Friday, October 28, 2011

Picking Up the Pieces

When it comes to the scattered bits of the Martin House Complex, it's remarkable how the smallest piece can tell a story.

Mr. Warren's artifact from the 1962 demolition
Artifacts of the 1962 demolition of the pergola, conservatory and carriage house are still coming to light, nearly half a century later.  Just this week, Robin Warren, an architect from Weedsport, NY visited the House and gave us a piece of iridescent glass in a frame of wide caming.  The rectangular piece appears to be a component of a carriage house window.  Each of the "garden variety" carriage house windows that spanned the perimeter of the second floor (three of which have been reinstalled) had ten such pieces - two rows of five rectangles across the pane.  But the plot thickened when I noticed that the piece returned by Mr. Warren is slightly more rectangular than its counterpart in a typical second floor window.  Such a size variation suggests a subtle shift in the geometry of the window as a whole.

A typical carriage house window
One possible location for such a variation would be the two high windows that flank the main doors of the carriage house on the south elevation.  These windows are barely visible in one of the Fuermann photos of the carriage house.  Two rows of seven rectangles each are discernible, but it's impossible to tell whether they're the same dimensional variation as Warren's artifact.

It's just one of those many instances when a time machine would come in handy.

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