People Who Live in Glass Houses – Fiction Friday

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I am Philip Johnson’s Glass House.
I was built as a sort of reply to another glass house.

Mr. J’s Glass House

When you enter, Philip Johnson would say, shut up and look.

It was built with only the bathroom area enclosed, really, who needs to see that? It seems to be the only consideration given from the viewpoint of looking in from outside.

The builder architect wanted people to come in and look out, not the other way around.

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Think about it, besides the obvious potential for putting a wall out with that thing there is the nonexistent expectation of privacy. Throwing a stone is like airing your dirty laundry. You really don’t want the world to see you at your worst behavior.

There are a lot of glass houses.

Don’t confuse me with a green house. I am a living area for humans. Notably Mr. J who had me built.

“The glass house designed by Philip Johnson has been called one of the world’s most beautiful and yet least functional homes. Johnson did not envision it as a place to live so much as a stage… and a statement. The house is often cited as a model example of theInternational Style.”

A least functional home they called me.

All the world is a stage I’ve heard but I was a am a show off piece. Visitors pay to visit, look around take guided tours but a tour isn’t encouraged to sit down, have some tea, get comfy.

Seagram Building Park Ave. New York

About the Seagram Building –
“A classic example of the Interntional Style, the Seagram Building was designed by Mies van der Rohe in collaboration with Philip Johnson. Mies believed that a skyscraper’s structure should be visible, so the architects used decorative bronze beams to accentuate the structure and to emphasize the height of the Seagram Building.
At the base of the Seagram Building is a two-story high glass-enclosed lobby.”
The Seagram building couldn’t be here today. He was designed by Miles van der Rohe and Mr. J. A very expensive sky scraper and the bottom two floors were made of glass.

It is a great study for architect students and hobbyists. You can see the bones of a building what holds it up, what holds it in. No secrets are left in a glass structure except maybe the restrooms. The last best place for privacy in a post 9 11 world. As far as I know, there are still no cameras in a rest room. If there are, I am sure you don’t want to know about it anymore than I do.

I think Johnson’s most viewed building is the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove California. It was built in 1980 and is the site of a mega church. Seen on Sundays on teleivison.

Crystal Hour of Power Building

“Located in Garden Grove, California, the Crystal Cathedral is the home base for the international Crystal Cathedral Ministries, including a congregation of over 10,000 members and the internationally televised “Hour of Power.”

Dr. Robert H. Schuller said, “When the local congregation reached 10,000 and we needed a bigger church building, I remembered how wonderful it had been at my little drive-in church (where the ministry began in 1955) where there had been no walls or ceiling-it was there I fell in love with the sky! And that’s why we built the Crystal Cathedral with walls and a roof of glass-crystal-clear glass that lets the sun and sky sparkle through our wonderful sanctuary.””
On September 14, 1980, in Garden Grove, Calif., Dr. Robert Schuller dedicated the Crystal Cathedral “To the Glory of Man for the Greater Glory of God.”
It was the crowning achievement of Mr. J’s career. And it couldn’t be here today. It is just to difficult to move it around or cause it to appear.

I am the representative of glass houses.

I suppose you shouldn’t throw stones into me either. There is a certain frailty to being made of glass. Glass is a liquid. Did you know that? If I were not eventually taken down by a hail storm or earth quake I would puddle down succumbing to gravity and my atomic structure.

A liquid can change its form and structure but not its space. Or some crazy thing like that.

We break we can be recycled, when break, we melt. I do not think we vaporize. I am really sure I am not a gas. Some day if I am here long enough I will puddle.

If tours were shut down and a family was allowed to live inside me I imagine they would know the feeling of living in a fish bowl.

They would know what a pet store finch feels like in its glass container.

I suppose I make a statement of some sort, not just the warning not to throw stones.

I am called one of the most least functional homes anywhere. I suppose I am a reflection of an everyday family then, dysfunctional and all. I never thought about that before now.

While I might not be all the efficient I do offer an ever changing view from my walls. I can be incredibly warm and horribly drafty. Aren’t people the same?

People who live in glass houses.

*Photos were taken from promotional sites online and information was found online, too…

Philip Johnson’s Glass House

By Sally

Sally Franklin Christie Blogger and Author of If I Should Die and Milk Carton People.