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Video: Frank Lloyd Wright's Heurtley House

               
 
      
   
Found on Google Video this week: a short video tour of what many folks consider the best-restored (and maintained) Frank Lloyd Wright residential property, the 1902 Heurtley House in Chicago's Oak Park suburb. The restoration included not only returning to Wright's original plan throughout the structure, but recreating the original furnishings as well.

The current owners bought it for $350,000 a few years ago, and have recently spent $1.2 million on the complete restoration of the building. It is not usually open to the public, but is sometimes part of historical home tours in the area. Pictures from a 2003 tour are available online.


Architectural Salvage V - Turning Trash Into Treasure

From Kaleena Cote at Yankee magazine comes this article on everyone's favorite weekend pastime, bargain-hunting at architectural salvage yards:

Home salvage yards are like garage sales. Once you find that hidden treasure, the whole trip becomes worthwhile. For more than two decades, homeowners have searched for treasure at Vermont Salvage, an architectural warehouse that has stores in White River Junction, Vermont, and Manchester, New Hampshire. Doors, windows, appliances - items that have outlived the houses and buildings they used to grace - fill each warehouse, much of it tagged with bargain prices.

Bargains are what I'm after on a damp and dreary February afternoon as I drive up to the half-brick, half-concrete Vermont Salvage store in Manchester. Old toilets, tubs, and trash lie out in the yard, as well as a few abandoned vehicles and an old rusting trailer, while a few red spray-painted squiggles splatter the sides of the building. The place looks as if it needs to be salvaged itself.

But inside, it's easy to see why people enjoy searching through the rows of different colored doors, walking past the pastel pink and yellow toilets, and toying with the little trinkets ranging from outlet faces to small brass hooks for hanging clothes. The place has character, and the employees there are eager to please. They're not the in-your-face "buy this now" types of salesmen; they let the customers browse freely. At the same time, they're willing to help and offer suggestions. Just ask.

Read the full article and see pictures at Yankee magazine's site. They've also compiled a good list of New England salvage firms and shops, which follows the article.


Allan-Dymarz Studios

Edmonton craftspeople Curtis Allan, a woodworker, and Ania Dymarz, an artist working with leather and glass, have come together to build some very unique and attractive pieces, with plenty of flair and a noticeable basis in the Arts & Crafts movement. Curtis and Ania regularly display and sell their work at Edmonton and other local crafts fairs and events.


Furniture Design of Taos

Bob Bresnahan and Emily Zopf are located in Valdez NM, just outside of Taos, and together build some absolutely beautiful wood furniture strongly informed by both the American Arts & Crafts movement the more rustic look of the Mission and various related revival styles.

Bob and Emily's work is quite similar to that of many northeast woodworkers - not necessarily in style, but in that their work is part of a very rich local tradition with its own ways of working specific local woods and using specific techniques rooted in their region. But they are not stifled by historical designs, and instead seek to modernize and change traditional themes:

We like tradition. The New Mexico furniture making tradition is old and rich. The Craftsman furniture traditionis full of great ideas and is very alive today. We want to add to both traditions. Furniture needs to evolve even as it pays tribute to the great heritage of Spanish craftsmanship and the American Arts and Crafts movement.

I found a number of items on their site especially attractive. Take a look at the cherry trestle table with walnut pins and butterfy joins, the hutch with alder vine pattern, which is repeated in a number of items, like this nine-drawer dresser. Their use of unique and obviously Southwestern iron hardware and a number of carved and cut-out motifs make all their work spectacularly un-generic - all pieces are very obviously part of that New Mexico tradition, and would fit with either with a Craftsman or Mission styled home.


Flip this house? Not so fast.

Beth Potter's recent article in the Denver Post is a wakeup call to the professional flippers who are doing more harm than good to the neighborhoods they "invest" in. Unfortunately, Potter's article is more fluff than analysis; sure, some flippers need to work to resell houses, but what of the character of the neighborhoods destroyed by flipping? Where I live, self-proclaimed "real estate professionals" have bought up old Craftsman and Mission Revival bungalows, sunk a few thousand dollars into them, and then - while waiting for a seller - rented them out. Of course, the rents price out the working people who used to fill the neighborhood, moving them into clusters of poverty that are a huge spiritual, social and economic drain on them and all other taxpayers.

