The Florida Room

florida Room Map

This is the Florida Room, notable for four fairly large windows. This was an "add-on" to the basic Lewis house "kit" as shown in the catalogue page below. The original owners ordered two "Sleeping Porch" options (#102 in the Catalogue): the East version had a three window room on the second story with a pantry/porch on the first; the West version had two three window bays on the first and second floors. The first floor bay is the Florida Room.

Lewis Catalogue Add-on options    Catalogue extras applied to the South wall

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Detailed information on individual items is available through Hyperlinks

We'll start at the North Wall (top of the diagram above) and work around the room counterclockwise (West, South, East...)

The North Wall

Florida Room North Wall    Florida Room North Wall

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The North Wall is largely a doorway to the Dining Room; a pair of French Doors separates the two rooms. The doors may be seen below in a fragment of the 1922 Lewis Catalogue.

Lewis Catalogue page with French Doors

The French Doors from the 1922 Lewis Catalogue

Only one part of this wall is big enough to hold artwork. Since I spend a lot of time in the Florida Room, some of my very favorite objects are there. On the North wall are two original cartoon panels from the Blondie comic strip. The top strip is from November 10, 1980. The plot of the strip is that Dagwood is playing pool and his pack of dogs yap at him, telling him that it is time for dinner. At the time, I had a pool table and four West Highland White terriers (see the North Wall of the Bedroom). One day in mid December, the dogs came downstairs and interrupted a pool game because it was their dinner time. I wrote to the author telling him of the events and he sent me the strip. Thank you, Dean Young!

Blondie Original Cartoon Art 11-10-1980

Blondie Original Cartoon Art 10-13-1980

Original Cartoon Art by Dean Young and Jim Raymond

The second Blondie strip is from just about a year later (October 13, 1981). This was the last strip that Jim Raymond drew, and I am very partial to his depiction of cats. In this strip, Daisy and her pups are set upon by a gang of tough cats. I obtained this at a silent auction for the Washington Opera.

The third object is a framed drawing by Robert Crumb. I met Mr. Crumb in Cleveland in the early 1960s at a bizarre restaurant called "The Crystal" which was a room illuminated by hundreds of bare incandescent light bulbs. When he wasn't in the Crystal, he worked for the American Greeting Card company. At the time, he was not the mega-famous underground artist that he is today -- he was just another guy to talk to over coffee. I was teaching a summer course at Case-Western at the time; the subject matter was contingency planning. Crumb took an interest in the study of worst case scenarios, and he drew a "portrait" of me as Chicken Little in a tweed sportcoat, carrying a load of heavy tomes while indicating that the Sky is falling... I am honored to have even this little scrap by the eminent Mr. Crumb.

On the floor is a Fresh'nd Aire Circulator, more commonly known as a "Hassock Fan." There is also an Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman that is quite comfortable for reading or watching television.

Model of the Burlington Zephyr

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A model of the famous Burlington Zephyr streamlined train from the 1930s is displayed above the North Doorway.

The West Wall

florida Room West Wall

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The West wall is home to the thoroughly non-vintage flat-screen TV (although I use it mainly for the cable Swing Music station). Apart from this, there are a number of autographed band pictures, including the original Too Much Fun (Bill Kirchen, Jeff Sarli and Dave Elliott), The Grandsons back when they were known as "The Grandsons of the Pioneers", the Fleabops including the lovely Wendy LeBeau, the original J Street Jumpers with Marianna Previti, the 1995 Rockin' Bones with Robby Limone, the Tom Cunningham Orchestra and our new fave, Blair Carman.

Robert Crumb Drawing of Prof. Chicken Little    Cy Hungerford Cartoon

(left) Robert Crumb Sketch (right) Cy Hungerford Editorial Cartoon
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There is another piece of original cartoon art by Cy Hungerford, the Peditorial cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Press from 1927 to 1977. The subject of the cartoon is "Picturesque Norway" in which Uncle Sam is holding postcards from the British and the Germans, each claiming to be winning the Norwegian Campaign (April 9 - June 10, 1940). The cartoon has a decidedly isolationist point of view in that Uncle Sam is mildly amused by the conflicting claims that appear to be nothing but propaganda. In fact, British and French forces endured an embarassing defeat.

The bookshelf holds a number of interesting items, including The Ingraham Ace Horseshoe Clock, our Geiger Counter, a 1920s era Robbins-Myers Fan, an unusual Flamingo Fillament Lamp, a Thonet Bentwood Rocker, and a souvenir pillow from Fort Ord. Our three-ring binders for the Erector Set Manuals are stored under the TV.

The South Wall

florida Room South Wall

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The South "Wall" is basically three large windows. Some of our favorite toys are located on the top shelf of the bookcase below the windows, including: a menu and other artifacts from the Stork Club, a number of J. Chein Pressed Metal Toys such as a crank organ, a speedboat, a walking penguin, an acrobat, a rattle, and the Aquaplane. There are also toy versions of Ironing Machines and a scale model of a 1941 Plymouth, one of the ancestors of our PT Cruiser. The bookshelf holds our collection of Mr. Moto and Charlie Chan DVDs.

The East Wall

Florida Room East Wall    Florida Room East Wall Detail

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The East wall is our tribute to designer Raymond Loewy. A large glass case displays "O" Scale models of Mr. Loewy's four streamlined locomotives: the GG-1, The K-4, The T-1 and the S-1. In addition to the models, the design patents for each of the locomotives are also displayed along with some photos of Mr. Loewy and ads for the Pennsylvania Railroad. The small table next to the Eames chair holds: the Fada Model 1000 Radio, the Rosemthal Cigarette Lighter, and the Signal Corps TP6A Telephone.

Art Deco Scratchboard

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This unusual (and unsigned, save for the initials "W.T.B.") collection of four scratchboard drawings conveys the Art Deco spirit quite well, and is perfect company for Mr. Loewy's artifacts.

This completes the Florida Room. Where would you like to go next?

The First Floor

Go to the Living Room Go to the Hall
Go to the Dining Room Go to the Kitchen
Florida Room you are here Go to the Breakfast Room

The Second Floor

Go to the Master Bedroom
Go to the Guest bedroom Go to the Hallway
Go to the Library The Bathroom is not on the tour...
Go to the Office

The Basement

Go to the Basement Storage Area
Go to the Dance Studio Area
Go to the Shop

If you don't like clicking on pictures:

You are in the Florida Room:

OK -- Go someplace else

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