ARCHITECTURAL FORUM May 1937. Frank Fisher Chicago Apartments by A. N. Rebori; Wells Coates’ Embassy Court.

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THE ARCHITECTURAL FORUM: May 1937

George Nelson [Associate Editor]

George Nelson [Associate Editor]: THE ARCHITECTURAL FORUM. Philadelphia: Time, Inc. [Volume 66, number 5,  May 1937].  Slim quarto. Wire spiral binding. Thick printed wrappers.  82 pp. editorial content. 150 pp. period advertising. Wrappers lightly worn. Spine heel  and upper corner mildly creased, but a very good or better copy.

8.75 x 11.75 spiral-bound magazine with 232 pages of editorial content showcasing the Architectural and Industrial Design of the American Streamline Moderne Machine Age aesthetic. There are also an excellent assortment of vintage trade advertisements that espouse the depression moderne streamline aesthetic quite nicely. You have been warned.

  • Two-Page Spread of the Trylon and Perisphere by Hugh Ferriss
  • Theme Building: New York Worlds Fair Theme Building [Trylon and Perisphere] by Werner Drewes, Harrison and Fouilhoux And Henry Dreyfuss.
  • NEW POSTER: INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION OF DESIGN IN OUTDOOR ADVERTISING. Full page article describing the Philadelphia Franklin Institute show curated by Alexey Brodovitch with poster examples by A. M. Cassandre, Lester Beall, Xanti Schawinsky, Milton Ackoff, Fortunato Amato, H. Feibusch and the elevation drawing for the exhibition in Franklin Hall by Alexey Brodovitch with lighting motif by Isamu Noguchi.
  • Apartments: Landfair Dwellings, Westwood Ca: Richard Neutra & Peter Pfisterer; Apartment House For Dr. Spencer Stoker, Denton, TX: Preston M. Geren; Apartment House For Frank F. Fisher, Chicago, Il: A. N. Rebori, Edgar Miller, Artist: 4 Pages With 9 Photographs And Floor Plans; Apartment Houses In Pasadena, Ca: Scott Quintin; Apartment House At Hartsdale, NY: H. I. Feldman; Apartment House At 50 East 78th St., New York City: Boak & Paris; Apartment Houses At Bay Ridge, Brooklyn: Ernest Flagg; Apartment House On Grand Concourse, Bronx: Horace Ginsbern; Remodeled Apartment House At 1612 Pine Street, Philadelphia: Morris J. Rosenthal; Remodeled Apartment House On East 86th Street, New York: Walter Schneider; Remodeled Apartment Houseon Monroe Place, Brooklyn: R. F. Schirmer; Hosuing Project, Liberty Square, Miami ,Fl: Phineas E. Paist, C. Sheldon Tucker, Harold Steward, Walter De Garmo, E. L. Robertson, V. E. Virrick; Housing Projecy, Montgomery, Al: Moreland Griffith Smith; Embassy Court Apartments, Brighton: Wells Coates; Argentina Apartment House In Buenos Aires: Daniel Duggan; Apartment House In Stockholm: Sven Markelius;
  • Houses: Helen Crandall House, Oakland, Ca: Michael Goodman; House For Ward Berry, Bronxville, Ny: R. H. Scannell; House For David Walter, Arcadia, Ca: Marston & Maybury; Tourist Camp, Roanoke, VA: uncredited.
  • Columbia Broadcasting Studio: William Lescaze. 4 Pages With 9 Black And White Photographs And Floorplans.
  • Planning Techniques No. 3, Cafeterias & Luncheonettes: International Cafeteria At Rockefeller Center; Chase Cafeteria: Louis Allen Abramson; Bishops Cafeteria, Des Moines, Iowa: Proudfoot-Rawson Brooks & Borg; Coco Tree Cafe, Hollywood: Richard Neutra & Gregory Ain; Honey Dew Restaurant, Toronto: Pioso-Peterson & Associates; Linton Restaurant, Philadelphia: Israel Demchick;
  • Products & Practice:  Porcelain Enamel, etc.
  • Building Money
  • Month In Building
  • Forum Of Events: New York Worlds Fair 1939 Planning; etc.
  • Books: Art In Federal Buildings, With Murals By Edward Millman, Richard Zoellner And George Biddle.
  • Letters: Letter From R. Buckminster Fuller

“Fisher Studio Houses [1209 N. State Parkway] — also known as the Frank F. Fisher, Jr., Apartments — (1936; Andrew Rebori and Edgar Miller, architects) are one of the city's finest pre- World War II modern designs. It is an exceptional-and rare-example of Art Moderne, a style of architecture influenced by European  modernism. It was commissioned by Frank Fisher, an executive of Marshall Field & Co.

