Life now offers very few opportunities to meet the original owners of a Frank Lloyd Wright home. On the afternoon of March 29, 2004, I had that very circumstance of good fortune!
A fan of Frank Lloyd Wright art/design, and inspired by a sidebar about the Shavin House in an insert in the Chattanooga Times Free Press that previous weekend in March, I set out to find the house on Missionary Ridge. For address purposes, the Shavin House 'fronts' North Crest Road on the western brow of Missionary Ridge, but it sits above and is barely visible from the road. The Wrightesque characteristics of the building are much more evident from Crest Terrace Drive, 'behind' the house on the eastern brow of the Ridge. Though I respectfully disagree with William Allin Storrer's assessment that the Shavin House, "sits on the hill, rather than wraps around or fits into the crest of the hill." The Shavin House is moulded into the crest of the Ridge, and if you visualize the site when the house was built, without the less than attractive 1960's contemporary house crowding it on the east side, the Wright style "of the hill" is much more evident.
Mr. Shavin was occupied with a neighborhood yardman when I arrived, but very soon he most graciously suffered my request to spend some time photographing the ouside of the home and grounds. A keen octagenarian and 50+ year resident of a Wright building, he has likely met his share of FLW trade-dress wearing (me in my "Four Organic Commandments" shirt), camera-toting, Wright disciples knocking on his door!
So, I spent the better part of an hour strolling around the yard, taking in the essence of Wright's design here on the Ridge, and enjoying the view of the City of Chattanooga below, and the Tennessee River and Lookout Mountain to the west, and the Tennessee River and Walden's Ridge to the north.
I spoke with Mr. Shavin briefly only a couple of times, and offered my hand and my thanks for the opportunity to visit his one-of-a-kind historic home. As for telling the story of the Shavin House, John Shearer authored an excellent article about the Shavin's and their home, "Frank Lloyd Wright House On Ridge Turns 50
", on December 17, 2002, in the Chattanoogan.com.
I have also visited Wright's Home and Studio in Oak Park, and the Bootleg Houses, the Robie House and the Unity Chapel in Chicago, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Perhaps my best Wright related fortune is the privilege to have worked directly with Wright apprentice Matt Taylor
for some 7 years.
Thank you, Rayman and Frank Lloyd Wright fans, for recreating the archived Frank Lloyd Wright (GC6779) locationless cache
(by Show Me The Cache) on the Waymarking website, and preserving the Frank Lloyd Wright legacy for the Groundspeak community.
(This waymark and description were adapted from my GC6779 cache log