Some folks decide not to rent out at all, and just wait for the sale - and a large proportion of them end up in foreclosure, with dead lawns and broken windows. Thus prices go up and then down artificially, at the whim of outsiders who have no interest in the culture of the city or our neighborhood and no interest in contributing to it at all. It's simply an extension of the "me first" attitude that has shaped the national character in the last decade.

Nine years ago, downtown Denver resident Barbara Baker was up late with insomnia when she saw a "Buy property, no money down" infomercial on TV.

Her job as a gang prevention coordinator at Jefferson County public schools was ending, and Baker was trying to figure out what to do next in her life. She decided to use the family house as collateral for a "no money down" loan on an investment home.

...

Late night TV shows like "Flip this House" on A&E are drawing first-time investors with visions of quick riches dancing in their heads. On the show, Realtors and others make mostly cosmetic changes to distressed homes in the Atlanta metro area and sell them just months later for huge profits.

"A lot of people watch (that show). It's good for the market because it's getting some fresh blood into (it)," said Wilhelm Estes, a Broomfield Realtor who specializes in finding such properties to sell investors.

Such TV shows can also be misleading, Baker said, because they emphasize homes that need simple changes rather than costly infrastructure overhauls.

"I think it's tough," she said, which is why she consults with people just starting in the business. Said Baker, "Most of them don't know what they're getting into."

Read the full article here.


Harrison Architects, Seattle: "Lyrical Sustainable Design"

"Lyrical Sustainable Design" is how Rob Harrison describes his firm, a Seattle-based architecture consultancy whose work is firmly rooted in the Arts & Crafts ethos. The term describes

...conserving energy and resources, using healthier materials and finishes, reducing long-term costs, and making poetic places. We work with consultants, contractors and suppliers who share our values. This results in a convivial, collaborative design and construction process.

Harrison has been in the business for more than 25 years, and worked as a draftsman for both Buckminster Fuller and Isamu Noguchi, as well as the great residential architect alfred DeVido. He was also a modelmaker for Cooper Eckstut Associates, the master planners of Battery Park City and other great New York projects. He's also a an experimental musician, and that willingness to play with form within the constraints of usability and usefulness really make his work both unique and at the same time very friendly and human-centered.

Take a look at their featured projects - there are some spectacularly striking designs here, from kitchens that maintain Craftsman look & feel while being modern and very useful today, to stained glass that blends a playful modernity with Charles Rennie Mackintosh motifs (which appear in other projects as well), wonderful exteriors and much more.


36 hours, courtesy of the New York Times

The New York Times' weekly 36 Hours features are capsule city guides, often with lots of attention to historic architecture. Some recent guides that may be of interest to aficionados of the Arts & Crafts movement:

  • 36 Hours in Syracuse NY, by Hart Seely: not only does much of Syracuse's historic civic architecture reflect the movement, but their Everson Museum of Art contains a large room devoted to local resident Gustav Stickley and his furniture.
  • 36 Hours in Guthrie OK, by Kathleen Leighton: An attractive and often-overlooked prairie town, with a downtown that is in its entirety a National Historic Landmark. Take the First Capitol trolley on a tour of "downtown brickwork and houses in Victorian, Craftsman, Prairie, Bungalow and Colonial Revival styles."
  • 36 Hours in Nashville TN, by Taylor Holliday: Certainly one of the most hospitable cities in the country, "the Athens of the South" is chock-full of neat restored and well-maintained Craftsman homes, including several that have entered a second life as bed & breakfasts - like The Cat's Pajamas, a 1918 downtown bungalow with three large guestrooms to let. And don't forget to stop at Hatch Show Print, one of the greatest letterpress poster shops in the country, still cranking out vibrant, colorful work under manager and master printer Jim Sherraden, who I once studied under.

