Mark Hertzberg sends information from Taliesin-trained architect, John Ottenheimer, about a critical restoration need on the Frank Lloyd Wright Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wauwatosa, WI. Find out more after the jump...
Fund raising is now in process to assist the congregation in accomplishing needed work on the church building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1956 and completed in 1961. The critical work now required is Reconstruction of the Dome Support Band. The cost, significance, and scope of the project are such that it is beyond the means of the small community who own the building. Yet it is a building of fame and importance world wide as the perfect expression of the Byzantine tradition in modern form and a work of art which millions of people have derived inspiration and pleasure from.
The 12" diameter "windows" which are like a necklace just below the dome were originally intended to be solid glass cylinders with domed faces to look like spheres. As the cost of these was prohibitive at the time the contractor proposed blown, hollow glass units which is what were installed. At the time it was not known how long these might be good for. Consequently, a design was developed for a more permanent solution when age, weather, and natural movement of the structure would make replacement necessary. Now after 60 years the time has come. Since the supporting structure of small diameter steel rods and concrete fireproofing has also suffered from age the reconstruction involves placing heavy wall stainless steel cylinders in the 12"diameter openings. These will then become the permanent structural support for the dome itself. At the ends of this cylinder will be double glazing units, one on the exterior and one on the interior, which will have the same appearance as the original glazing units. They will also have a considerably greater insulation value.
Because of the long lead time for manufacturing of the new glazing units and the need for the work on the building to be done in the Summer, it is hoped that the estimated $650,000 required can be raised before the end of 2012. Donations can be sent to:
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church Restoration Fund [aka AGOC Fund]
c/o Greater Milwaukee Foundation
101 W. Pleasant St. - #210
Milwaukee, WI 53212
If you have a little extra this holiday season to help towards the restoration work needed on this remarkable building then please help--it'll go a long way to help ensure this church continues to 'Wow" architecture lovers long into the future.
Image via Wikipedia