Landmarks Illinois announced their annual list of the Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois earlier this week at a press conference in Springfield. Now in its 20th year, this statewide list calls attention to threatened historic resources in need of assistance in the form of responsible stewardship, creative reuse plans, and/or advances in public policy. The slow economic recovery, state budget crisis, and a lack of available financing continue to challenge historic sites throughout Illinois. Read more after the jump...
The Buffalo News reports that the Martin House Restoration Corp., which oversees the stewardship of Frank Lloyd Wright's D.D. Martin House in Buffalo, NY, is announcing a $1 million plan to return the landscape around the estate back to its historic origins, with planting expected to start in early 2016. Read more about it here.
Image credit: Mark Mulville/Buffalo News
An upcoming lecture that's part of the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust Community Enrichment Series focuses on the collaboration between Frank Lloyd Wright and Jens Jenson in the Ravine Bluffs community of Glencoe, IL. The lecture, featuring preservation consultant Gwen Sommers Yant, will take place 7 pm, Thursday, May 7 at Unity Temple, 875 Lake St., Oak Park, IL. Admission is $8 and free for Frank Lloyd Wright Trust members and volunteers. Get details and register here.
Image via Frank Lloyd Wright Trust
The Chicago Tribune reports that the re-building of a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed waiting station is one step closer to becoming a reality: The Glencoe Historical Society received preliminary approval from the village on the proposal and will continue to pursue private funding for its execution. Read more about it here.
Image via wrightinglencoe.org
PrairieMod reader Justin A. sends word that he has put his William Kaeser-designed Usonian home (which sits on 2.5 acres in Middleton, WI) on the market. Check out the listing and plenty of photos of this beautiful MCM gem here.
Image via Justin A.
The Standard-Times reports that John Lautner's first official commission in the Los Angeles, a modest 600-square-foot guesthouse overlooking Echo Park canyon built in 1940 has been brought back to what it once was thanks to a major restoration project. Read and see more here.
Image credit: Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/TNS
Brokensidewalk.com posted an interesting piece about how Louisville, KY once had a carbon copy of Wright's Winslow House. Wright's River Forest, IL icon was apparently the model for local architect Mason Maury's Louisville Woman's Club. Read more about it (and what happened to it) here.
Image via brokensidewalk.com
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced today that the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed John E. and Catherine E. Christian House, SAMARA, has been designated a National Historic Landmark (NHL). Fewer than 30 Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the U.S. have achieved NHL status. It is the 40th NHL in the state of Indiana. More after the jump...
Nelson B. sends a link to the news that the Bruce Goff-designed Riverside Studio (now known as the Tulsa Spotlight Theatre) in Tulsa, OK has been placed on Preservation Oklahoma's "15 Most Endangered List" and is in need of urgent rehabilitation. Read more about the history and donate to the restoration effort here.
Image via preservationok.org
Mark H. sends a link to a disturbing story in the Chicago Tribune about Republican Illinois Governor, Bruce Rauner's plan to eliminate the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. That move could significantly impact state historic sites (including the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Dana House in Springfield, IL) and would hobble a program that bring in million of dollars of tourism money and has contributed to more than $1 billion in construction spending. Read more about it here.
Image credit: Antonio Perez, Chicago Tribune
The Daily Herald reports that the Illinois Commerce Commission ruled against ComEd's proposal of running power lines and towers directly off the property line of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Muirhead farmhouse. Luckily, the Muirhead's were able to invoke covenants put in place during the sale of the land to the forest preserve that prohibit the placement of the power lines. It's a victory for preservationists and a lesson to future home and land owners to make sure their properties are protected against these types of situations. Read more about it here.
Image credit: jackidell
Frank Lloyd Wright's Stockman House in Mason City, IA will be open for regularly scheduled public tours starting May 14, 2015 through September 30, 2015 on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and on Saturdays and Sundays during October.
Tours on other days are available only by appointment, if made 3 days in advance. Tour fees and other information are available here.
While in town, don't forget to see (and make reservations to stay at) Wright’s restored Historic Park Inn Hotel. Details here.
