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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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NINETEENTH ANNUAL MEETING
SATURDAY/SUNDAY, 23-24 JUNE 2018
JOIN US IN PARK RIDGE, ILLINOIS

The nineteenth annual meeting of the Walter Burley Griffin Society of America will be held in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge on the weekend of 23-24 June 2018. The northwest suburb has much to offer about the developments stemming from the Griffins’ accomplishments. In 1925, Griffin drew a city plan for Park Ridge on his first trip back to the States after his departure for Australia in 1914. In the meantime, the prosperous suburb had become home to the sculptor Alfonso Iannelli, whose colleague Barry Byrne built houses there. In the 1930s, Bruce Goff, himself associated at the time with Iannelli and Byrne, created several choice houses in and around Park Ridge. The suburb’s crowning delight, the Pickwick Theater of 1929, designed by the wellknown firm of Zook and McCaughey and a magnificent Art Deco masterpiece, preserves a plethora of interior spaces decorated by Iannelli, all making a fitting comparison with the Griffins’ great Capitol Theatre in Melbourne. Join us as we visit these sites, and hear lectures about Griffin, planning, theaters and Park Ridge, including a return visit by the Australian landscape and planning historian and Griffin scholar James Weirick. A reception at the historic Iannelli Studios is among the planned events. Watch for details in the spring newsletter and at the Griffin website online.

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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