My 2 hours are up. I've been saying things like: "This is the Fred B. Jones Gatehouse, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1901 for Fred B. Jones, who was in the business of making brass fittings for Pullman cars. Fred B. Jones, a bachelor, loved to give big parties, and this house was for the caretaker, but also for the overflow of party guests."
I'm taking a moment, resting by the stonework walls, thinking about whether I'd been too critical of the owners who replaced two windows with a set of double doors onto the terrace and whether I'd been too law professor-y questioning people about whether Frank Lloyd Wright would approve of the way the new owners have set the dining table at an angle and painted a Robert Frost quote above the fireplace like that:
ADDED: I was at the Gatehouse, which is about 1200 square feet. But Fred himself stayed in this beautiful house (when he came to Delavan on vacation).
It's quite magnificent inside, but I wasn't allowed to take pictures. I'll just show you the door:
Wide, no? Mr. Jones was a very fat man. He gave great parties, back in the early 1900s. What kind of parties? Who were the guests? He was a "bachelor"? I ask the docent at the main house whether Jones was gay. He says they didn't talk about it that way back then, so we don't know. I said but this is the way we talk about it now. If they say someone in the past was a "bachelor," what we say now is: Was he gay? I was trying to get the answer because I was about to start my docenting, and I figured if I say he was a bachelor, people are going to ask me if he was gay. But it turns out, no one does.
Don't you love the stonework?
That's from the Boathouse. Destroyed by arson in 1979, but rebuilt according to Wright's plan:
Everyone was saying, I want to live out here:
It's all open air, and it must get awfully cold in the winter. But the feeling of the place was so beautiful, that you still wanted to commit to living here, under this roof, with no walls, reveling in the breeze from Lake Delavan.