July 24, 2006
By Joyce McBride
Show Low Historical Museum
Joyce McBride I also see in my notes that you did something for the Frank Lloyd Wright?
Joe Woolford: That was, I did that when I was working for Nelson Holland.
JM: Nelson Holland? It was
JW: I wrote the hardware. See, that was part of my job. I'd write the hardware specifications for the architects. That was mostly my field.
JM: And you worked for him on, what was the name of that place? Gammage
JW: Gammage Auditorium
JM: The auditorium there in Tempe huh?
JW: I did all the hardware on it.
JM: So, did you actually meet Mr. Wright?
JW: I met him one time, and the rest of the time I was one of his students.
JM: Oh, I see. That must have been very inspiring!
JW: It was quite a deal. I only saw him twice all the time I was there. There and, oh, I take it back. I did one other time, I saw him. He gave a talk and I went. I was invited to go to it. And he was talking about people that had made an impression on different areas around the world that he had a record of. And the one he mentioned in that was Brigham Young from Salt Lake City. And of course, his notoriety was the fact that he had knowledge enough to make the streets wide.
JM: Yes! That is true. That is true.
JW: And that's what he, when he laid that out.
JM: That would definitely impress an architect because that is one of the biggest problems in cities is the streets get too small for adding lanes or bicycle paths or whatever. You look at Mesa and Snowflake. They have wide streets. What was the deal? They said that plan was so that they could turn a horse and carriage around.
JW: A horse and carriage around in the middle of the street.
JM: Yes, that was thinking ahead.
JW: I don't know, I - the only other, when I got back here. After I got back from Kuwait, I got a call from Schlage Lock Company. And I was working for the local lumberyard down here just for something to do. And they asked me to, wanted to know if I would come to San Francisco and write the hardware specifications for a 35-story hotel in Seoul, Korea. So I said, yeah!
JM: Wow. Those Koreans had problems with doors, didn't they? I remember that.
JW: So I said yeah, I'll write it. I'll write the hardware specs for you. And I was flown over there and I was furnished me a
JM: You went to Korea to do this?
JW: No, I did it right in San Francisco. Right, in fact, I did it right in the hotel. I was staying at one of the, what was it? Oh, I can't think of what hotel it was now, but one of the bigger hotels down not too far off from the bay. And they gave me a room and I had a, right to the side of it I had another room.
JM: Oh, kind of like a suite?
JW: Yeah, and they put a big table in there and said, "Go to work!" It took me four days to write it.
JW: Well, you know it sounds like a big job for a store that big, 35-stories, but actually you get up above the mezzanine practically everything from there on is - yeah.
JM: You just multiply it by it by so many rooms. Yes. But still, it tells me that you have a lot of attention to detail, to be able to mentally know you have to have every little bit and part for each door and there are hundreds of doors, hundreds of doors.
JW: And of course, I taught a lot of that stuff too in our Society, Architectural Hardware Society. You know there is a certain way you do it. You always, like on a house, you take the outside doors first. You do all the outside. You do the same thing on a school. You do all the exterior doors, and you get those out of the way, and then you start doing your different ways.
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