Hyperallergic.com recently posted an article exploring Frank Lloyd Wright's experiments with the spiraling ramp feature at the V.C. Morris Gift Shop and how it lead to its use at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Read it here.
Image via hyperallergic.com
Michael Bridgeman informs us that Tuesday night the Madison, Wisconsin city council approved a zoning change will allow the hotel proposed for the Robie Lamp House block to exceed established height limits. The result is that more shadow will be cast on the Lamp House and its context will be further degraded. The vote was 13 to 7 in favor of the zoning change.
In the meantime, a working group has started research toward creating a small historic district that would include the Lamp House, a recommendation in the special report of the Lamp House block committee adopted by the council last year. We'll continue to keep readers informed of this long-running preservation challenge.
Image via Gary Brink & Associates
The Chicago Tribune reports that Glencoe Park District commissioners voted unanimously to start formal discussions with the Glencoe Historical Society on developing a park space and re-constructing a Wright-designed rail station along the Green Bay Trail. Read more about it here.
Image via Chicago Tribune
When the John S. Van Bergen Fox River Day School shut down in 2011, a slow steady decline occurred for the buildings until they reached the dilapidated state they are today. The City of Elgin is challenged to figure out how to keep the buildings from crumbling (or being ruined by vandals and squatters) and figure out how to develop the 11 buildings on the campus into a new, thriving iteration. Read more here.
Image credit: Brian O'Mahoney/The Courier-News
Ben J. sends a link to the bad news that the Highland Park City Council has given the OK for demolition to proceed on a 1959 Edward D. Dart-designed house on Lake Cook Road. It's another example of how Mid-century Modernism is not being valued and as a result we lose significant examples to the bulldozer. Read more here.
Image credit: Karen Berkowitz/Pioneer Press
Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House officially re-opens to the public today after an extensive $4.4 million restoration. The Los Angeles Times recently interviewed Jeffrey Herr, curator of Hollyhock House, on what makes the house unique and the surprises they found during the restoration process. Read it here and then go visit!
Image credit: Joshua White / JWPictures.com
The news has been awash in stories covering the recent nomination by the United States of 10 Frank Lloyd Wright-designed sites to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Without having to link to them all, the Smithsonian recently ran an article that sums up the story that I thought readers would appreciate seeing. Read it here.
Image credit Richard A. Cooke/CORBIS
The current owner of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Buehler House in Orinda, CA has requested the city council reduce his tax burden by $30,000 a year for a decade as part of the program to assist owners of properties designated historic landmarks with the preservation of their buildings. Read more here.
Image via YouTube
Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin recently offered an editorial rebuttal in Architectural Record to architecture critic Michael Sorkin's recent defense of the proposed (and controversial) George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art to be sited on the city's sacred lakefront. Read it here.
Image via Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
Zachary M. sends a link to a story in The Oklahoman that showcases the recently restored red earth-toned shingles and repainted silver steel trusses that frame the roof of the Bruce Goff-designed Hopewell Baptist Church (1951) in Oklahoma City. With the roof done, restoration work turns inward with structural repairs to support the auditorium floor. Read and see more here.
Photo by Paul B. Southerland, The Oklahoman
The Atlantic's Citylab recently made the argument that neither New York nor Chicago deserves the title of "Best U.S. Architecture per Square Mile" but it instead belongs to...wait for it...Dallas, TX. I won't bother using the space here to scoff at this proclamation since Curbed Chicago does a pretty good job poking holes in it here.
Image via citylab.com
wtxl.com reports that the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Clifton and George Lewis House (aka "Spring House") is open the second Sunday of every month from 2-4 pm for tours of the building and the surrounding grounds. It costs $15 a person and children under the age of 12 are free. Follow the link to watch a video and read more. If you would like to learn more about Spring House, you can call 850-321-6417 or visit www.PreserveSpringHouse.org.
