Photo Record

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Object Name Transparency, Slide
Catalog Number 2012.025.028
Description This slide is labeled "Shavin House, on Missionary Ridge Chattanooga, Tenn. By Pupil of Frank Lloyd Wright" The description was hand written in black ink on top of the printed date November 1967. The photographer is unknown.
The Home is located at 334 North Crest Road Chattanooga Tennessee on top of Missionary Ridge. Seamour and Gerte Shavin purchased the panoramic lot on top of missionary ridge in the late 1940's. Seamour, a local building materials salesman and Gerte a native of New York originally wanted a local Chattanooga architect to design their home. However by the time that they were ready to start building the original architect had moved out of town.
On a whim, the couple decided to write the famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright and ask him if he could recommend a local architect. Wright wrote back that he would be glad try to design their home. In fact Wright invited to the couple to spend two nights with him in his famous home "Taliesin" near Madison Wisconsin. The couple said that was a wonderful experience and stated that Wright was completely at ease with himself and had no air of pretension.
The Shavins had inquired of Wright at a time when he was designing his Usonion homes for middle class families. Wright designed all of the plans for the home, built ins and much of furniture. Wright never actually came to the construction site or finished home but rather had his apprentice Marvin Bachman supervise construction of the home until Bachman passed away in an automobile accident in 1951. In 1952 Gloria Bachman, sister of Marvin and her husband Dr. Abraham Wilson helped the Shavins to move into their home. On the drive back to new Jersey the couple decided to have Wright design their home, Which would be the Bachman- Wilson home.
The Shavin home is the only Wright style building in Tennessee. There are many classic Wright details. The stonework, reminiscent of Fallingwater, is native Tennessee Crab Orchard sandstone. Mitered glass corners to showcase the views all around the Chattanooga area, including a wood framed corner glass door 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 and even a hidden entrance. The Shavins used Louisiana red cypress trim on both the interior and exterior of the house.
The home was added to The National Register of Historic Places in 1993. During a news interview in 2002 on the homes 50th birthday both Seamour and Gerte Shavin were living in the home. They both expressed that they do not want their home to be turned into a museum after they pass. They do not believe that is what Wright intended for his homes. Instead they hope that one of their children will reside in the home after them. Seamour Shavin passed away in 2005. As of 2012 Gerte Shavin is still living in and maintaining the Home with her Grandson Zachary Crabtree.
Date 1967
Print size 2.00" x 2.00"
Accession number 2012.025