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I had contacted the AIA president (who I met on the walking tour) about meeting William Morgan. She said she’d have him call our architect, and the following week Patricia got a call from Mrs. Morgan to schedule a meeting for the next day. Despite the short notice we all dropped what we had planned – Patricia, an architect colleague of Patricia’s, Jorge and I. Richard had to work. Jorge brought the William Morgan book he’d purchased for us as a gift, hoping to get it signed.

We met at Mr. Morgan’s house at the beach, next door to his famous Dune House (which is on the market for anyone who’s interested). We spent what was for me a surreal hour talking about his material choices reflecting native northeast Florida materials (coquina, cypress, yellow pine), his thoughts on the pinwheeling design, the ceiling acoustics, the connected spaces. When asked what he did in response to the cypress siding shrinking and pulling out of its tongue and groove joints he answered “drank heavily.”

I got a bit schoolgirl-ish and gushed that as a math minor I loved the symmetry and repetition throughout the design of the number 4. He jumped seamlessly from building materials into an explanation of the golden rectangle, the Fibonacci series, nautilus shells, and Le Corbusier’s continuous museum.

He explained that he positioned the home to take advantage of the views, which I hadn’t thought about because the vegetation has grown in areas and screened the view. Patricia showed him the photos that Tony had taken, and he suggested removing plantings along the base of the house to showcase the horizontal versus vertical planes that you see when viewing the home.

After the meeting our little group stood outside Mr. Morgan’s home talking about how people live in spaces and how those spaces affect our lives. Can’t help but think beyond the house to the lives we want to live. Oh yeah, and Mr. Morgan signed the book for Richard and me. Jeez we really, really might have to buy it.

Richard and I agreed we needed a good realtor to guide us through even thinking about this. I asked around and our architect Patricia McQuaid suggested Bahman Nakhai. Her quote was that “he has always been very sensitive to our needs.” In our first conversation I told him about this crazy house we can’t afford that will require years of our lives and is the wrong location and yet has excited Richard and me more than any other place…probably sounded a bit hysterical and scattered now that I think about it. But even as I spoke with him I began to relax and consider the whole daunting thing calmly. And it wasn’t because he said it would be easy. He had seen the house and the first question he asked me was whether my marriage could survive a house like this. What an insightful question! But I think I calmed in part because of the soothing, thoughtful way he always expresses himself, even when he is hot about something. He is patient and is always, always thinking. In that first long phone call we discussed the house generally and in detail, without once pushing me to include him. How lucky! We found another member of our team.