It's not too commone but it does happen that two will be able to grow
that closely together.
In a way, it's a form of natural selection, although it selects for trees
that retain enough leaves, and/or enough energy reserves, to survive a
defoliation event. Most can come back for being completely denuded,
although twice is harder (the problem with Gypsy Moths a few years back
was that they'd come back again and again, devouring the young leaves
until the tree was exhaused and died). But any sort fo environemtnal
pressure is a form of selection. Even with the Texas BLuebonnets
(basically, wild native lunpines) in my fron planting beds - the seeds
that survive teh "Winter" (such as it is here) and grow quickly, and
flower, before the heat hits (about this time of year) are the ones that
survive and make next year's seeds. A lot of the seedlings that sprouted
never quite made it. Anyone with a garden (who doesn't automaticly pull
up, or otherwise kill, any and all seedlings) can easily observe the
process. You'll see it with oyur trees - the ones that can grow quickly
enough so as to escape the shade of he larger/older trees will survive,
andthen have the chance to flower and set seed.
It cracks me up when I hear or read people say that "natural selection no
longer occurs" - what a crock of nonsense.
Prob., like most people, brainwashed from the day of birth with all sorts
of crap as to how things like social climbing and owning the maximum
possible amount of miscellaneous stuff are supposedly of Paramount
Importance and supposedly constitute The Meaning Of Life. It seems to me
that this is why gurus, for example, have such an aura/mystique about
them - to most people, even the simplest idea that ignores social
bullshit and mindless materialism is a completely new and revolutionary
One of the *advantages* of being socially "retarded" is that I never
"properly" learned how to shut out perceptions, and appreciation, of the
"stupid little things" like nature and the environment. When I learned
about things like Eastern Philsophies, Zen koans, and the like, it was
not a new thing, but an affirmation of mcuh that was, to me, patently
obvious. What society totally sucks at is teaching children (and adults
;) ) how to *balance* the different aspects of human nature (or at least,
the *capabilities* of human nature). We are social beings, and we are
material beings existing in a material universe, but we're also
intellectual beings, natural beings, emotional beings, and, dare I say
it, spiritual, or at least philosophical, beings. Cultures in general
tend to emphasize the social first, and the matrerial second, with the
emotional nature third in importance, and the intellectual, natural, and
spiritual/philosophical aspects being lumped together into a very, *very*
VERY distant third.
This is, it seems to me, also why so many people totally reject a
statement such as "nature can teach us a lot" - the call it "mystical
claptrap", because they reejct the science behind it, and reject the non-
social and non-material parts even of their own being. Meanwhile, I
think this is also why it takes many people a very long time to
recognize, and then start to develop, these other aspects of their being:
they basically have to come across these things, learn about them, by
accident - the culture offers not one iota of guidance, because the
majority of sociocultural institutions, including religion, are
completely and totally anthropocentric, to the extent that tehy actually
seek to divide humans from nature, and designate nature as "evil". In
reality, nature is often hostile, and fundamentally indifferent, but not
"evil", which includes a premeditated intent to do harm.
Damn right there was a lot of bad construction back then. I live in a house
built as a summer cottage (2500 sf) in 1886. My grandfather bought it in
1891 and stuffed a fieldstone foundation and a furnace under it to make it
"year round". However it is built poorly with studs being 2X3's at from 16
to 24 inches oc. I remodeled a couple years ago and basically rebuilt the
rear structure of the house and then sheathed on the inside with plywood. My
house in Boston was built in 1859 and was incredibly solid, built on piles.
It was however a full time residence. BTW, the Victorian rowhouse worked
very well as long as you have good legs for the stairs. I loved that house
and am sorry I ever let it go.
With older places, I think it might be that a lor of people just built
their own shelters out of necessity, and simply dind't always know how to
do it *well*.
In the end, for older structures (whetehr a house or a non-residential
building), I think that each place is just individual, and any potantial
buyer has to be sure to both (1) get a thorough inspection by someone who
understands historic structures, and (2) be a hard realist about teh time
and costs involved in restoration. Personally, I know I couldn't cope
with an extensive restoration, having seen what can been involved, but of
course different peopl eare different, and I also think it's very cool
that other people do restore structures and, as a by-product, ina sense
maintain that bit of history for the rest of us.
But going back to cosntruction quality, I think that mainly, the worst
mistake is to *assume* that a structure is sound based upon its age (or
newness). The thing is that, even if the building was well-built,
factors ranging from perennial lack of maintenence, to poorly-done
"renovations", to destructive inhabitants, will comprimise any structure.
Plus, all builders simply were not, and are not, equal. So I don't think
one can make accurate broad statements as to whether old is better or new
I think he just needed to separate teh two examples into separate
paragraphs - I think the point was to contrast the two odler places, one
built poorly contrasted with one built well...
Now *that* is impressive.
I'm with you there. Whcih is why I hope that the last place I get will be
custom - it wouldn't be large, but I would want it built well enough so
that, when I can no longer do any maintenence work, it won't be a big deal
because the place will remain sound.
Until 1980 I worked much of the time with a FLLW follower. However his
built-in furniture was comfortable. Frankly I thought that many of his
houses were not just good, but great. He was able to charge a fee of 18%.
