Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fast Forward Architecture

My sister Sue has always patiently gone along with my Quixotic tours of architecture whenever we exchange visits or meet up in some new city.  Over the years she has explored with me: Bernard Maybeck works in the San Francisco bay area, Walter Burley Griffin in Iowa, Lloyd Wright in Los Angeles, and Faye Jones in Nebraska.  In return for these peripatetic adventures she sometimes comes up with an interesting find of which I was not aware.  On a recent train trip from Wisconsin to New Mexico she spotted this gem from her Pullman window.
1. Snapped from the train.
Wow! Who authored this edgy architecture?  Yes, it looks like an architectural model with fake trees and cardboard landscape.  But it really is a fast forward design that wasn't too concerned with the usual rules.  My role as "architectural tour leader" was being eroded since this looked like something I should have known about.  I made two guess:  this bore the DNA of either Bart Prince or Antoine Predock.  Not "Goffy" enough for Prince, maybe.  But a little too fragile for Predock.   A mystery.

I contacted Greg Walke to solve it.  Greg is an architect living in New Mexico.  (The snapshots are obviously near the end point of my sister's train ride, in New Mexico, ,judging from the vegetation.)  He immediately identified it as a Bart Prince project near Lamy, New Mexico.
2. Fast forward architecture.

For those of you who do not know Prince's work:  he has donned the avante garde mantle worn by Bruce Goff.  As one of Goff's most creative proteges he completed Goff's annex to the Los Angeles Museum of Art upon Goff's passing.  The annex houses the Japanese collection of Joe Price.  Joe Price is the son of Harold C. Price who built the famous Price Tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
3. Price Tower by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Joe Price was Goff's most significant patron and later provided several important commissions for Bart Prince.  A complicated architectural lineage;  if you want to know more about this significant branch of American architecture you can explore these links:

Bruce Goff  (Nice short video.)
Price Tower
LACMA Japanese Art Pavilion
Bart Prince

(Thanks for the tip, Sue.)


1. Sue Knorr
2. Sue Knorr
3. Emerson Biggens

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