The Redding Times Article by G.M. Loeb, March 27, 1958. Loeb
explains his house and why Frank L. Wright's design was not
is with me an avocation or hobby. Building a successful home,
I feel, involves adherence to several major principles:
must be adapted to the individual because in the final sense
it reflects him and his way of living.
must be adapted to the times because costs, skills and materials
are always changing.
must be adapted to the site not only for asthetic reasons
but for obvious practical and physical ones. We may have developed
excellent heating and air conditioning but in the long run
it is both pleasanter and healthier to try to design a house
that makes the minimum use of these modern adjuncts.
achievement of a successful design on all these fronts requires
the assistance of an inspired and dedicated architect.
I first moved to Redding in 1935 we bought an old so-called
"colonial" house. It was probably built in 1810
so it very definitely was of Federal and not Colonial vintage.
However, it was built to conform as much as possible to what
had been built before with such concessions to 1810 modernity
as seemed inevitable at the time. It was huddled around its
central chimney because all heat and cooking was related to
that chimney. It had low ceilings to conserve the heat. Its
window panes were small partly because glass was hard to get
otherwise, partly perhaps because may years before small windows
gave security from indians. It had no bathroom when it was
built. How we came to buy it or remodel it or live in it,
I will never know.
we decided to build a house ourselves, it was important that
I did not repeat the mistakes of the old house we bought in
I was fortunate in being able to go to the most inspired and
dedicated architect of our times- Frank Lloyd Wright. His
genius is so much above the nearest runner-up in his work
that I have always felt that he justified an appellation more
descriptive of his qualities than simply "architect."
However, the Frank Lloyd Wright structure was not to be. Conceived
under one set of conditions the delay of the war created a
different situation. With one plan stillborn the enthusiasm
to undertake a second was not forthcoming.
in 1937, we had constructed a relaxation room back in the
woods about a mile off the public road. I had asked the late
Howard Myers to name some young man he thought would make
a name for himself in architecture and design and he named
George Nelson, then a partner of the small firm of Nelson
& Hamby. George gave us a hand the conception of what
we call the "alley" because there is a bowling alley
incorporated in it. Today George Nelson is famous in both
fields of design and architecture. The main section is a great
room 25 feet by 36 feet with the peak of the ceiling 24 feet
high. It is constructed of handpegged oak with weathered chestnut
siding. The fireplace took 40,000 brick to build. In addition
to the bowling alley, it has a CinemaScope movie screen and
projection system and a very fine music system. There is a
great picture window looking to the east and centered on a
giant granite boulder and majestic hemlock tree. The window
is not simply a bald piece of glass but divided by one horizontal
mutin and two vertical mutins to give both the room and the
view character and integration and keep each in its proper
ceiling is thatched inside both for decoration and insulation.
Illumination is controlled by rheostat and centers on a huge
hand lettered Chinese lantern.
floor is made of logs cut up crosswise and keyed into a cement
the picture window is an original painting done on the spot
by Robert E. Lee depicting the various incidents of our life
in Redding on a broad representation of a map of our original
is a charcoal rotisserie built right into the chimney.
the Frank Lloyd Wright house destined to remain a dream, Mrs.
Loeb and I decided to add living quarters to the "alley"
in the woods. The site was sheltered. The combination of the
natural rocks of New England and its woodlands suggested stone
and wood as the ideal materials. The work of Harwell Hamilton
Harris seemed nearest to the needs of the situation.
final design was Korean in feeling, not the deliberate choice
but rather from function. Many years ago, for the "Architecture
Forum," I defined the proper concept of function as including
human as well as physical values. It is this combination which
we think we have achieved here in the central portion of the
house we came to call "Sliding Shutters" The physical
was the need for a design that would keep the indoor temperature
of the house equal to the outside shade temperature at all
times in the warmer months. The decision suggested here was
a heavily insulated and overhung roof with the great possible
window area and ventilation below the floor. This naturally
leads to the oriental design which features the sliding Shoji.
