Growing Up Wright Presentation
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Please join author Kim Bixler for a free multi-media presentation at the Unity Temple on Friday, May 17th at 6:30pm where she will share her stories of living in a Frank Lloyd Wright house. More after the jump... Kim writes the following details about her book: "For 17 years our family owned a prairie-style home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. We moved in on June 29, 1977 and handed over the keys in 1994 to...
Please join author Kim Bixler for a free multi-media presentation at the Unity Temple on Friday, May 17th at 6:30pm where she will share her stories of living in a Frank Lloyd Wright house. More after the jump...Kim writes the following details about her book:
"For 17 years our family owned a prairie-style home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. We moved in on June 29, 1977 and handed over the keys in 1994 to the next owner. My parents were both 36 years old when we moved into the house. I was eight and my brother Kurt was six. We were the seventh owners to occupy the only home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Rochester, New York built in 1908 for widower Edward E. Boynton and his 20-year-old daughter, Beulah. My brother and I spent many hours hiding in Wright’s meticulously crafted built-ins, climbing over delightfully warm oak radiator covers, scaling the central hearth, and sliding down the dog-leg staircase enclosed by nine-foot stained glass bay windows.
On a daily basis cars would slow as they passed our Frank Lloyd Wright house; passengers staring from the windows, their mouths slightly open in awe. My brother and I would peek through the stained glass windows staring at people, who were staring at us, oblivious to our spy game. At least one person every weekend would knock on the door, begging for a tour schedule (there was none), pleading for a peek inside, often relaying their hardship tale of the distance they traveled and lengths they took to see projects designed by the famous architect. Occasionally, I would grant an architecture student a quick tour inside our house if their tale was interesting enough, accent fascinating, or eyes particularly desperate.
Repair and restoration projects were underway non-stop at our house. Roofs leaked, ceilings caved, paint was stripped and returned to its original state. The windows strained against the brutal Rochester winters. My parents raced to keep one step ahead of the deterioration speeded by the elements. As an adult, I learned to scorn Wright’s preference for form over function. Flat roofs abutting stained glass clerestory windows in the dining room caused continuous leaks when the snow piled up and melted against the windows warmed by the furnace. Internal downspouts, built into the walls of the house, filled with debris and ice, and forced my parents to question Wright’s sense of practicality when chunks of rotten plaster fell onto the floor. No stranger to harsh weather himself, Wright designed the Boynton House in an unforgiving climate that forced my parents to repeatedly open their checkbook.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Boynton House was the subject of frequent public scrutiny and community pride. The house tours, TV specials, newspaper features, charity events and celebrity visits left me comfortable with public speaking, and with a dash of inflated ego.
The beauty of the house was indisputable. Wright’s work formed my preference for natural materials, clean lines, and open spaces. Seventeen original pieces of furniture and 253 stained glass windows, doors, light fixtures remain in the home.
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear firsthand the unforgettable story of growing up in a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. For additional lecture dates, times and cities see www.kimbixler.com.
Color images courtesy Kim Bixler. Historic Images via Landmark Society of Western New York.