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Seamour & Gerte Shavin Residence, Chattanooga, TN (1950 - S.339)
   
On a trip from Atlanta to Seattle with my daughter, we had a few short minutes to stop and see the Seamour and Gerte Shavin Residence.  It is just a few minutes off the interstate in Chattanooga, and is the only work in Tennessee.  It was designed in 1950 on a four foot grid, and completed in 1952, this Wright residence is truly a work of art.  Marvin Bachman, an apprentice of Wright, supervised the construction until his death in an automobile accident.  There are many classic Wright details.  The stonework, reminiscent of Fallingwater, is native Tennessee Crab Orchard sandstone.  Mitered glass corners.  A wood framed corner glass doors that opens outward.  A stunning example of a   12 x 16 x 16 foot cantilevered roof over the carport that is similar to the Goetsch-Winkler home.  There are double clerestory windows with cut-wood light screens.  A hidden entrance.  The Shavins used native red cypress trim on both the interior and exterior of the house.  I did not have the opportunity to view the interior of the home, but like many of Wright’s homes, he designed the furniture and many of the built-ins.  There is a beautiful example of a music stand, dining room table and chairs, and winged back chairs, and of course, a large centrally located stone fireplace.  Although Seamour Shavin passed away in March of 2005, his wife Gerte still resides in the home.  June 2008.
 
Original drawing of the Shavin Residence. Courtesy of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
 
Detail from original drawing.
 
 
 
  FLOOR PLAN    SHAVIN 1952    EXTERIOR 2008    INTERIOR 2004    BIBLIOGRAPHY    STUDIES    ADDITIONAL ITEMS 
 
 
FLOOR PLAN
 
Floor plan copyright 1993, “The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion”  Storrer, William Allin, page 360.
 
 
 
SHAVIN RESIDENCE (CIRCA 1952)
 
Seamour and Gerte Shavin Residence, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Circa 1952 (1950 - S.339). Viewed from Southeast, the Master Bedroom is on the left, additional bedrooms and bath in the center, and the Living Room on the right. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1950, constructed of native Tennessee Crab Orchard sandstone and completed in 1952. There are many classic Wright details. Mitered glass corners, a wood framed corner glass doors that opens outward. A stunning example of a 12 x 16 x 16 foot cantilevered roof over the carport that is similar to the Goetsch-Winkler home. There are double clerestory windows with cut-wood light screens. A hidden entrance. The Shavins used native red cypress trim on both the interior and exterior of the house. Marvin Bachman, an apprentice of Wright, supervised the construction until his death in an automobile accident. (S#0910.53.0420)
 
 
 
Exterior Photographs By Douglas Steiner, June 2008
 
There are many classic Wright details.  The stonework, reminiscent of Fallingwater, is native Tennessee Crab Orchard sandstone.  Mitered glass corners.  A wood framed corner glass doors that opens outward.  A stunning example of a 12 x 16 x 16   foot cantilevered roof over the carport that is similar to the Goetsch-Winkler home.  There are double clerestory windows with cut-wood light screens.  A hidden entrance.  The Shavins used native red cypress trim on both the interior and exterior of the house.
     
1: View looking up at the home from North Crest Road. The living room is on the left.
 

2: View from the South East, of the corner Master bedroom.
 
3: Master bath is on the left, Master bedroom on the South East corner.
 
4: Entry for the lower level workshop, below the mater bath.
 

5: Detail of the wood framed corner glass doors that open outward.
 

6: Detail of the cantilevered roof extending over the Master bath cut-wood light screen windows.
 

7: Detail of Master bedroom exterior with mitered glass corner.
 

8: Exterior view of the Nursery, Bath, Children’s bedroom and living room.
 

9: Approaching the home from the street.
 

10: Exterior view of the Gallery (hallway) serving the bedroom wing. The cut-wood light screen windows provide light and privacy.
 

11: The cantilevered roof extends over the Master bath cut-wood light screen windows, providing light and privacy.
 

