Google celebrates Earth Day with one of their "Google Doodles" which when clicked, takes you to a quiz that tells you what animal you are (I'm a Komodo Dragon, apparently).
Take a walk outside, turn off that extra light, bicycle to work...do something to remind yourself that this blue marble we live on is all we got and we need to take care of it. Then treat every day going forward like Earth Day!
Image via Google
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 Buffalo News reports that the founders of the Buffalo Transportation/Pierce-Arrow Museum (and home of the newly-constructed Wright-designed filling station) in downtown Buffalo, NY have acquired adjacent property and have plans to expand the museum to 300,000 square feet, making it largest auto-related museum in the world. Read more about it here.
Photo credit: Derek Gee/Buffalo News
Tonight will be an important moment in the effort to save the Keck and Keck-designed William Blair House in Lake Bluff, IL. Lisa DiChiera of Landmarks Illinois sends info about the meeting and what you can do to make your opinion heard in the effort to save this work of Chicago Modernism. More after the jump...
CSPnet.com reports that the McKinney-Lindholm family, which owns the Cloquet, MN-based Best Oil company, will be selling its 20 Little Store gas stations and convenience stores to TravelCenters of America. However, the family will retain the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed gas station and ownership of 15 acres of land where the Wright-designed home know as "Mantyla" stands. Read more here.
Image via Wikipedia
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
A recent article in the Chicago Tribune discusses how a proposed new transmission line of electrical towers by ComEd extending through Ogle, DeKalb, DuPage and Kane counties would negatively impact the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Muirhead Farmhouse. I asked Janet Halstead, Executive Director at the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy to provide PrairieMod readers with some info on what's being done by the preservation community to try and alter this disturbing development. Read more after the jump...
Last Friday we reported that the efforts to try and stop the demolition of an Edward Dart-designed house in Highland Park, IL. Ben Johnston, who sent us the original heads-up drove by the house over the weekend, found that no time was wasted in demolishing this work of MCM architecture. What a shame.
Image credit: Ben Johnston
I recently received word from Landmarks Illinois that the Lake Bluff Historic Preservation Commission will have a public hearing on February 11, 2015 and if they vote to recommend to the village board landmark designation for the endangered Keck + Keck-designed Blair House, the village board will have its first reading on the matter on February 23, 2015. If the village board votes no on that date, demolition can proceed immediately. More after the jump...
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
The Organic Architectural and Design Archives (for which you PrairieMod editor is a part of and contributes design on the Journal) has officially received non-profit 501(c)(3) status from the federal government! This is a big step in our efforts to save archival materials associated with organic architects and designers and to open-up access to them for study and appreciation. To learn more about OAD Archives, its mission, and about the Journal of Organic Architecture + Design that we publish, follow the link.
Image via OAD Archives
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
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
Mark Hertzberg sends word that he has posted photos to Wright in Racine of the celebration of Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice Charles Montooth at Unity Chapel and Taliesin, which took place on Saturday, January 3, 2015. See and read more here.
Image © Mark Hertzberg/photographs with permission of the Montooth family
The New York Times reports that the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture in will attempt to raise $2 million before the end of 2015 to secure its long-term future as an independent organization, apart from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. This comes after the public kerfuffle over the school's loss of accreditation in 2017 and path towards dissolution. Read more about it here.
Image via usatoday.com
Crains Chicago Business reports that after developer Garrett Kelleher failed to make a $22 million dollar payment on the property where the Santiago Calatrava Chicago Spire was to be built, it was taken over by Related Midwest LLC. This effectively kills any dream of building the spiraling tower.
The building site's new owner does pledge to create "an architecturally significant and thoughtful development befitting this premier location," so perhaps there's hope for something architecturally worthwhile yet. Read more here and here.
Image via Crains Chicago Business
There was lots of excitement and picture taking in Wilmette yesterday--it's not everyday that people see a Prairie School building cut into three pieces and moved to a nearby town! But that's what happened to the John S. Van Bergen James Irving Residence, which was saved from demolition by moving it to nearby Evanston. Read the various news coverage of the event here, here, and here, and see more photos at Mark Hertzberg's Wright in Racine blog.
Image copyright Mark Herzberg
After 16 years, the ArchiTech Gallery (the bricks and mortar version in Chicago's art gallery district) will close at the end of December, 2014. Till then, the Burnham, Sullivan and Wright exhibition is still on the walls till November 29, 2014. This is a sad day for those of us that love being able to see architectural art up close and in the wonderfully salon-like setting that is(was) the ArchiTech Gallery. If you have not made a trip to go visit the Chicago gallery, then get there before it closes this winter!
Image via ArchiTech Gallery
Landmarks Illinois and the city of Evanston send word that on Friday, October 10, work will begin to relocate the historic John S. Van Bergen-designed James Irving House to Evanston, IL from its current location at 1318 Isabella Rd. in Wilmette, IL. The house will be temporarily stored in the parking lot of the future Whole Foods location at Isabella St. and Green Bay Rd. until the new site in Evanston is ready. Read more after the jump...
