APRIL 9, 2014
An unexpected trip to Missouri this week gave me the chance to see the two Frank Lloyd Wrights near St. Louis. The first is Kraus House aka The Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park. An appointment is necessary to see this house, and I made one. But as usually is the case the little bit of planning that I do is scrapped for an opportunity in the moment. I decided to return home before my appointment time, so I drove out to the Kirkwood address to photograph the exterior assuming that the property was open as part of the county’s parks based on the name. I spoke to Joanne Kohn, Chairman of the Board of the Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park, on the property to ask to visit the gift shop and to cancel my appointment for my tour. She was very sweet and offered to let me take a quick look inside. The living room was enough to make me decide a tour would be in order the next time through St. Louis. She also mentioned that Mr. Kraus was a stained glass artist. Upon my return home I located a video about the house that stated that Russell Kraus designed and built the stained glass in the house. After reading about him following the trip, I want to see an exhibit of his work and combine it with a tour of this striking house.
The other St. Louis area Frank Lloyd Wright is Pappas House. I read that the Pappas House is occupied and perhaps still by its original owner. I could tell by some of the images online that it might be difficult to see. When I arrived I found that the house is back a long gravel lane, but there was an elementary school adjacent on one side and a housing addition on the other. I parked in the school’s lot and walked the public perimeter to take photos. My policy is to never enter the privately owned properties without an invitation–not even one foot on their grass. I was intrigued by this house because I have not seen a Usonian Automatic with tinted concrete blocks and really wanted to get closer. The house was behind trees that did not yet have leaves which will completely obscure any view of it within a couple of weeks. Seeing a Wright is thrilling for me and this day presented me with mixed emotions. I had a detachable zoom lens with me and decided to used it to get these photos and a better view. Taking the pictures with the zoom lens seemed a little creepy. Looking at them here makes them seem more intrusive than any FLW private home photos I have taken in the past. I need to decide where my level of personal comfort is around using the zoom in a situation like this one and would love some opinions.
The trip was finished with a visit to the Schlafly Tap Room where I added a very nice Raspberry Hefewiezen to my Untappd list! The brewery, like most, was a really great place to hang out , taste some different beers and grab a delicious dinner before a long drive home. A visit to the Schlafly Tap Room with no drive to follow is definitely in order.