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Reconstruction of Tan-y-Deri’s prominent front porch is now underway, and by spring 2017 will stand as it existed from the late 1930’s to the early 1950’s. Welsh for “Under the Oaks,” Wright designed this peaceful home overlooking the valley of his ancestors for his sister Jane Porter and family. Wright eventually acquired Tan-y-Deri in the early 1950w’s and made it part of the Taliesin estate.
The decision was made to reconstruct the porch as it existed during the late 1930’s-early 1950’s period because the porch is such a character-defining part of the building that existed through much of the Porter’s ownership of Tan-y-Deri and is believed to have existed when Wright took ownership of the building. The determination was based on review of the Tan-y-Deri Historic Structures Report, historic images, and oral histories. Unfortunately, few historic architectural drawings exist to help with the construction details of the reconstruction, requiring the preservation team to use historic photography and details found elsewhere at Tan-y-Deri to help inform the drawings.
The preservation team has completed the removal of the stonework and the porch floor framing and has begun the investigation into the structural augmentation of the existing wood walls and piers. In the course of conducting this work, multiple design iterations of and patches to the porch have been made visible. Taliesin Preservation makes efforts to preserve that evidence, either in the building or through documentation.
Currently, the team is working on formwork to allow for the pouring of a concrete cap matching the historic cap that will serve as the foundation for the wood portion of the porch. Work will continue as long as the weather allows. The reconstruction is slated for completion by the start of winter barring weather delays.
We are grateful to Daniel Baumann for his support of this project in memory of Karen Baumann, who delighted in Taliesin and took particular delight in working in the Taliesin gardens.