Other Times travel features that may be of special interest include:

  • Road Trip, Route 20 through New York State: Bouckville and its art galleries and Craftsman frame houses, and of course East Aurora and the Roycroft Campus and inn are worthy of a visit, and this is a particularly pretty drive in autumn.
  • Mining Aura Inside a Mountain: Ann Crittenden visits the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC, home of the world's largest annual Arts & Crafts festival and conference.
  • The Quirky Heart of the East Bay: Megan Harlan explores Berkeley and Oakland, stopping at the Claremont Hotel (which she relays Frank Lloyd Wright's report of being "one of the few hotels in the world with warmth, character and charm"), has a meal at Chez Panisse, one of the finest restaurants in the country and perhaps the world (situated, in fact, in a beautifully restored Craftsman bungalow which my father lived in - when it was a roominghouse, many years ago - as a UC Berkeley undergrad), and wanders some of my favorite neighborhoods and places I frequented as a child.

beautiful A&C rug for sale in New York

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from Tony Fross, the owner & seller, via Jeannie at House in Progress:

This stunning Tibetan handmade Arts & Crafts style carpet has a smoky purple/blue background with accents in cranberry, navy, forest green and teal with a gingko leaf border pattern. Dimensions are 15' x 4'9".

This piece is in excellent condition, having been gently used in a smoke- and pet-free environment. It does have some tiny spots that should come out with proper cleaning. Perfect for long NYC apartment spaces.

An elegant addition to your Mission/Craftsman influenced home. Original price: $4.000; price: $500 or best offer. PICKUP ONLY. West 75th & Broadway, New York City.

I'd buy this myself if I were located within a few hours of Tony. If you buy it, take a picture of it in your home and send it to us!


Henry Greene's Gould House for Sale - reduced!

122786820_cd01a87007On October 15, the Los Angeles Times selected this property - which we wrote about several months ago (see below) - as their "home of the week," - see their nice article.

Bob Gould is selling the Henry Greene-built home that has been in his family since it was built for his grandparents in 1924. The property (note: the blueprints do not show the 1982 additions - an enlarged west upstairs bedroom with master bath and dressing room, an upstairs sitting room, and a bedroom/dressing room nook added to the east bedroom) - on the National Register of Historic Places since late 2006 - includes a conservation easement on the land, facade and interior. The land itself may not be subdivided. Bob is asking $2.95 million, and the official listing will begin on 4.15.06; an early offer prior to the listing, however, would lower the price to $2.85 million. The price has now been reduced to $2,450,000.

Below is Bob's description of the house; he's also included a number of photographs, which are all in their own Flickr album. The house is also featured in Randell Makinson's Greene & Greene: The Passion and The Legacy.

Built in 1924 by Henry Greene for Mabel and Thomas Gould, Jr., the house has been in the family for over 80 years. After my grandfather's death, my father and stepmother moved into the house in 1984 subsequent to some remodeling and additions on the second floor that were envisioned but not built in 1924. Randall Makinson was the architect for the remodeling.

Most of the house is original. The exceptions are the renovated kitchen, minor changes to the hall and one bedroom on the first floor and the dining room china cabinet, and addition of two bedrooms and a sitting room on the second floor.

The house was put on the National Register of Historic Places in December of 2006, and there is a conservation easement on the land, facade, and interior of the house to protect it for future generations. The land (about 1.7 acres) cannot be subdivided, but the easement allows for  normal uses and improvements (but not for additional homes). This is the only Henry Greene house on the National Register.

There is a 4 car garage with half bath built in 1984 which was designed to allow a second story guest house or maid's quarters. The main house is approximately 4,000 square feet in size, with 5 bedrooms and 4 baths, large living and dining room, two fireplaces with Batchelder tile, and a comfortable sunroom with a great window seat in the bay window.

The house is located in Ventura, California, which is fast becoming the destination for people escaping from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. Ventura has a great climate now for preservation and architecture.

The house will be listed on 4/15/06 for $2.95 million, but a quick offer prior to the listing would lower the price to $2.85 million.

You may email Bob Gould should you be interested in this very attractive property.