They consist of a translucent set of panels and a screened
set. Any combination can be used, or they can all be removed
in months like October and the house opened completely to
happened that Mrs. Loeb had lived in the Orient for many years
and had many suitable art objects to use to embellish the
particular importance is the scale of this room, which is
considerably smaller than the original alley room below it.
The opening between the two is through a door, perhaps 4 feet
high, that forces one to stoop. Coming from the smaller area
through the low door into the larger area creates an emotional
impact that could not be had in no other way, and is an effect
rarely calculated by the average architect.
time went on we found the need of further rooms, most of which
have been constructed one by one in succeeding summers. We
still need a guest room and perhaps an all-year outdoor swimming
pool. It is interesting to plan these additions in the spirit
of time in which they are built rather than to have them units
of an original all inclusive scheme. The help of Earl Carlin,
Architect graduate of Yale, now practicing in New Haven, was
sought in these newer additions.
new kitchen especially deserves mention. It was oriented to
the times- not to Redding colonialism or the oriental feeling
of the main house. Rather it was built to the requirements
of a modern kitchen and includes an electronic oven, skylights,
air conditioning, accoustical treatment, etc... It could not
have been built a few years back; I would not have built it
a few years hence as I am sure there will be developments
not available today. In short, it is integrated into 1957,
when it was planned and constructed.
of the new rooms is a bathroom with a small fireplace. The
other is a sleeping room air conditioned in the daytime to
keep its strcuture cool in the summer heat, but arranged with
jalousies which can be opened completely at night to allow
sleeping as much as possible in the cool open air. It is worth
noting that the outdoors is conceived with the same philosophy
as the structure itself. "Sliding Shutters" has
been deliberately dropped into the rolling Redding hills like
a boat into the sea. It is surrounded by native trees and
shrubs that grow without attention in our climate and altitude.
We like the laurel, the bayberry, and the black alder, the
hemlock, the copper beech, the birch, the cedar.
is planned for living all year around. On the south is a balcony,
faced and shielded to be a natural sun trap. It is further
made usable on any dry day in the year regardless of temperature
by 5000 watts of infrared heat. Likewise we have a terrace
open to the cooling of natural breezes which are bolstered
in these relatively tranquill woods by a ceiling electric
important part of a home is running it after it is built.
Coming from California, where the weather is always mild,
we are always shocked by one effect of winter in the east:
the naturally deserted look of homes from the outside. We
don't want guest to approach our house and feel they are not
expected or wanted. Hence, we are most particular to have
the fire going with smoke coming from the chimney and a few
lights from outside.
proof of the pudding is in the eating and the concepts outlined
here have thoroughly proven themselves over and over again
in the ten years of our occupancy. We think we moved the right
on Gerald Loeb:
Loeb was a highly successful financier and founding partner
of E.F. Hutton who made it his mission to educate individuals
about finance, investments and economics. He first rose to
prominence during the Great Depression, when skittish investors
turned to his now-classic book "The Battle for Investment
Survival," in which he outlined his buy-and-sell strategies.
Throughout his 40-year career on Wall Street, Loeb continued
to offer investors his sometimes-contrarian wisdom through
his books and regular columns in publications such as Barron's.
Redding Boys Club was invited to Bowl at his personal bowling
alley quite a bit in the 1950's, an activity they very much
house was located just past the Redding Country Club on Lonetown
Road. The 4th house down on this
web site is close to the design for the Loeb house (it's
the Pfeiffer Residence, Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona
referred to the Loeb design and location as Tenaya. Mr. Wright
usually named some houses after characteristics of the landscape.
The only Tenaya I know of is Chief Tenaya an indian that didn't
want to give up Yosemite valley. Maybe Wright saw a connection
to the Loeb house and his desire to build it and Chief Tenaya's
desire to live in this people's land. Perhaps he felt the
way Chief Tenaya did in that he thought it a perfect location
but was unable to complete his vision- Tenaya was killed by
white settlers trying to reclaim the land in 1851.
house location I believe is now a Arboretum and should be
the second driveway after the Redding CC. http://pages.prodigy.net/highsteadarboretum/general.htm
James Dudley is who I believe bought the property from Loeb.
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