Mini City

3D model of 148 Huntington Hills South

Our neighbor has a 3D printer and the skills and patience to do an architectural drawing of his house in a CAD-like program. He fed the drawing to his printer and created this train set scale model of his Don Hershey home. He has printed a number of accessories from public domain files as well like a to-scale model of his dog. I’m wondering how we fit into his Mini City.

You’d think we’d be excited by the foot of snow we got last night but we need cold temperatures on the side. This stuff is so heavy and sticky it is good for only one thing. Snowmen. We trudged through the woods and up to the park. There were so many branches hanging low, laden with snow, and small trees bent over under the weight that we could hardly find the trail. There is something exhilarating about being disoriented. We wound up off trail about half the time and the woods was all new.

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My Three Daughters

Paintings of three sisters in Don Hershey House
Paintings of three sisters in Don Hershey House

As webmaster for Peggi fielded a few requests from relatives of an original owner of one of Don Hershey’s mid-century marvels, requests to alter comments that the previous had sent along. Her grandmother’s house wasn’t “pink/orange” as her aunt, who grew up in the house and is pictured on the right above, described it so it is now labeled as coral. The house is on the market and we were invited to an open house house last night and learned that there are four Hersheys in a row on Hickory Ridge.

I fell in love with these paintings, ones an anonymous Guatemalan artist did of the woman’s three girls.


Open Plans

Clarence and Dottie building their Don Hershey designed house in 1947
Clarence and Dottie building their Don Hershey designed house in 1947

Clarence Maier, who died last year at 100, gave us a few photos of our house being built. It was in the late forties and he did most of the work himself, cutting down oak trees on our lot and having them milled and kiln-dried for the pegged floors. His wife Dottie not only helped, as you can see above, but she also suggested that architect, Don Hershey, put a vaulted ceiling in living room because she had seen some pictures of one in a magazine. According to an article on the Don Hershey website Don always insisted on talking with both husband and wife. “Women usually have the best ideas,” he said. “I always said, let me design this house for both of you. After all, the woman is the commander of the house.”

Legend has it Don would show up on your site and start sketching. House should sit here and face that way with a big window here etc. Historic Brighton, a local history club, is featuring Hershey tomorrow in their “Masters of Mid-Century Design” presentation. We plan to be there along with other fellow Don Hershey owners. In fact we met with a couple today who just bought one off Panarama Trail in Penfield. Their’s was built in the mid sixties and they have furnished it accordingly with turquoise and cork and Saarinen tulip chairs and Trent Reznor’s keyboard stand from NIN. Their design sense makes ours look absolutely spartan but the Hershey characteristics dominate. Open plans, sunken living room, angular bump outs, corner windows, big ass overhangs and problematically flat roofs for this climate.

Jeffrey Owen Jones, a film professor at the Rochester Institute Of Technology, who was “Mr. Jones” in Dylan’s “Ballad of a Thin Man” lived in a Don Hershey until died a few years back.

The craziest thing is the fold out carpenter’s ruler shown in Clarence’s back right pocket. That is exactly where I’ve been carrying a similar ruler for the last six months or or so. He and his wife are shown constructing our bedroom. And the commander of our house has been right by my side.


Give It Up For Clarence

Jackie or Jill's wagon on floor as our house was being built
Jackie or Jill’s wagon on floor as our house was being built

Clarence Meyer stopped by to visit us and the Don Hershey house that he built in the the nineteen forties. Clarence is 97 now and this is his third visit since we have lived here. He had both of his daughters with him this time, one form Ohio and one from California. If you click on the photo above you can see the girl’s wagon in the foreground while Clarence is up on a ladder smoking a pipe as his wife hands him some nails.

It has been such a pleasure getting to know the guy who built our house, to be able to ask him questions about the construction and to hear his stories about the architect and the materials used. The war years were a tough time to be building a new house for a young family so Clarence did most of the work himself. And he didn’t cut any corners while carrying out the architect’s labor intensive, special touches. He is so delighted to see someone in the house who appreciates all his work and he’s thrilled to see the small updates we’ve done. He is an inspiration to us.

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Thank You Clarencee

Our house being built in 1948
Our house being built in 1948

Clarence Meyer came to visit this morning. He planned on coming last week but he had some sort of issue with his heart and spent the weekend in the hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Clarence rode up here with his daughter and son-in-law and they pulled into our neighbor, Leo’s, driveway. Clarence will be 97 in a few weeks and he and Leo were neighbor’s from the forties to the eighties. Clarence lived in our house. He built our house in fact.

We had me him once before but were really excited to see him. We watched as he walked up our driveway and we went out to meet him. First thing he said was,”the house looks good”. Leo must have told him that we painted it this summer because it is pretty much the same color. And then he asked, “What’s going on with this area?, as he pointed to our pile of blue stone near the front door. We explained that that was our next project.

Inside we showed him what we had done since the last time he was here and he showed us some pictures he took when he was building the house. Peggi ran in the other room and scanned them. Clarence told us he made the floors with trees from our property and he pointed to some of the trees that he planted. And he said he and his wife pushed the architect, Don Hershey, to put a cathedral ceiling in the living room. Clarence even liked my paintings. Most peope look at them and turn away. Clarenece looked at the dark Crimestopper paintings on the way and said, “I really like your work”. Clarence is our hero.

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