elaborates, “Two other designs, which remained unbuilt projects, complete a quartet of compositions comprising Griffin’s first foray into a completely self-controlled design vocabulary” which “show the young architect striving to develop a new vocabulary of form employing symmetrical designs composed of two rectangular masses crossed at right angles, covered with gabled roofs producing raised ceilings and diamond windows, and an inventive used of open, flowing interior space.”

In addition to Kruty’s essays on each house, architect Tannys Langdon presents an engaging look into modern life in the Peters house, while homeowner Richard Berry reveals the travails and successes of living with the architectural masterpiece that is the Ralph Griffin house. Paul Sprague provides a careful analysis of the landscape plan for the Griffin house. All in all, a worthy addition to library of all lovers of Griffin, Wright, the Prairie School, Chicago and Illinois history, and the glory of American architecture.

“The Society’s new book is fascinating, with many insights and images new to me.” James Weirick, University of New South Wales.

“Reading it has been a pleasure. Excellent research, great illustrations, and reasonable analyses.” Donald Leslie Johnson, author The Architecture of Walter Burley Griffin.

On His Own: Walter Burley Griffin’s First Two Houses; The Gables, Diamonds and Flowing Spaces of 1906 and 1907 by Paul Kruty, with contributions by Tannys Langdon, Paul E. Sprague, and Richard H. Berry. St. Louis, MO: Walter Burley Griffin Society of America, 2017. $25. ISBN 0-9793588-3-3.

Published by the Walter Burley Griffin Society of America. 1152 Center Drive,
St. Louis, MO  63117.   info@wbgriffinsociety.org     www.wbgriffinsociety.org

See the Publications page for pricing and ordering information.


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