Growing up with Rush Creek Village

    My earliest memory of hearing about Rush Creek Village was during a mushroom hunting expedition with my mother and her friend, Martha Wakefield at the early age of six. Martha was enthusiastically relating her experiences at Taliesin and the teachings of Frank Lloyd Wright. My parents were both artists and followers of organic architecture and soon, the topic of an entire community based on Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence dominated their conversations. When Martha and Richard Wakefield invested their resources into developing Rush Creek, my parents purchased a lot and began working with Ted VanFossen, the architect associated with Rush Creek, to design their home. It took over six years to realize their dream and finally move into the Tower House at the entrance to Rush Creek on South Street. It was a 5-story structure with 3 bedrooms and a studio on the ground level where my father worked as a commercial illustrator. During those years while Rush Creek was being developed, the relationship between the Turners and the Wakefields grew. Soon I was knee-deep in mud helping Dick dig footer forms for several of the homes’ foundations. Other work had my head spinning from exposure to the fumes of stain and polyurethane from long hours of finishing the many cubby-holes and the built-in mahogany and cypress furniture. The building of the Tower House was a visual affront to many of Worthington’s leaders who felt threatened by the new architecture. Rush Creek was as far from the colonial and conservative-themed community as one could imagine. Rush Creek became known as “Kook Valley” in the press and throughout the area while it was being developed. Feeling threatened with the un-conventional, bohemian life-styles of those attracted to the new development (artists, pacifists, peoples of different races and color) Worthington’s leaders quickly developed new boundaries to stop any further contagion of “kooky-styled” homes and architecture invading their community. It was a long time before the community recognized the value of Rush Creek. During my pursuit of photography studies at The Ohio State University, I focused on the community of Rush Creek as a subject for a class assignment. It was early enough in the development that I was able to capture visuals of the homes in...

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