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Re: “7 Wonders of Boise

To chango: We too have visited Taliesin West. Beautiful, unique place. Our h as been, and continues to be, the source of some debate. It was, without question, built from a Frank Lloyd Wright plan- although that plan was altered to meet the needs of the original owners. They doubled the size, among other things. However, the measurements of the rooms that match the plans (sold as "The Fireproof House" in Ladies' Home Journal April 1907) are correct to the INCH. I tracked down an original copy of that magazine, and based on the story, the plans were available two ways: as-is, for a flat rate, with a signed agreement that you wouldn't make a single alteration to FLW's blueprint, or at a cost of 5% of the build price and FLW (or his staff, of which he had many) would alter the house to your needs as well as his liking. We have not been able to determine which of these options the McCarthys chose. I have read many FLW-related historical articles and it seems that no true comprehensive record of his work is available. He was the name, but he certainly was not the only working architect in his firm- they produced a lot of work, some of which he was involved in directly, others not. The Boise Weekly may have jumped the gun when they referred to it as designed by Frank. It may have been, but we (so far) have found no proof. That is not to negate the fact that the house was indeed built from a plan he designed, during the time of his heydey. Further, I have researched some of the original hardware in the house, such as the brass window levers. I found that they were sold exclusively by a company based in Chicago, by a man who worked in the office next door to FLW's office. Quite the coincidence. So... the answer for now is that the home is FLW-designed, but not necessarily FLW-built. Thanks for the comment!

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by fortress on 08/11/2010 at 4:12 PM

Re: “7 Wonders of Boise

As the owner of the Judge Charles P. McCarthy House (and admittedly I am completely biased) I am very proud that our home was chosen for this list of Boise greats. Although the North End is full of historic homes, this house stands out among the graceful gingerbread Victorians and classic lines of neighboring bungalows in an unassuming and quietly confident way. However, I'd like to correct a few errors in the story: Our home was built in 1913 (based on the land purchase documents) and adapted from a blueprint sold through Ladies' Home Journal by Frank Lloyd Wright. The structure is approximately twice the size as the original plan called for, and the home was NEVER subdivided. Judge McCarthy, who was Chief Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court and the original owner/builder, built the home so that he and his wife and children could live in the main part of the home and his widowed mother and sister could live upstairs in connected but separate quarters. The home has not in any way been altered from the original footprint. In addition to the unique architecture, this home holds a spot in Boise history based on the families who lived here, which in addition to Judge McCarthy include an Idaho Supreme Court Associate Justice, an Idaho Attorney General, and even a Senator.

15 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by fortress on 02/17/2010 at 10:52 PM

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