Many of his houses that I worked on were published. The plans worked and the
details were worked out to the 1/16". WE drew full scale elevations of the
kitchens and other important rooms. I worked on about 14 houses. It was fun,
but harrowing. I really prefer commercial and municipal work.
I'd like to see references to the publications, becasue I'd like to see
that - if you don't want to post them here, you can send to (mirror image
I think one thing that often is forgotten about FLW is that he did do a
fari bit of experimentation. I'm not so sure thatit was, at that time,
easy/straightforward to predict how some things would or wouldn't wrk, or
stand the test of time. THat's just my impression, but it doesn't alter
the fact that some of the ideas were, for lack of a better phrase,
"human", in that they did try to address how people would feel in a
particualr environment, based on the fact that poeple have a better
quality of life (and also, do better work) if they're in a pleasing
environment. Yeah, I knwo thre is more to it, but I'm talking about
ideas that are worth taking to the next stage of development.
So, even if the cantilevered roof and balcony elements in Falling Water
did need to be reinforced due to structural problems, the answer is not
to simply NEVER use cantileverd roof and balcony elements; the answer is
to use/adapt them where it is appropriate to do so, AND get the
So I don't go for either extreme (although all extreem\\ism is IMO too,
well, extreme ;) ). I don't think FLW was a god, but I also don't think
he was a villain or an inept boob. He was an architect who had some good
ideas and some, well, not so good ideas - but at least his ideas make a
person *think* ;)
Hey, THAT isn't the walk I'm talking. THAT particular walk is into the
woods from the house. I thought that as well in the beginning before I got
a view of the whole complex. To the rear of the complex (opposite the
"falling waters) is a 80' long walk or so attached to a fairly large
I also figure that groceries weren't carried in from the road - which is
why it'd be interesting to see the utility area. A covered walkway would
IMO be a minimal requirement, best is some interior pathway (not
carpeted...) allowing one to bring in groceries and take out the trash.
But those things aren't popular "talking points" so to speak...they
aren't "elegant", and poeple mostly want to see "elegant" rather than
"utilitarian". Tho' I still don't think the two need be mutuially
When I saw it I was driving back with my boss (also a friend) from a job in
West Virginia to Pittsburg. We took the tour and then asked to see the rear
of the house. Because we were architects, they let us. The kitchen was large
and blah. The owner's wife would not let FLLW do the kitchen, so it had
standard St. Charles metal cabinets, I think red Formica counters, and was
light yellow. That's why they don't show it, because it is bad 1940's!
Regarding his furniture, Wright once said that he had a bad back because he
had to sit in his own furniture.
Which is probably why FrankL provided a very short covered journey
from car to entry.
You very seldom see a full tour of anything. Hell, even your semester
final presentation on three boards had to edit.
"What is the big idea behind this design? What is the critical piece
And they say Americans are growing up so "media savvy." pshaw.
It's Fallingwater. You've got one shot to present the outside and if
you are lucky one shot to present the inside. Are you going to say
"and here's the outside of the back wall which FLW used to anchor the
focus towards the other side of the building"? "this is the sink"?
The next question is "if the back wall is used to focus away from
itself why didn't you show what the focus is?" This is 101 stuff
Quick, without looking it up, where is Philip Johnson's guest house
located in relation to the main Glass House? Had you ever bothered to
care? To ask? Of course not. Big Idea.
Media inundated. DIfferent from "savvy". From the French (IIRC) for "to
know", "savvy" implies some level of comprehension of what it is that one
Ah, but it's so much easier to criticise someone else's Big Idea, than it
is to come up with an original one, esp. an original one tha twill make
enough of an impact upon enough poeple so as to make on famous and rich.
<Following said with tongue in cheek ;) >
"Sour grapes", phrase derived from one of Aesop's Tales (from, what, 3000
yrs ago?): if you can't achieve a goal, rahte than continuing to try
and/or admitting one's own shortcomings, it's so very much easier to
instead assuage one's ego by convincing oneself that the goal is tainted,
and/or anyone else who achieve the goal was just an inept boob.
Huh? What does that have to do with the etymology of the word "savvy" and
the difference between "not really media savvy" (your implication) and
soemone saying "right, not media savvy, merely media inundated, because
'savvy' means having knowledge about something? You might as well have
written, "No, breadfruit", for all the relation it has to what you're
quoting as the statement to which you're replying. Why quibble even when
someone agrees with you?
Nothing. If you think it should, that is clearly your own fabrication.
Simple sentences, both of them. I'll repeat myself and allow it to
apply to both posts -
I meant what I said.
Though with people coming on and inventing lack of content (?!) to my
words, it hardly seems worth trying to express myself. At least, not
quite so plainly. That's one reason I don't post here much. Simple
little post "No, I meant what I said" and I'm called upon to defend it
against arguments other people are having with themselves? Yeah right.
It has nothing to do with etymology or tea in china or the full range
of my beliefs or anything YOU might wish to project on it. I realize
that this is the naughties and post-modernism is still pretty strong
in the world and you are "allowed" to pretend stuff means whatever you
think it means with no regard to what it says, but that's a game for
leftists, academics and fools. Sometimes it can be fun and even get
you a degree but it is, barring one critical piece of utility, utterly
No, I meant what I said.
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