A worrisome trend has precipitated with the advent of ebay. With the rise in popularity of Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings and decor over the decades, the separating and selling off of Wright-related items has also risen. When furniture, windows, sconces etc. are sold-off from the site they were integrally meant for, that site is diminished in a way that it may never recover from.
Why? In many ways, it is like taking a person's eyebrows or nose off their face. That person is still technically a person, but those now missing features make that face forever different from what it was meant to be.
Architectural "strip-mining" can also occur beyond the lights and windows of a Wright house. It's possible to separate the actual history from it as well. A recent example of this is occurring right now on ebay as I write this post. Letters and notes documenting the history of the Kenneth Laurent House in Rockford, IL are for sale. These items are as much an integral part of the house as windows or doors. When they are sold off to private collectors and lost to the public, then a rich part of understanding a Wright structure is lost as well.
Now, I'm as true a believer in property owner's rights as much as the next American. But when you happen to live in a building that is also a work of art and apart of our cultural heritage, it belongs to the rest of society as well. You become a steward more than a mere property owner. If letters, blueprints and drawings, which form part of the history of a Wright house, are sold away or put in danger of being destroyed or lost--we all are poorer as a result.
Mr. Laurent, if you ever read this--please reconsider selling the story of your house. If you cannot tend to it, then find a public institution that can care for it and preserve it as a whole for future generations to study and appreciate.
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