“The unique layout of the 12 units on the extremely narrow site ~ which runs perpendicular to the street -- has contributed to their desirability as residential apartments. Further distinguishing the building is its handcrafted ornamentation by prominent artist Edgar Miller.

“The Frank F. Fisher, Jr., Apartments is a four-story building containing thirteen duplex apartments arrayed in two tiers, stretching end-to-end from the street to the alley. The bottom tier of apartments is reached directly from the courtyard while the upper tier is approached via an exterior staircase and walkway. Exterior walls are white-painted common brick built around floor slabs of reinforced concrete. Glass block fills ninety percent of the building's windows with the rest enclosed by metal casements.

“The facade on North State Parkway is a handsome example of Art Moderne design. Flat with rounded corners, it is accented with large glass-block windows curved and angled to catch southern light. A series of vertical glass-block strips light the exterior stairwell and three casement windows on the fourth floor are accented with chevron-patterned stained glass. Curved brick detailing accents the building's entrance, originally protected by a decorative metal gate. In addition, courses of projecting brickwork outline the curved glass block windows and casement windows.

“Upon passing through the entrance gate, visitors enter the courtyard, landscaped with grass, shrubbery, and a small decorative pool. Immediately to the left of the entrance is an exterior spiral staircase built of steel-reinforced brick which leads to the upper tier of apartments. The courtyard facade contrasts rough-textured common brick and shiny, translucent glass block in a strongly patterned yet disciplined design that reflects the internal arrangement of spaces through its window patterns. Visually, the lower two floors and upper two floors represent discrete elements. The lower tier has doorways to adjacent apartments set side-by-side, above which are small metal casement windows filled with decorative glass.  Flanking the entrances are large, two-story-high, glass-block windows. The upper tier is similar but with certain differences. It is set back several feet to allow room for an open walkway leading from the entrance stairs, an unusual feature for Chicago apartment buildings. Rectangular brick bays containing glass-block windows project from the fourth floor, sheltering the upper tier apartment entrances while creating extra space within each apartment. These bays are supported by brick piers outlined with raised brickwork similar to that found on the street facade.

“The Fisher Apartments is generously decorated with handcrafted artwork produced by the Chicago artist Edgar Miller. His many pieces, both figurative and abstract, give the building the touch of Arts and Crafts bohemianism that sets it apart visually from neighboring buildings. Casement windows are filled with a variety of stained-glass patterns, including Art Deco chevrons, and animal-decorated ceramic tiles ornament the brick parapet between the street facade's curved glass-block walls. In addition, patterned ceramic pavers survive in the courtyard, while a carved-wood gate ornaments the entrance to the building's largest apartment, set in a rear wing originally three storys high. “— The Commission on Chicago Landmarks, August 1991

Embassy Court is an 11-storey block of luxury flats on the seafront in Brighton, part of the English city of Brighton and Hove. It has been listed at Grade II by English Heritage. Wells Coates' "extremely controversial"piece of Modernist architecture has "divided opinion across the city" since its completion in 1935, and continues to generate strong feelings among residents, architectural historians and conservationists.

The flats were originally let at high rents to wealthy residents, including Max Miller, Rex Harrison and Terence Rattigan, and features such as enclosed balconies and England's first penthouse suites made the 72-apartment, 11-storey building "one of the most desirable and sought-after addresses in Brighton and Hove". Its fortunes changed dramatically from the 1970s, though, as a succession of complex court cases set leaseholders, freeholders and landlords against each other while the building rotted. By the start of the 21st century it was an "embarrassing eyesore" which was close to being demolished, despite its listed status. Proposals to refurbish the block came to nothing until the court cases concluded in 2004 and Sir Terence Conran's architectural practice was brought in. With an investment of £5 million, raised partly by the residents, Embassy Court was overhauled: by 2006 it had been restored to its original status as a high-class residence, in contrast to its poor late-20th-century reputation.

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