Buffalo Architecture & the Darwin Martin House

reader Ernest G offers us the following:

Thought you & your readers would want more info on all the Frank Lloyd Wright stuff happening in Buffalo, NY. it's a treausre trove for Arts and Crafts, as you know from the Roycrofters, but it's also the only city outside of Chicago to have works from the big three modern American architects - (Louis) Sullivan, H. H. Richardson, and Wright. Buffalo is the only city to have major works from each. Check out the 30,000 square foot Darwin Martin house complex renovation - it's really unbelievable! An entire complex - 9 components - built to retell through architecture the lifestory of the man who commissioned it. I found lots of info, pictures & links from the blog at Pure Contemporary. Story link here.


and now, a short departure from our usual programming: Real Estate Bubble

The number one topic of conversation in emails to Hewn & Hammered is house prices - how divorced they've become from reality in the bubble markets, and how a corrupt real estate industry and regulatory agencies completely disconnected from actual consumer experience have fueled folks' unreasonable expectations of continued growth just to quick-sell mediocre property.

Here's a rundown of some great real estate weblogs devoted to bubble-related issues - there's lots of great data being aggregated by the folks who take time to track things like asking prices, sales prices and loan amounts, median income vs. home prices, bankruptcy clusters (in the few cases where personal bankruptcies are still even possible to declare) and more - much, much more.

I hope that the do-it-yourself cable networks stop lionizing flippers soon and start realizing what most of them are: greedy folks who will stop at nothing - not the destruction of homes and neighborhoods and the pricing-out of working people - to make a buck. They don't care if they are hurting the market in the long run, they just want their piece of the pie right now, and damn everyone else. I live in a neighborhood that has been hurt by flipping, and it's really sad - not only has the neighborhood been hurt overall, but you should see what most of these folks do to the guts of beautiful old Mission Revival bungalows!


Greg Myroth's artpotteryblog.com

Justartpottery from our friend Greg Myroth, owner of JustArtPottery.com:

We are pleased to announce the recent start-up of ArtPotteryBlog.com. Just Art Pottery has been selling quality arts and crafts ceramics such as Teco, Grueby, and Marblehead as well as collectible American art pottery such as Roseville, Rookwood, Weller, and more online since 1997. ArtPotteryBlog.com is designed to provide current news on the art pottery market such as auction results; related arts and crafts events and pottery show schedules; related industry trends and issues; as well as collector interviews. The site will also serve as an information source on a variety of topics related to antique and contemporary American and European art pottery. The blog is interactive and reader participation and comment is encouraged.


Pasadena Heritage: Craftsman Weekend, October 20 - 22, 2006

Heritageweekend2006

Join Pasadena Heritage for their 15th annual Craftsman Weekend event and "immerse yourself in the American Arts & Crafts Movement." Note that prices have gone up, and a full weekend of events can easily break the bank for those not endowed with very high incomes; start saving now, because there's plenty you won't want to miss! This year's event includes:

  • a house tour on Sunday the 22nd from 9 am to 4 pm, with visits to siz period homes that "showcase the unique and individual styles of Pasadena's architects and builders," including an in-process remodel in North Pasadena Heights; The French House; the Bartlett House in Prospect; Greene & Greene's recently-restored Pitcarin House and others;
  • evening events, including a private tour of the Cordelia Culbertson House and an opening reception at the wonderful Pacific Asia Museum;
  • bus tours of Ventura, Pasadena's Landmark District, Greene & Greene properties and a tour exploring "the Native American presence in southern California and its significant influence on Arts & Crafts culture";
  • walking tours of Bungalow Heaven, Busch Gardens and Magnolia Avenue;
  • lectures from Paul Duchscherer, Mark Winter, Tim Gregory, Patricia Gebhard and Ann Scheid;
  • a special tour of the magnificent beaux-arts Fenyes Mansion and its enormous collection of California plein air paintings;
  • plus the usual - and this year, extraordinarily large - exhibits of antique and contemporary furniture, glass, ceramics, textiles, books, metalwork and more from a wide variety of dealers, designers and others.

for sale: Glenview (Oakland, CA) Bungalow, $975,000

Reader Rose Nied is selling her beautiful Oakland bungalow, replete with lots of neat woodwork and builtins. A number of images of this attractive home are available.