12: Detail of the cut-wood light screen windows. Glass is sandwiched between two pieces of wood. Although these were used in many homes, this design seems to be unique to the Shavin Residence.
 

13: Double clerestory windows with cut-wood light screens provide light to the Gallery and interior rooms.
 

14: Stunning 12 x 16 x 16 foot cantilevered roof over the carport.
 

15: Detail of cantilevered roof.
 

16: Customary hidden doorway. Living room is straight ahead, Work space is just to the left behind the three exterior window.
 

17: The planter, which is seen to the left was originally a fountain and wading pool, which extended past the Work space corner to the Dining room on the far left. “FLW Companion” Storrer, page 360 shows fountain functioning shortly after the home was completed.
 

18: The “Fountain” is in the the foreground. The raised Terrace, the Dining room, the Workroom, the Entrance (left to right).
 
 

 

Interior Photographs By James on the Elk River, March 2004
 
I did not have the opportunity to view the interior of the residence. There are many classic Wright details. The stonework, reminiscent of Fallingwater, is native Tennessee Crab Orchard sandstone.  Mitered glass corners. A wood framed corner glass doors that opens outward. There are double clerestory windows with cut-wood light screens.  The Shavins used native red cypress trim on both the interior and exterior of the house. Like many   of Wright’s homes, he designed the furniture and many of the built-ins. There is a beautiful example of a music stand, dining room table and chairs, winged back chairs, and of course, a large centrally located stone fireplace. The interior photographs are courtesy James on the Elk River, www.waymarking.com 2004.  Images taken March 29, 2004.
     

AN AFTERNOON WITH AN ORIGINAL OWNER
By James on the Elk River

Life now offers very few opportunities to meet the original owners of a Frank Lloyd Wright home. This afternoon I had that very circumstance of good fortune!

A fan of Frank Lloyd Wright art/design, and inspired by a sidebar about the Shavin House in an insert in the Chattanooga Times Free Press this weekend, I set out to find the house on Missionary Ridge today. For address purposes, the Shavin House 'fronts' North Crest Road on the western brow of Missionary Ridge, but it sits above and is barely visible from the road. The Wrightesque characteristics of the building are much more evident from Crest Terrace Drive, 'behind' the house on the eastern brow of the Ridge.

Mr. Shavin was occupied with a neighborhood yardman when I arrived, but very soon he most graciously suffered my request to spend some time photographing the ouside of the home and grounds. A keen octagenarian and 50+ year resident of a Wright building, he has likely met his share of FLW trade-dress wearing (my 'Four Organic Commandments' shirt), camera-toting, Wright disciples knocking on his door!

So, I spent the better part of an hour strolling around the yard, taking in the essence of Wright's design here on the Ridge, and enjoying the view of the City of Chattanooga below, and the Tennessee River and Lookout Mountain to the west, and the Tennessee River and Walden's Ridge to the north.

I spoke with Mr. Shavin briefly only a couple of times, and offered my hand and my thanks for the opportunity to visit his one-of-a-kind historic home. As for telling the story of the Shavin House, John Shearer authored an excellent article about the Shavin's and their home, "Frank Lloyd Wright House On Ridge Turns 50", on December 17, 2002, in the Chattanoogan.com.

James on the Elk River
Southern Middle Tennessee

Footnote...
I visited with Mr. Shavin and photographed his home on Monday afternoon, March 29, 2004.

 
1: Living room including mitered glass corners, the Wright designed Music Stand and native red cypress trim.
 

2: Living room Built-ins, red concrete floor with four foot grids, and the large centrally located stone fireplace.
 
3: Large living room fireplace, with the dining room and the background.
 
4: Built-in seating, with the butterfly chairs in the background.
 

5: The Wright designed Music Stand is very similar to the music stand designed for the Zimmerman Residence, 1950 (S.333).
 

6: Wright designed Dining Room table and chairs. The chairs are similar to the chairs in the Miller Residence 1946 (S.289), Mossberg Residence 1948 (S.302), Harper Residence 1950 (S.329).
 

