The Meier House contains a total of 38 windows, most of which still open and close, although some need a little encouragement from a rubber mallet. We can attribute the excellent condition of these 100-year-old wooden casement windows to the dedicated restoration efforts of Becky and Peter Olafsen. For our part, we have diligently been carrying on the care of the windows by tending to them each spring and fall. We oil the hinges and window stays, and carefully clean the glass twice each season.
Although inner “storm” windows and screens were not specified in the original plans for our Model M202 American System-Built Home, not long ago we discovered a few original interior screens in the attic of the new garage. We’ve seen a few variations on such screens in other ASBHs we have visited, although we have been unable to conclude whether a variety of screens was made available depending upon the model of ASBH a homeowner purchased, or if weatherproofing was left to individual owners to determine. Apart from the sun porch windows, newer protective inner glass windows are installed with each of the Meier House’s outer windows, along with a large selection of interior screens with numbered tags or handwritten notations indicating their placement throughout the house. We have not been able to verify which owner built these inner inserts, but given Delbert Meier’s penchant for woodworking, there is a strong possibility that he added some or all of the interior windows himself. In stripping paint from these windows, however, we have discovered that some storm windows and screens are newer than others, leading us to believe that some were rebuilt or replaced by succeeding owners as time and weather deteriorated the originals.
This post is an excerpt from our forthcoming book, This American House: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Meier House and the American System-Built Homes, coming from Pomegranate Communications July 2021.
Ah, the joys of shopping at Goodwill. One day back in April I came across five unopened packages of white queen size sheets. Each package had been dated – in old lady handwriting, no less! – starting in 1973 and ending in 1980. These poor sheets have been suffocating inside their plastic wrapping all those years. Don’t worry, 40-year-old virgin sheets. I’ll find a use for you!
I was having one of those mostly unsuccessful trips to the antique mall so I started digging deeper. You know, crouching down and looking behind things and really searching for a good find. I was NOT going to leave empty handed dammit! And then there it was, a vintage Ekco vegetable peeler still attached to its original packaging. Take me home and use me, it seemed to say to me. Don’t mind if i do!
It wasn’t until we were hosting a dinner party and had planned on serving a dessert with whipped cream that I realized I was lacking a mixer at the Dream House. Back at the city apartment I have The Mister’s mother’s old Sunbeam stand mixer but here at the house I’m mixer-less. I added a mixer to my list of things to try to find while thrifting and within a week I found this vintage Dormey mixer.
Rounding the corner in the tiny little bathroom in the basement, I literally squealed in glee the first first time I saw the shower. As I explained to anyone who would listen in the lead-up to closing on the house, I imagine Rita Hayworth behind the swinging doors in the all-metal shower insert, her red hair lathered up and a look of shock on her face. I don’t know why the shower conjures images of Ms. Hayworth other than the fact that it has a certain post-WWII charm to it. And, actually, I’m not far off in dating the shower as a late-1940’s design.