Henry Whiting II has had a life-lengthy relationship with Mid-Twentieth Century structure and design.
The son of Helen Dow Whiting and Macauley Whiting, Henry Whiting was born in a Midland hospital, attended colleges, worshiped in church buildings, interacted in civic buildings and most influentially, grew-up in a home all designed by his nice-uncle, Alden B. Dow. This immersion into the design, magnificence and the intersection of nature and construction, would have an eternal affect on Whiting.
Working via the wooded property surrounding his household home on Eastman Avenue, now referred to as Whiting Forest, Whiting was awed by the great thing about nature and the way masterfully his nice-uncle had created buildings that had been extensions of nature. “Alden influenced me in so some ways. His personal home and studio, particularly the floating convention room, is essentially the most stunning house I've ever skilled. I stay in awe of it. What younger particular person couldn't love a constructing with so many ranges, corners and angles, to not point out a theater and scale trains operating via it?” Whiting requested.
Whiting left Midland to attend highschool on the Cranbrook Academy, the place he skilled the sweetness and all-encompassing imaginative and prescient of one other nice architect, Eliel Saarinen. With a concentrate on artwork, structure, sculpture and nature, Cranbrook was an extension of his upbringing in Midland. “I initially needed to attend Cranbrook, which each of my dad and mom had attended, to be nearer to my paternal grandparents. After I first went there, it regarded so quaint to me when in comparison with Alden’s structure, however step by step I got here to understand the sweetness and natural coherence of its design. The entire campus is a bit of artwork in and of itself. The totality of Cranbrook’s magnificence would affect me and reinforce all the concepts that had been created by my uncle Alden in Midland. The truth that it's architecturally maybe essentially the most well-known highschool within the nation, and one of many epicenters of Mid-Century Trendy design, can solely be attributed to destiny or future for me.”
These mixed experiences inspired Whiting to review the connection of nature and construction collectively and took him to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to review panorama structure. In his second semester at Wisconsin, Whiting took a course within the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. With such shut proximity to Frank Lloyd Wright’s home Taliesin, in Spring Inexperienced, Wisconsin, Whiting started his in-depth research of Wright’s structure, an curiosity which was strongly inspired by his nice-uncle and enhanced by their prolonged conversations again in Midland. “Unimaginable conversations with Alden started once I was at Cranbrook and we talked about many subjects together with the Dow Gardens, architectural publication and design. As soon as I started researching Mr. Wright, our dialog would heart on the time that Alden and Vada spent as constitution members of the Taliesin Fellowship in 1933 and Wright’s work and affect.”
After college, Whiting moved to Idaho to assist with the design and development of the retirement home that his dad and mom had been constructing in Solar Valley. Nearly instantly, he found the one work by Frank Lloyd Wright in Idaho, the Archie B. Teater Studio, which he bought 5 years later and commenced the primary in a sequence of intensive renovations.
The construction is perched about 300 toes above the Snake River between the cities of Bliss and Hagerman. It's a dynamic and hovering mixture of wooden, glass, concrete and stone. The frilly one-room construction is formed like a parallelogram that follows a diamond grid sample. It's believed to be the one studio Wright designed apart from his personal.
Whiting has devoted his life to the preservation of this unbelievable construction and the appreciation of Wright’s work. His loving care of the Teater Studio, which has been his home for the final 35 years, has initiated nice friendships with many famend architects, together with Bart Prince, E. Fay Jones and John Lautner. His shared ardour for nice design with these architects, along with his shut relationship with Dow, have positioned him uniquely on the planet of Mid-Century Trendy structure.
With intensive data of each Mid-Century structure and Wright’s work, Whiting has written two books, “At Nature’s Edge: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Artist Studio” and “Teater’s Knoll: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Idaho Legacy,” together with quite a few articles in regards to the studio. Whiting lectures throughout the US on what it's prefer to stay in Mid-Century Trendy design and speaks on the importance and significance of preserving this uniquely American design motion.
Whiting is returning home to Midland to share his distinctive journey in a public lecture titled “Dwelling Mid-Century Modernism: Rising Up in Midland and Past.” The lecture is sponsored by Mid-Century Modern Midland and can be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, in The Grace A. Dow Memorial Library Auditorium and is open to the general public. Admission is free.
“Although Alden was the patriarch and chief of the neighborhood of Midland within the 1960s and 1970s, his affect was felt all through the neighborhood, it was fascinating to observe how this affect rubbed off on different people, notably architects and artists. His workplace spawned many different architects in the neighborhood, whose work was additionally stunning and appropriate together with his personal,” commented Whiting on Midland’s Mid-Century Trendy architectural heritage.
“Being away from Midland for most of my grownup life offers me perspective that many in the neighborhood may not have. I admire Midland as a singular, one in every of a form city. I usually evaluate it with Columbus, Indiana, which may be very related, and justly world-well-known for its structure. However Midland is completely different in an essential method: whereas Columbus has had many various, well-known architects from everywhere in the world working in its neighborhood, leading to an amazing number of buildings, they don't seem to be essentially appropriate or harmonious. Midland, with its 130 Alden Dow buildings and an almost equal variety of Mid-Century Trendy buildings by architects, most of whom labored in his workplace, has a concord and cohesion which is totally completely different, and to my eye, rather more interesting as a complete. This high quality is simple to take for granted when dwelling with it each day. I hope to shine mild on this uniqueness in my speak, and to pay a debt of gratitude, for my life wouldn't have been the identical with out rising up in Midland.”
For extra details about the lecture, go to the Mid-Century Trendy Midland web site at midcenturymidland.org or name (989) 839-2744.