Thursday, August 10, 2017

Frank Lloyd Wright: Interesting NY island goes up For Sale

This Wright designed family compound which was built on "Situated on the 11-acre Petra Island in upstate New York's Putnam County, the property, known as the Massaro house," according to a DailMail online article by Kelly McLaughlin which was posted today. It is on Lake Mahopac and is a 15-minute helicopter ride to Manhattan, thanks to it's roof helipad.

The house and island is for sale for $14.9 and is evocative of the architect's most famed creations:  Fallingwater which is located in Pennsylvania.  

This house is very curious though.  It was originally commissioned in 1950 by the owner of the island, engineer, Ahmed Chahroud.  Alas, Chahroud, could not afford the $50,000 expense to build Wright's design.   The Petra Island was eventually bought by Joe Massaro by a new owner who bought Petra for $70,000, who commenced construction of Wright's blueprints.   It took four years and Wright's house finally completed in 2007.  It is impressive.  The furniture looks to be all evocative of Wright.  It looks as though it was built in 1950 when the architect originally designed it. It remained fateful to the famed architect's design and beliefs.

When I was a kid I was obsessed with architecture.  At the time I was obsessed with Frank Lloyd Wright and I recall checking out every book from the library about the man and his designs.  I still love architecture.  It is one of my few fancies these days.  I so wish I could have become an architect but alas, I have found algebra, geometry, etc to be utterly impossible.  

This is a wonderful story.  A heart-shaped island within minutes Manhattan, with a Frank Lloyd Wright designed compound (house and two guest houses) which was not built until 2007, over a half century after the architect designed it in blue print.

That is happy news!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

R.I.P. to the legendary singer Barbara Cook.

R.I.P. Barbara Cook who had one of the most luminescent and distinct voices in the last 100 years.  And she was a master musical "storyteller".  I feel so privileged to have heard her live in concert since my twenties.  I have relished every single album she ever recorded (and they were numerous).  She covered so many to the famous composers in recent musical history.  I remember watching several television concerts (I think they were PBS--let us hope that future generation will not know and appreciate what PBS is and has done).

See the New York Times article from today:

I loved all of her portfolio.  She san all the standard Broadway composers, especially the brilliance of her voice in the 50's and 60's Broadway shows that she originated such Leonard Bernstein's Candide and The Music Man, the latter of which garnered her a Tony Award.  She struggled with alcoholism and successfully overcame it.  Gordon Cox, in obituary date 8/8/17 shared a quote from Cook:  "For some reason, it occurred to me that if I could find a way to really learn who I am and put that into my work, then there could be no real competition — because there’s only one of me.”

She did.  Following her Broadway career she became a major cabaret/concert singer star for decades. Her voice was always an amazing instrument.  Cook was a deserved recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2011.  It appears that she continued to perform until 2010.

I will always be a devotee to the genius of this artist.

One of my favorite songs that she recorded and sang in concert was Janis Ian's, "Stars".   Her rendition truly breaks my heart.  You can see a youtube video of this song by clicking here here:

What an amazing life of contribution to art and music and entertainment for decades.  What beauty she brought to the world!