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The Walter Burley Griffin Society of America
Publications


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. The prices of the books is for shipment within the USA only. For overseas, Canada, and Mexico, please contact Society before ordering.

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

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Rock Crest/Rock Glen
Mason City, Iowa
The American Masterwork of
Marion M. and Walter B. Griffin

by Paul Kruty, Robert E. McCoy, Paul E. Sprague and James Weirick

The Griffin Society is pleased to announce the publication of its latest book on the work of the Griffins: the first monograph devoted to the internationally significant site that is Rock Crest/Rock Glen. This eighteen-acre site, meant to hold nineteen houses, marks the culmination of their American practice. Lauded by Peter Harrison, the prescient Australian architect, planner and historian credited with reviving interest in the Canberra plan in the 1950s, as “the nearest approach to a complete demonstration of Griffin’s talent for the design of a total domestic environment,” Rock Crest/Rock Glen has not been the subject of intense investigation since 1968, when Robert McCoy first examined the various personalities that came together to produce this masterpiece in The Prairie School Review. Drawing on unpublished photographs, documents and drawings from the Griffins’ office only recently made available at the Australian National Library in Canberra, and supplemented with a host of original sources from a variety of American archives, the four authors examine this amazing development from contrasting points of view. Here for the first time are in-depth analyses of the historical background and clients by Robert E. McCoy; of Griffin’s development leading to this remarkable design by Paul Kruty; of each of the buildings and projects by Paul E. Sprague; and the place of Rock Crest/Rock Glen in the Griffins’ complete careers by James Weirick. The book includes the texts of the two contemporary analyses of the project (one by Griffin himself) and a lengthy bibliography.

Rock Crest/Rock Glen, Mason City, Iowa: The American Masterwork of Marion M. and Walter B. Griffin sells for $35, plus p & h, with a 20% discount price for Griffin Society members. 166 pages, with 175 black-and-white and 39 color illustrations. Walter Burley Griffin Society of America, 2014. ISBN: 0-9793588-2-5. The prices of the books is for shipment within the USA only. For overseas, Canada, and Mexico, please contact Society before ordering.

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

Book Pricing



Walter Burley Griffin
And The Stinson Memorial Library:

Modernism Comes To Main Street

By Paul Kruty
With a contribution by Paul E. Sprague 

“To create a new public architecture for America, Griffin turned for inspiration to the origins of architecture, on the one hand, and contemporary technology and practice on the other.  His solution resulted in one of the most important statements of contemporary architecture to emerge from the theories of Louis Sullivan and the experiments of the Prairie School.”

Written by Paul Kruty, with an analysis of the landscape plan by Paul E. Sprague, the book is the first monograph on Griffin’s major public building in the United States.  Historian of the Prairie School H. Allen Brooks called the Stinson Library  “a brilliant design and a fitting climax to Griffin’s American career,” while Sullivan/Wright scholar Paul Sprague pronounced it “one of America’s greatest architectural treasures.”  Yet there has never been a detailed examination of this extraordinary monument.

Drawing on the priceless collection of letters and documents surviving at the library, Prof. Kruty recounts the story of the commission, design, construction and reception of the building.  He then sets it in the contexts of Griffin’s career, the public library in America, and the architect’s intention to create a Modern representational public architecture.  Along the way, Kruty provides new details about Griffin’s office staff in 1912-14, the contributions of Marion Mahony Griffin to the design, and the role of the general contractor, Paul F. P. Mueller—the person responsible for the actual construction of more of the great buildings produced by Sullivan and the Prairie School than any other individual, including, in addition to the Stinson Memorial Library, Adler & Sullivan’s Schiller Building and such works by  Frank Lloyd Wright as the Larkin Building, Unity Temple, and Midway Gardens.
     
Walter Burley Griffin and the Stinson Memorial Library sells for $25, plus p & h, with a 20% discount price for Griffin Society members.  68 pages, with 60 black & white illustrations.  Walter Burley Griffin Society of America, 2010. ISBN: 0-9793588-1-7. The prices of the books is for shipment within the USA only. For overseas, Canada, and Mexico, please contact Society before ordering.

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

Book Pricing

 

Marion Mahony and Millikin Place
Creating a Prairie School Masterpiece
With the help of Frank Lloyd Wright, Herman von Holst and Walter Burley Griffin

by Paul Kruty and Paul E. Sprague

Marion Mahony and Millikin Place presents for the first time the whole exciting development of Millikin Place in Decatur, Illinois, a remarkable private street, with houses by Marion Mahony and Frank Lloyd Wright, and landscaping by Walter Burley Griffin. As Paul Kruty explains, “The history of Millikin Place is the personal story of Marion Mahony and Walter Griffin. The chain of events set in motion in September 1909, when Mahony agreed to complete Frank Lloyd Wright’s buildings while he was abroad for a year, not only brought Walter and Marion together in Decatur, but it soon led to their marriage, and later to the extraordinary Rock Crest/Rock Glen commission in Mason City, Iowa, and finally to Australia.”

Marion Mahony and Millikin Place sells for $29.95, plus s & h, with a 20% discount for Griffin Society members. 84 pages, with 90 black-and-white and 16 color illustrations. Walter Burley Griffin Society of America, 2007. ISBN: 0-9793588-0-9.

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INDIAN MONOGRAPH AVAILABLE

The Griffin Society is pleased to make available a limited number of new copies of the ground-breaking book, Two American Architects in India: Walter B. Griffin and Marion M. Griffin, 1935-1937, published in conjunction with the international conference, “The Griffins in Context: American, Australia, India,” held at the University of Illinois in October 1997. Written by Paul Kruty and Paul E. Sprague, the book is a comprehensive examination of the brief but productive period during which the Griffins worked in northern India. Long unavailable and difficult to find, the book is for sale through the Griffin Society for $25, which includes shipping and handling. (A few used copies are currently available on Amazon for up to $98.82 plus shipping.) Copies may be ordered by writing to the Walter Burley Griffin Society of America, 1152 Center Drive, St. Louis, MO, 63117.

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