Relax and enjoy living in this divinely restored 1912 Mission style home. This unique property offers over 2100 sq. ft. of easy living allowing you to appreciate many of the architectural features of days gone by but enjoy today's modern comforts. The main floor has a large, sun dappled living room with a gas fireplace, redwood wainscoting & leaded glass built-ins. The formal dining room boast stenciled walls, matching leaded glass built-ins and gumwood wainscoting.

Any chef would enjoy the gourmet kitchen with its combination of custom-built period cabinets and modern amenities. Brightly-colored yellow maze tile adorns the 24-inch countertops and backsplash. The dishwasher is hidden behind period cabinet doors. Other great features of the kitchen are the nickel-plated Heartland refrigerator and a 1933 Magic Chef six burner Town & Country stove/oven. The washer and dryer are easily accessible yet concealed. A kitchen nook off the dining room allows you to sip your coffee and enjoy an inviting heavenly exotic paradise in the backyard.

The serene and secluded backyard has a roomy deck & hot tub just right for entertaining. New privacy fence and shed complete the area. The second floor has a large master bedroom/bathroom suite with views of the Mormon Temple. Four bedrooms, 2.5 baths with ample closets make living easy. Douglas fir floors on second level glisten with warmth.

The following is a list of recently completed work: Electrcical & plumbing updated; new roof; new decorative paint; new Htg/AC for second floor; tankless water heater; and period light fixtures throughout. New deck, fence and shed. New kitchen. New bathrooms off master bedroom and on main level. Gas logs & new tuckpointing in fireplace.

Situated in one of Oakland's most coveted areas, Glenview, with bustling shops, restaurants & cafes. Near Montclair and close to both Highway 13 and 580 and carpooling. This home is truly an amazing example of Mission style homes and one that should not be missed! They just don't make them like this anymore ... You may request more photos via email. Appointments for truly serious buyers only. This is a pocket listing and owner is an agent. Contact Rose at 510.530.7011 for viewing or more information. Thank you for looking! Offered at $975,000.


Oakland's Architectural Gems: From Victorian to Craftsman & Beyond

Glendalesmall

Valerie Garry of the Oakland Heritage Alliance was kind enough to write an introduction to Oakland's architecture with a special emphasis on its great Arts & Crafts properties just for us. In addition, she's included a number of images in addition to the Glendale house (pictured), all of which are available for view in a special Flickr album. Please forward additional photos of interesting Oakland buildings to us for inclusion in this set.

The Oakland Heritage Alliance - a stalwart organization of grass-roots preservationists - celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2005 and what a quarter century it has been.  In 1980, seven people with an ambitious goal scraped together a $150 to get the organization rolling. Their goal: to stem the tide (at times a Tsunami) of urban renewal projects that were paving over, plowing under, and otherwise obliterating at an alarming rate some of Oakland's precious historic architectural fabric. Whole blocks of Victorians had already been lost. Many of downtown Oakland's handsome early 20th century commercial buildings were knocked down to make way for dreary paved expanses of parking lots. Even the masterpieces, such as Bernard Maybeck's magnificent Packard Showroom by the shores of Lake Merritt, were demolished.  Armed with a fierce determination to protect the precious historic, architectural and cultural legacy of Oakland, the small group began to throw their energy and time into preservation action.

Oakland Heritage Alliance has now grown into an organization of close to a 1000 members. Although the battle to save irreplaceable old buildings continues, the organization has logged an impressive list of historically significant architecture, cultural assets, and unique green spaces, that it has helped save and restore. There is Oakland City Hall, a magnificent Beaux-Arts skyscraper that was nearly demolished because of damage it suffered during the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. The Fox Oakland Theater, with its exotic blend of Indian, Moorish, Medieval and Baghdadian styles, which one writer dubbed "one part Arab and three parts Hollywood hokum," narrowly escaped becoming a parking lot.

