Not Another McMansion III
In L.A., it's desirable to own a Paul Williams-designed home. (Many of his houses could be described as mansions but not "McMansions," and he designed quite a variety of styles and sizes. Above is the pool at the Jay Paley residence.) Similarly in Atlanta, houses designed by Lewis "Buck" Crook are coveted.
During the 1920s and 30s, when there was a boom in new construction coupled with a real zeal for classicism, (Georgian revival, Greek revival, colonial-inspired) Lewis Crook designed houses that set the tone for Atlanta's leafy neighborhoods. Certainly many of his columned residences were grand, but he also built modestly scaled homes. Sadly the latter seem to be out of favor at the moment, based upon the 21st construction I see, so I wanted to share some Crook houses that are not on the usual tourist routes.
These homes can be found in Morningside-Lenox Park and in Ansley Park. The images are from a site put together in the 1990s by Crook's grandson and details are available there too.
Here's what Crook wrote about taste and scale in the forward to Southern Architecture Illustrated, circa 1931:
" Good taste in home building as a result of fine architecture does not necessarily mean that the house must be large or expensive in order to possess all the qualities which the layman associates with examples of outstanding architecture. The simplest cottage may be in much better taste than a house two or three times its size and cost, depending upon the ability of the designer.
To create a house of distinction and individuality does require a sense of proportion, a sense of fitness to its surroundings and a regard for precedent. The average home builder thinks in terms of size while the capable designer thinks in terms of beauty and economy which come from the right proportion of masses and scale of details that make for architectural perfection."
One Crook house that is most definitely on the tourist circuit is of course the "Driving Miss Daisy" residence in Druid Hills. Crook also made his mark on the campuses of Emory, Agnes Scott, and, according to his grandson, Morris Brown. (I lived for a year in a Crook-designed dorm.) He is also responsible for Druid Hills High School.
Earlier this summer Millie wrote about another well-known job on which Crook worked, the Crum & Foster.
[Yes, I had to sneak in an image of a pool this week. The Williams images at top are from the California architect's granddaughter's book, Paul R. Williams, Architect: A Legacy of Style.]