Image via Paul Ringstrom
Mark Hertzberg reports over at Wright in Racine that the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Hardy House is undergoing another round of construction to replace failing living room and dining room windows, along with addressing other associated structural needs. Read and see more of the work underway here.
Image copyright Mark Hertzberg
Just in time to wear to the Saturday May 16, 2015 Wright Plus annual housewalk, the limited edition Wright Plus t-shirt is now available to order at the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust's online shop. Designed again this year by yours truly, this year's shirt features the iconic Coonley House exterior tile frieze design (which housewalk attendees will be lucky enough to see in person this year!)
Illustration by Eric O'Malley/via PrairieMod
SC Johnson CEO Fisk Johnson announced on Tuesday April 14, 2015, a $1 million dollar gift and regional sponsorship of the Chicago Architectural Biennial, during a press conference alongside Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Making its inaugural debut October 3, 2015 through January 3, 2016, the free, city-wide event will be the largest international gathering of contemporary architecture in North America, featuring full-scale installations, interactive projects and new technologies, allowing visitors to experience architecture in new and unexpected ways.
SC Johnson will offer Biennial visitors free shuttle service to view SC Johnson’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings on its historic Racine, WI campus as part of the event. Read more about this exciting sponsorship here.
Photo credit: Gregory Shaver
The Pleasant Home Foundation will be hosting a special "Walk & Talk with George W. Maher" with architectural historians Kathleen Cummings, Bill Hinchliff and Kris Hartzell for a tour of a Maher home in Evanston, IL and the surrounding neighborhood on Sunday, April 26 at 11:00 am. Get details here.
Image via pleasanthome.org
Chicago Magazine reports that the largest portion of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Coonley estate in Riverside, IL will hit the market this week for $2.1 million. The multi-building estate is one of the most important works of architecture in Wright's career and it would be a dream come true to see the chopped-up estate restored back to its original and whole incarnation. In the mean time, if you have not gotten tickets to see the Coonley house on this year's Wright Plus annual housewalk, then time is running out! Read the article here and get tickets to Wright Plus here.
Image courtesy of Baird & Warner
Michael Maguire posts news and links to three online publications that encapsulate the building of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Usonian faculty house at Florida Southern College. Portrait quality images, the original website's blog entries, and QR code links to all of the video are now available in the online version of the soon-to-be-released hardcover books (one volume for each of the three construction years). Check them out here, here, and here.
Image via Michael Maguire
Frank Lloyd Wright in Wisconsin has posted the official line-up for this year's Wright & Like tour and it looks spectacular. The event takes place June 6, 2015 in Madison, WI and will feature a bevvy of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes, as well as homes designed by his apprentices. Follow the link to see all the details and to order your tickets while they last!
Image via wrightinwisconsin.org
Frank Lloyd Wright's Kenneth and Phyllis Laurent House will be open for public tours starting May 2,2015 on the first and second weekends of each month through October 18. Tours depart from Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Road, at 11 am, noon and 1, 2 and 3 pm. Cost is $15; $5, students. For information and to make a tour reservation visit laurenthouse.com.
Image via laurenthouse.com
Before his work on the 1893 World’s Fair grounds of the White City, Frederick Law Olmsted created the storybook village of Riverside in 1869 as a place of rest and rejuvenation from the stresses of modern urban living. Today this magical place of lush landscaping, curving streets, gas lamps, and charming parks still fulfills Olmsted’s dream. The 2015 schedule of walking tourshas been announced by the Frederick Law Olmstead Society of Riverside so that you can experience this wonderful suburb of Chicago for yourself. More after the jump...
The Charleston Gazette reports that community members, developers, and preservation advocates recently met to discuss the various options to preserve, adapt, and sustainably re-use architect Henry Elden's 1968 "Top-O-Rock," an iconic Charleston MCM home found vandalized last summer. Read more about it here.
Image credit: Kenny Kemp
Lynn Becker raises an insightful call of concern for a little-known glass and steel Chicago building designed by architect Bertrand Goldberg. The former Walton Gardens building has housed an Urban Outfitters store for some time. But with the store moving locations, a dramatic series of architectural alterations to the building will have a profound impact on its look and completely obliterate Goldberg's design. Read more about the history of the building and what might lay in store for it here.