One of Oakland's most distinctive Art Deco buildings, the Floral Depot, with its brilliant cobalt blue and silver glazed terra cotta, was also almost demolished. Now completely restored to its lustrous beauty, it is about to become a stylish restaurant. OHA fought to save Old Merritt College, a rare surviving example of early 20th century California school architecture modeled on California missions, nearly razed to make way for a shopping center. The building is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The list goes on and on.

Oakland has some of the most architecturally varied and distinctive residential neighborhoods in the Bay Area. Its architectural heritage includes Art Deco, Victorian, Beaux Arts, and period revivals (Italian Renaissance, Spanish Eclectic, and English cottage), Stick Eastlake and colonial revival. And in the gently rolling hills of Oakland are a seemingly infinite variety of Craftsman homes-charming, rustic, whimsical, modest and grand -many built to provide homes for San Franciscans who moved to the East Bay after the 1906 earthquake, or who sought a sunny summer place to escape the foggy city by the Bay.  There is the exotic Jesse Matteson house, or Sunset House, in the Fruitvale neighborhood. Built in 1905, one writer described it as a cross between a Japanese Bungalow and a Viking ship. There is Bernard Maybeck's elegant and incomparable Guy Hyde Chick house (1913), which, remarkably, survived the 1991 Oakland Hills fire; there is Julia Morgan's remarkable YWCA building in downtown Oakland; homes by John Hudson Thomas; and Storybook style homes with witch's cap turrets by Carr Jones.

A TAKE ON THE TEMESCAL

On Sunday, October 15, the Oakland Heritage Alliance will present a house tour of homes in one of Oakland's most vibrant and historic areas - the Temescal neighborhood. The tour will be from 1-5:30 p.m. Among the houses featured on the tour will be a 1903 Classic Revival house that incorporates a water tower and a c. 1900 house transformed into a mid-century modern house. A 1910 stucco bungalow on the tour features an unusual collection of antiques such as Chinese cinnabar, antique Chinese children's hats, beaded handbags, Victorian lace dresses, black paper dolls, and 19th century ruby Bavarian glass. The tour will also include an 1880 two-story Italianate, as well as an Eastlake and Arts and Crafts bungalow, both undergoing extensive renovation.

The house tour is self-guided and easy to walk. The starting point for the tour is in front of Acorn Kitchen and Bath, 4640 Telegraph Avenue. Proceeds from the tour benefit the Oakland Heritage Alliance. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 the day of the tour, and $25 for OHA members and include a reception with refreshments. OHA is looking for volunteers to help with the tour and all volunteers will receive complimentary admission to the tour. Contact 510.763.9218 for information or to make reservations, email info@oaklandheritage.org, or visit www.oaklandheritage.org.

Valerie Garry, MS Historic Preservation
Vice President, Oakland Heritage Alliance

for more information: Oakland Heritage Alliance is a non-profit membership organization that advocates the protection, preservation, and revitalization of Oakland's architectural, historic, cultural and natural resources though education and action.

For 2006 summer walking tour and fall house tour information, contact: Oakland Heritage Alliance: 446 17th Street, Suite 301 / Oakland, CA 94612, or send us email or call 510.763.9218.


Morton-Cooley House for sale in Athens, Georgia

partially fixed, yucky original image

 


This totally restored / renovated circa 1910 Tudor / A & C home is for sale for $1.25 million - about 1/2 the price of a similar home where I live. Even though Athens is a terrific town with lots of interesting neighborhoods, the real estate market, luckily for buyers, has not yet reached the ridiculous heights of overpricing mania that have been the norm in California for years.

The sprawling home is three stories tall with over 6,000 feet of useable space, includes 12-foot ceilings, original heart pine woodwork and floors, has 17 rooms total (including 3.5 baths), a modernized kitchen and butler's pantry, 8 beautifully tiled fireplaces and one primitive brick fireplace, a wrap-around porch, and lots of other restored original features, including doorbells, screens, house numbers and more. As if that were not enough, the current owners will include a number of important pieces of period furniture, among them several Stickley and Roycroft originals.