7: The row of clerestory windows with cut-wood light screens provide light to the Gallery as well as privacy. Built-ins are seen on the left. The red concrete floor shows the four foot grid system.
 

8: Detail of the cut-wood light screen windows. Glass is sandwiched between two pieces of wood. Although these were used in many homes, this design seems to be unique to the Shavin Residence.
 
9: This march 29, 2004 image shows the originally designed fountain and wading pool as a pond.
 
 
 
BIBLIOGRAPHY
 
"Frank Lloyd Wright Monograph 1942-1950", Text: Pfeiffer, Bruce Brooks;
Edited and Photographed: Futagawa, Yukio, 1990, page 301-303.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion”, Storrer, William Allin, 1993, page 360.
"Frank Lloyd Wright and the Meaning of Material" Patterson, 1994, page 63, 80.
"Frank Lloyd Wright - A Visual Encyclopedia" Thomson, 1999, page 280-281.
"Frank Lloyd Wright - A Visual Encyclopedia" Thomson, 1999, page 294.
"The Vision of Frank Lloyd Wright" Heinz, 2000, page 234.
"Essential Frank Lloyd Wright" Knight, 2001, page 198-199.
"Frank Lloyd Wright American Master", Weintraub; Smith, 2009, pages 282-283.
"Frank Lloyd Wright, Complete Works 1943-1959", Pfeiffer; Gossel, 2009, page 253.
 
 
 
Additional Wright Studies
 
SEE ADDITIONAL WRIGHT STUDIES
 
Frank Lloyd Wright's First Published Article (1898)
 
Photographic Chronology of Frank Lloyd Wright Portraits
 
 
"Frank Lloyd Wright's Nakoma Clubhouse & Sculptures."
A comprehensive study of Wright’s Nakoma Clubhouse
and the Nakoma and Nakomis Sculptures. Now Available.
Limited Edition.
More information.
 
 
Text copyright Douglas M. Steiner, Copyright 2014, 2020.
   
   
   
Shavin Residence, Chattanooga, TN (1950 - S.339)
   
Date: Circa 1952

Title: Seamour and Gerte Shavin Residence, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Circa 1952 (1950 - S.339).

Description: Viewed from Southeast, the Master Bedroom is on the left, additional bedrooms and bath in the center, and the Living Room on the right. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1950, constructed of native Tennessee Crab Orchard sandstone and completed in 1952. There are many classic Wright details. Mitered glass corners, a wood framed corner glass doors that opens outward. A stunning example of a 12 x 16 x 16 foot cantilevered roof over the carport that is similar to the Goetsch-Winkler home. There are double clerestory windows with cut-wood light screens. A hidden entrance. The Shavins used native red cypress trim on both the interior and exterior of the house. Marvin Bachman, an apprentice of Wright, supervised the construction until his death in an automobile accident. Hand written on verso: "1658." Photographed by Wayne Andrews. Acquired from the archives of the University of Minnesota.

Size: Original 10 x 8 B&W photograph.

S#: 0
910.53.0420
   
Date: 2008

Title: Seamour and Gerte Shavin Residence, Chattanooga, Tennessee, 2008 (1950 - S.339)

Description: Set of 18 photographs of the Seamour and Gerte Shavin Residence. On a trip from Atlanta to Seattle with my daughter, we had a few short minutes to stop and see the Seamour and Gerte Shavin Residence. It is just a few minutes off the interstate in Chattanooga, and is the only work in Tennessee. It was designed in 1950 on a four foot grid, and completed in 1952, this Wright residence is truly a work of art. Marvin Bachman, an apprentice of Wright, supervised the construction until his death in an automobile accident. There are many classic Wright details. The stonework, reminiscent of Fallingwater, is native Tennessee Crab Orchard sandstone. Mitered glass... Continue...

Size: Set of 18 high res 8 x 10 digital images.

ST#:
2008.45.0608 (1-18)
   

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