I just finished Learning from Las Vegas. The trip from Clip Stamp Fold to Ed Ruscha's Los Angeles to Learning from Las Vegas has been an amazing journey and a real education. Reading Brown and Venturi's book I was surprised to learn about the Lieb House, a summer vacation home they designed and built on Long Beach Island, New Jersey. I spent quite a bit of time there in the summers during college and later on a few New Year's Eves at the vacation home of one of my friend's parents. I never knew the Lieb House was there. I would have been quite a treat to see it.
To late now as the house is no longer there. In 2009 it was threatened with destruction and eventually moved on a boat up to New York State. I talked to my friend tonight and asked him about the house. He did not know about it, but looking at a picture of it he commented, "It sure is ugly." Exactly!! And a real triumph.
I absolutely love the huge "9" which seem to me just perfect. Venturi has commented that such touches were just not done on important architecture and were a radical gesture. I immediately thought of the art of, not Ed Ruscha as one might expect, but instead that of Jasper Johns and Robert Indiana. It is touches like this that make Brown and Venturi's "ugly and ordinary" sheds pop before one's eyes and so monumental.