KJZZ.org reports that after the steady and building backlash from the public, students, and alumni over the handling of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture's loss of accredidation (and long-term viability) by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, the Board of Directors has had a "change of heart." As stated in the KJZZ article:
"All 17 members of the foundation's board of trustees voted in favor of working toward independently incorporating the school, which is currently a division of the foundation. This move would mean the school could continue offering a master's degree program beyond 2017, because as an independent entity it would be in compliance with new accreditation rules set in 2012 by the Higher Learning Commission, the agency that accredits the Wright school and other colleges and universities."
This is heartening news and shows that the sides are finally listening to each other. Hopefully this will be the start of rebuilding trust and ensure that the education of future Organic Architects will continue. Read and listen to more here.
Images via FLWSoA
The news of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture's accreditation loss and the internal organizational struggle for its future has been all over the news. The School's survival and its ability to gain accreditation hinges on the need for it to be incorporated as an independent subsidiary from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation (something the FLW Foundation Board of Trustees has not been willing to do at this point). Now, a new on-line petition has been started to help build public support for the School's independence and its future. It will be interesting to see how this story plays out if public overwhelmingly supports the School as a separate entity.
If you want to show your support the School, then sign the petition here.
Image via Change.org
Architect, the magazine of the American Institute of Architects, recently featured a Q&A interview with Frank Lloyd Wright School Board of Governors member, Jerry van Eyck on the subject of the ongoing battle to keep the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture from dissolving after losing accreditation. The magazine previously featured a similar Q&A with Sean Malone, the President and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, so it's interesting to get the other side as well.
What's often overlooked in all of this war of the words is how the students themselves feel. Luckily, student Pablo Moncayo has stepped up and put together a couple of YouTube videos speaking up on how he (and presumably other students) feel about the potential loss of their institution. Watch the videos here and here.
We'll keep watching how this story develops and will continue to report on its twists and turns. Feel free to let us know how you feel in the comments section!
Image credit: Barrett Doherty
When the news that the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture would lose its accreditation in 2017, the reaction from most was one of surprise and sadness. The Frank Lloyd Foundation opted not to incorporate the school separately for fear of losing control and voted to forgo accreditation.
While Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation president and CEO, Sean Malone, stated in an interview that the Foundation was going to be looking for another accredited institution with whom to partner so they can jointly offer a professional degree, the School's own board of governors saw the situation differently.
On Wednesday, the architecture school’s board of governors released a statement saying it “respectfully disagrees with the decisions and actions” by the Foundation’s board to ostensibly shut the school down.
Image credit David Wallace/The Republic
Lon Arbegust sends word that the AD German Warehouse Conservancy, Inc. has received verification from the Internal Revenue Service that ADGWC, Inc. is now exempt from Federal Income tax under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. ADGWC is qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under section 2056, 2106 or 2522 of the Code. They welcome all who wish to contribute to this unique Frank Lloyd Wright restoration effort. Follow the effort at the ADGWC Facebook page here.
Image via ADGWC, Inc.
We heard from both Helena K. and Justin D. that yesterday afternoon's storms in Chicago brought major flooding to the Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Charnley-Persky House on 1365 North Astor Street. Water poured into the National Landmark building, which serves as the headquarters of the Society of Architectural Historians, through a second-floor bathroom. The water rushed up and out of the toilet and sink, flooding the bathroom and running down to the library on the first floor. The basement of the house was flooded with over two inches of water. SAH is cleaning up and waiting for experts to come in and help repair the water damage. See more photos and help support SAH here.
Image via sah.org
100 years ago today, fire and death descended upon Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin in Spring Green, WI. Ron McCrea, author of the book Building Taliesin, writes a special piece in Madison's Capitol Times about how the small town rose to meet the devastating chaos with dignity and humanity. Read it here.
Image via Higgins Family
Friday, August 15, 2014 will mark the 100th anniversary of the terrible murders that took place at Frank Lloyd Wright's Spring Green, WI home and studio, Taliesin. William B. Scott of the Scott Architectural Archives and OAD Archives recently found a digital copy of the story as printed in The Ogden Standard from Ogden, Utah. It not only shows how wide-spread the story was a century ago, it also shows how sensationalized it was. Click on the link below to see a larger version of the article.
Artist Larry Zgoda has recently donated a hand painted plate by renowned Chicago artist, Edgar Miller, and an antique Osterizer, food blender, designed by Alfonso Iannelli to the Iannelli Studios Heritage Center in Park Ridge, Illinois. Judy Barclay accepted the items on August 1, 2014, and expects to display them with the developing museum’s collection of Iannelli and related art and artifacts. Read more after the jump...
MySuburbanLife.com and the Wednesday Journal report that the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Avery Coonley House in Riverside, IL was broken-into earlier this week by some vandals who caused some damage to the vacant bedroom wing of the house (which is currently for sale). Read more about this disburing news here and here.
Image via oakpark.com
Speaking of the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, here's a link to an article in the Oak Leaves about the memories of Ann Marohn, who was the volunteer interpreter who gave the very first public tour at the iconic Wright Oak Park Home 40 years ago. Read more here.
