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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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TWENTY-FIRST ANNUAL MEETING
SATURDAY/SUNDAY, 13-14 JUNE 2020
IN ELMHURST, ILLINOIS

The twenty-first annual meeting of the Walter Burley Griffin Society of America will be held in Elmhurst, Illinois, the “hometown” of the Griffin family for almost 70 years, and the site of the first Griffin Society meeting in 2000.  On Saturday, 13 June, we will meet at Elmhurst College, and are working on a possible extension on Sunday to the historic site of the American Terra Cotta Company in Crystal Lake.

The morning session will be held at Elmhurst College.  The afternoon tour will include, among a variety of nearby buildings, houses by Griffin and Wright.  Other highlights will include the McCormack house by Mies van der Rohe at the Elmhurst Museum of Art and the nationally-known collection of artworks by the Chicago Imagists at the Buehler Library of Elmhurst College.

The tentative list of speakers will include Paul Kruty, with a talk about the Griffins in Elmhurst, and James Weirick, returning for the fifth time.  Watch for updates on the website and the spring newsletter.

The Walter Burley Griffin Society of America
is proud to announce
...

NEW BOOK:
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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