Light fixtures throughout are a mix of restored originals, modern reproductions and other period pieces. The enormous basement includes former servants' quarters and bath. Even the garden is circa 1910!

photograph by Wingate Downs


More on Tansu

8 Since I got so many letters asking for more information on Japanese cabinetry and tansu in particular, I've kept my eyes open for more striking examples (and good deals!) of such items.

  • Evert Sondergren "is a fourth-generation cabinetmaker who has been refining his skill for over 55 years." This frame/panel tansu is made of Eucalyptus and iroko woods, and goes for $5000. He has made similar designs from maple, koa and other woods.
  • Glenn Richards Asian Furnishings & Antiques sell a number of good looking tansu, some antique and some contemporary. They also offer custom design and build services.
  • This custom home on the Oregon coast is full of some beautiful built-in cabinetry in the style of Japanese tansu, all of which fits in seamlessly with the contemporary design of the house.
  • There are a few striking antique pieces up on Ebay's Live Auction site, all with low starting prices and reasonably estimates. This two-part Paulownia wood tansu has some really nice hardware on it.
  • Ebay also has items for auction, of course, and a few good-looking tansu for sale from individual dealers as well, like this kiri / hinoki / sugi isho tansu for $1195. If you are in southern California, this pick-up only item - a Meiji-era steep step tansu, or kaidan tansu - will go for just under $3000. Hiromitsu Japan sells all sorts of Japanese antiques through their ebay store, including this immaculately-maintained choba (or document / merchant) tansu, at $1750 plus shipping from Sapporo, Japan.
  • We've written once or twice before about Greentea Design, who carry a number of contemporary Japanese tansu (including a range of step tansu), and also do some really amazing custom kitchen cabinets in this style.
  • Should you be in California's East Bay area, you'll certainly want to stop and visit two wonderful shops; while the well-known Berkeley Mills do some spectacular work in the Craftsman / Japanese fusion style, less-known is the terrific Hana Japanese Antiques, just off Solano Avenue near the Solano Tunnel; this tiny shop is always chock-full of great pieces of art and furniture in a wide range of styles and prices, straight from Japan, and the owners are friendly and informative.
  • Jo-Ann Kaiser's article details a 1999 custom kitchen by Peter Cyr based on Japanese tansu designs.

pictured: a Showa-era mizuya tansu from Hana Japanese Antiques


Chicago Bungalow lecture tonight

The fine folks at Prairie Mod have alerted us to tonight's lecture (which will also be held on Thursday), a good follup-up for the recent bungalow-related events in the Windy City:

Practical Interior Design Solutions for the Chicago Bungalow
with Maribeth Brewer, interior designer

Learn how to undo bad interior remodels from previous owners, and create something that is bungalow appropriate on a limited budget.

Tuesday, Oct 3: 7 - 8:30 pm
Woodson Regional Library, 9525 S. Halsted Ave.

Thursday, Oct 5: 7 - 8:30 pm
Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln Ave.

Both events are free; call 312.642.9900 for more information.


Architectural Salvage: Sprouts Farm

Last year, Nikki and Steve Wooster-Goodwin pooled their efforts and opened Sprouts Farm, New Hampshire's pre-eminent architectural salvage firm. Located in Lancaster, Sprouts Farm's enormous barn contains such must-have-them gems as:

  • a whole bunch of clawfoot bathtubs
  • previously built-in cabinetry and shelving
  • pottery crocks, all the way to 30 gallon monsters
  • potbelly wood stoves and coal stoves
  • pedestal & apron-front sinks
  • glass insulators of all types and colors
  • enormous piles of books
  • blue and other decorative glass
  • a wide selection of vintage hardware, including doorknobs, hinges and pulls
  • glass lamp shades in too many types and sizes to list
  • floor grates, vents and registers in iron and brass
  • a constantly-changing stock of furniture
  • an extensive range of interior & exterior doors
  • more china than you could shake a half-dozen sticks at
  • one of the largest stocks of ceramic, wood and metal scottie dogs anywhere

Obviously, should you be anywhere nearby, it would be in your best interest to visit Nikki & Steve. Until you get there, you can take the virtual tour and just pretend. And of course, as always, tell them you read about their shop here on Hewn & Hammered.