Image via oakpark.suntimes.com
I came across this strange "advertorial" blog post selling the finer points of the 2014 Honda Civic as it compares to Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple. Wright architecture has either officially entered the American mainstream, or has completely sold out. Decide for yourself and get sold here.
Image via gas2.org
The Chicago Tribune announces that Chicago was selected to be the site of George Lucas's museum of Narrative Art, to be sited on the lakefront where a parking lot now resides between Soldier Field and McCormick Place. The museum will house the filmmaker's extensive collection of movie memorabilia and other art related to the theme of storytelling. Read more about it here.
Image credit: Dave Kotinsky
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has come out with its annual "11 Most Endangered Historic Places" list for 2014 and unfortunately, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Spring House in Tallahassee, FL (the only private home designed by Wright in the state) is one of the 11. Apparently wind, water, and weather have contributed to its extreme deteriorating state. Find out more details here and help support the effort to save this unique and important Wright design.
Image credit: Krystyn Pecora
Architecture critic, Blair Kamin, and rich gas bag-with-a-comb-over, Donald Trump, got into a Twitter architectural war-of-the-words over the ostentatious sign recently installed on Chicago's Trump Tower. "The Donald" showcased his maturity in the tweets, as you would expect. Read more about it here.
Image credit: Edward Stojakovic
The Kalo Foundation had two very important fragments from the (now lost) Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Midway Gardens (1914) donated to its growing collection. A "sprite" head and a wall panel from the building were donated by Phil Fedderson to the organization and are now on display at the Iannelli Home and Studio in Park Ridge, IL. It's a great new home for the pieces, especially since Alfonso Iannelli had such an important and integral connection to Midway Gardens and its sculpture. Plan your visit to see the pieces here.
Image via Craig Harris/Phil Fedderson
Mark H. sends word that tourists to the Willis (Sears) Tower in Chicago had a bit of a scare recently when a 6 millimeter thick protective glass coating on "The Ledge" (those projecting glass observation boxes) cracked. Although no one was in danger, you can imagine how it still freaked people out. Read more here.
Image via Chicago Tribune
Friday saw the tragic loss of the iconic Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed library at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. Through the heroic efforts of the fire fighters, the rest of the building was saved and no one was thankfully hurt, but the loss of the library is a terrible blow. The Scottish and UK governments have already pledged to restore the lost library, but it will take years and a lot of money. Let's hope it can be done and we can learn from this loss. Read more here.
Image via the BBC
Method, hip makers of eco-friendly cleaning products in cool packaging, have broken ground on it first U.S. manufacturing facility in the South Side Pullman neighborhood of Chicago. With solar panels, green roof, wind turbine, and other green accouterments, Method's factory is attempting to open the first LEED Platinum certified packaged goods factory of its kind in the world. Read more about it here.
Image via Curbed Chicago
The Art Newspaper reports that a group of activists staged a surprise protest inside Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum in New York on Saturday, February 22, 2014. Holding banners and chanting, the activists were protesting labor conditions on the Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi branch of the museum. Read more about it here.
Image via theartnewspaper.com
Michael Bridgeman was kind enough to send an update on the efforts around protecting the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Robert Lamp House in Madison, WI. Michael writes:
"Prospects for protecting the Lamp House are looking up with the final report from the ad hoc committee (which will be published soon). Their recommendations strike a good balance between preservation and development. On the preservation side they hit all the key issues: suggesting a historic district to protect the house's immediate surroundings, attending to views to and from the house, and recognizing the importance of sunlight reaching the third level, which will hopefully be restored as a rooftop garden. This is about as good an outcome as I could have hoped for. Still ahead is the heavier lifting before the Plan Commission and City Council, the bodies that can give the recommendations some real teeth. Madison values good process, so this will take another two or three months to be resolved."
Thanks Michael! We'll be sure to keep PrairieMod readers up-to-date on this story as it develops. To get more of the back story on this preservation situation, follow the link.
Image copyright Scott Templeton
Finland has decided to revive plans and give the green light for an architectural design competition this spring for a new Guggenheim museum on Helsinki's waterfront, helping it join the ranks of cities like New York and Bilbao. Are there any Organic Architects out there interested in developing designs for the competition so we can have a worthy successor to Wright's New York masterpiece? Read more about it here.
Top image via guggenheim.org/bottom image via Wikipedia
The much discussed "Polar Vortex" that wreaked icy havoc across large swaths of the country recently has also affected Bear Run in Pennsylvania as well. The waterfall that inspired Frank Lloyd Wright's iconic Fallingwater has frozen solid in the subzero temperatures, a rare event for the normally quick-flowing stream. Read and see more here.
Image via triblive.com
The Globe Gazette reports that Wright on the Park, the non-profit organization that restored Frank Lloyd Wright's Park Inn Hotel in Mason City, IA, has announced a new executive director, Caitlin Callahan. She plans to focus on education and public outreach. Read more about it here.
Image via Globe Gazette