Image via wtxl.com
The Daily Herald reports that if the State of Illinois approves a deal between ComEd and Kane County Forest Preserve District officials it will place a $200 million electricity improvement development (including 17 new towers) near Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve...and way too close to the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Muirhead Farmhouse. Read more about this unsettling development here.
Image via The Daily Herald
Newsreview.com reports that there is more than one way to destroy a Richard Neutra building. You can outright demolish it or you can completely smother it through terrible additions and bastardizing changes. The city of Reno has apparently done this to two of their Neutra buildings: The Church Fine Arts Building at the University of Nevada, Reno and the Centennial Coliseum (now known as the Reno Sparks Convention Center). Read more about it here.
Image via newsreview.com
Mark H. sends a link to a New York Times article about the danger facing the Paul Rudolph-designed Orange County Government Center, in Goshen, NY. While the Brutalist building is hard for many to embrace (including, apparently Orange County government members plotting its demise) it's an important example of MCM architecture that even the World Monuments Fund included on its global watch list alongside landmarks like Machu Picchu and the Great Wall of China. Read more about it here.
Image credit: Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
When the the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Hollyhock House in LA reopens next month after a long restoration period, architecture lovers will be able to see it over a 24-hour period from Feb. 13-14. The city council is going one step further in and having admission be free during that open house. Read more here and plan your visit here.
Image via wikipedia
The Chicago Tribune reports that historic preservation officials in Lake Bluff, IL will apply for landmark status for the Keck & Keck-designed Blair House (1955), although everyone pretty much acknowledges that it may be an act that only stalls the bulldozer. The house has languished on the market for four years without a buyer and the 27 acres of land are far more valuable than the Modern house that sits on it. You can figure out the rest. Read more here.
Image credit: Susan Benjamin, Village of Lake Bluff
Archpaper.com reports that the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has chosen former Cincinnati Art Museum director, Aaron Betsky, as the new dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. He comes with a long list of accolades and replaces outgoing dean Victor Sidy, who returns to private practice. The school is in the midst of a fundraising campaign to decide its accreditation fate, but the article states that the naming of a new dean signals that the FLWF "will continue to award degrees at their Taliesin East and Taliesin West campuses either way, perhaps in partnership with accredited institutions." Read more here.
Image via blog.archpaper.com
Curbed LA reports that after six long years of extensive restoration work, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Barnsdall Residence (aka "Hollyhock House") in Los Angeles, CA will be open again to the public starting February 13, 2015. Can't wait to go and see it again! Read more about it here.
Image via Curbed LA
Curbed.com spotlights what is being called the first new Joseph Eichler-designed house built since 1974 that will soon be finished in Palm Springs, California (where no Eichler has existed before). As stated on Curbed: "This first 'Desert Eichler,' a variation adapted from one of Eichler's original blueprints, is being built by Troy Kudlac, a Palm Springs broker and developer who buys, remodels, and resells midcentury homes." Read more about it here and see the house's Zillow page here.
Image via Curbed
Mark Hertzberg sends a link to a story in the New York Times about the efforts to restore the region's wondrous Jazz Age movie palaces. Read more here.
Image credit: Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
Great Falls Tribune spotlights Frank Lloyd Wright's legacy in Montana and the three buildings that the architect left as his mark on the state. Read and see more here.
Image via Tribune Photo/Kristen Inbody
ArchDaily.com reports on the launch of the new Chicago Architecture Data website, which includes over 10,000 entries, and can be searched based on neighborhood, style, or keyword. Read the article here and then prepare to lose hours today looking through it here.
Image: John Morris/Chicago Architecture Data
The State Journal-Register reports that newly inaugurated Illinois State Governor, Bruce Rauner, used a Bible that had once belonged to Springfield, IL heiress and important Frank Lloyd Wright client, Susan Lawrence Dana, in his swearing in. Read more about it here.