Top image via Lynn Becker/bottom image via Cushman and Wakefield
Sure, Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, and Mies van der Rohe built impressive homes and imposing skyscrapers—but the new three-part Nature series called "Animal Homes" explores the astounding architecture and engineering feats of the animal kingdom. The first episode "The Nest" premieres this Wednesday, April 8, 2015 on most PBS stations. Check out the link for details and local listings.
Image via pbs.org
The Chicago Tribune reports that the city of Elgin, IL and the Forest Preserve District of Kane County are meeting April 15, 2015 to discuss a potential deal involving the district acquiring the city's chunk of what was the John S. Van Bergen-designed Fox River Country Day School, adding that piece to what the district already owns. The fate of the 11 buildings is still in limbo and this deal could mean their ultimate destruction. Read more about it here.
Image via Landmarks Illinois
Just to remind readers, the Society of Architectural Historians 68th Annual International Conference takes place April 15–19 (Wednesday–Sunday) at the Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza River North, 350 W Mart Center Dr, Chicago. Some events will be held in off-site venues. Check the program for a complete list of locations. More info after the jump...
Donald Cline sends word that the former Creamery Restaurant and Inn in Downsville, Wisconsin is now on the market. Some PrairieMod readers may have experienced the warm hospitality as they dined or spent a comfortable night there—perhaps both. Guests entering The Creamery were instantly at ease. To this day, travelers in the Midwest will hear reminiscing of not only the business but also the building itself. Read more about the Creamery after the jump...
John Clouse was kind enough to send some of his beautiful architectural photos from a recent trip to Cuba. The island nation retains many examples of pre-war Modernism, and the subsequent embargo years have meant slow development. This means that the drive to tear things down to put up bland condos and hotels has not occurred there like in other places. Read and see more after the jump...
The New York Post reports that the condo in the Plaza Hotel in New York City once occupied by Frank Lloyd Wright during 1954-59 (the "Plaza Years") is on the market for $39.5 million. It looks nothing like when Wright was in residence, but for a few million more (tongue in cheek) you could also restore it back. Read more here.
Image via nypost.com
Curbed Chicago explores the impact that Mies van der Rohe's master plan for the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) continues to have on the school (which represents the largest collection of his built work in the world) but also how it influenced city planning itself. Read and see more here.
Image via Curbed Chicago
There's another Journal organic architecture and design aficionado's should be on the look out for: The next issue of the Friends of Kebyar Journal is on its way to FOK members and available for purchase at the FOK website. This issue focuses on the Graphic Designs of Bruce Goff and features plenty of never-before-published works by Goff. See some samples after the jump...
The next issue of the Journal of Organic Architecture + Design is at the printer and is expected to start shipping in April 2015.
Volume 3 : Number 1 is devoted to the life and architecture of Frank Henry (1934–2013). While never an officially licensed architect, he nevertheless passionately and enthusiastically practiced the craft as an artist and designer at a high level of skill and refinement for more than fifty years. Frank Henry's understanding of the principles of organic architecture along with the inspiration he found in Frank Lloyd Wright’s work, as well as the stimulating environment of the Southwest, nurtured his own personal creative growth in art and architecture.
As a tease, you can see some sample spreads of this upcoming issue after the jump...
The Wall Street Journal reports that the small British village of Wraxall is divided by, of all things, a proposed Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house. Wright enthusiast Hugh Pratt wants to build a new home using a Wright design, but neighbors aren't as enamored of the Modern aesthetic and are putting up strong resistance. Read more about it here.
Image credit: Dylan Thomas/The Wall Street Journal
The Chicago Tribune reports that Com-Ed has started the initial stages of implementing their "Grand Prairie Gateway" power line project, which is planned to run a little too close for comfort to the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Murihead Farmhouse. Petitions to change the project's impact on the historic home's site have been filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission and it remains to be seen if a ruling will alter the outcome. Read more about it here.
Image via Chicago Tribune website