|Fuermann & Sons photo of pier cluster "B," 1907.|
Work on the many built-in bookcases that occupy the pier clusters in the Martin House - those groups of four brick piers that Frank Lloyd Wright designed to support the structure and define the "tartan grid" of the plan - continues apace. Steve Oubre, master cabinetmaker for the Martin House Restoration Corporation, is the craftsman-in-residence at the house, working on completing built-in cabinetry in pier clusters B, D, E and F. The installation of Oubre's reproduction cabinetry requires precision, sensitivity to the historic context, and not a little patience. Fortunately, Steve has all these qualities to spare.
Whereas all indications are that the pier cluster storage held the Martins' extensive collection of books a century ago, today, some of them incorporate communications and security equipment, audio-visual equipment (including two flat-screen monitors for interpretive video programs) and storage for collections-related supplies such as the piano cover. When complete, a few strategic locations will be shown with books on display, to demonstrate the original function of the units and restore the bookish ambiance of the house, circa 1907.
|Mr. Oubre, demonstrating some of his handiwork.|