Image credit Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register
Now here's a story you don't come across everyday: MLive.com reports that the city of Muskegon, MI purchased an architecturally significant International Style home from foreclosure for $10,000 and then poured $220,000 to stabilize and renovate it (even though many said it should be demolished). Then, instead of selling it to wealthy lawyers or doctors, the city waited until a family of modest means wanted it and sold it to them for $70,000. The new family had trouble securing a loan due to the uniqueness of the property, but they finally found a sympathetic lender and now have their wonderful Mod home. Miracles do happen! Read more here.
Image credit Cory Morse | MLive.com
The News Courier reports that visitors in the first quarter of the fiscal year to the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Rosenbaum House in Florence, Alabama are up 57 percent. Combine this with total revenue up to 93 percent (thanks in part to opening a gift shop and accepting credit cards) and the Rosenbaum House is off to a good start in 2015. Read more here.
Image via wrightinalabama.com
Michael B. sends a link from the Wisconsin State Journal on the news that the developer trying to build a hotel in Madison, WI near the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Robert Lamp House has revived and dramatically changed their proposal for a 10-story, 164-room hotel. It remains to be seen if the proposal meets the guidelines established in the special project report for the Lamp House. Read more here.
Image via Gary Brink & Associates
Dwell magazine recently feautred Madison, Wisconsin and its connection to Frank Lloyd Wright, Marshall Erdman, and their early MCM prefab work. Mentioned in the article as one of these examples is the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Rudin residence, based on prefabricated Plan #2 for Marshall Erdman's company. It is one of two homes built as a large, flat-roofed square with a double-height living room accented with a wall of windows. Read more here.
Image courtesy Mike Condren
Here's a link to an article on azcentral.com that provides a closer look at the gigantic LEGO Taliesin West model currently on display at the actual Taliesin West. One look at how excited the children are by anything architecturally-related (as well as how much media attention Taliesin West in any form is going to get) should explain why this plastic brick exercise was worth the effort. Read and see more here.
Image credit: Cheryl Evans/The Republic
The dailytelegraph.com briefly reports that officials have extended a 12 month heritage order to review the historic significance of the 1962 Peter Muller-designed Hamilton House at 3 Pindari Place in Pittwater Australia. The residence exhibits a strong Prairie School influence and is reported to remain faithful to the original design. Read more here and see more of Muller's work here.
Image via dailytelegraph.com.au
Herald-Review.com reports that the Marion Mahony-designed Adolph Mueller reisdence (part of Millikin Place in Decatur, IL) has been purchased back by Millikin University for $449,000 and will once again serve as the University president's home. It had been donated to the University in 1993 and served as the president's home for several years, but financial hardships forced the sale of the home in 2003. Hopefully the University can maintain and hold onto the home in perpetuity this time. Read more here.
Image credit: Danny Damiani
Spike TV's new furniture design reality show "Framework" debuts tonight, January 6, 2015, on the cable channel and it sports some interesting Organic architectural connections. One of the contestants, Jory Brigham's great-grandfather was John S. Van Bergen, and one of the judges, Brandon Gore, recently cited being inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and E. Fay Jones in his furniture work. Read more here and here.
Image credit: Rob Kalmbach
Curbed Chicago shines the spotlight on the architect of iconic Wrigley Field (home of the Second City's lovable losers, the Cubs). He apparently was a draftsman with Louis Sullivan working alongside Frank Lloyd Wright before moving on to designing ballparks. Read more here.
Image via Curbed Chicago
Curbed.com recently featured the true story behind the iconic "butterfly roof" seen on so many Palm Springs houses. Architect William Krisel has frequently been attributed as the originator of the "V" shaped roof design, but as Krisel himself states it was actually Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier who originated the concept. Read more here.
Image credit Elizabeth Daniels
The Buffalo News reports that James T. Sandoro, founder of the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum, has been awarded the Lee Iacocca Award for his life's work dedicated to vintage automobiles. Sandoro recently expanded the museum in Buffalo to include a replica of one of Frank Lloyd Wright's automobile filling station designs. Read more here.
Image credit: John Hickey/The Buffalo News