Image copyright Zach M.
Wifr.com reports that the Rockford city council took a preliminary vote Monday night to change the zoning on the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Laurent House to grant a special use permit so the home can be turned into a museum. The Laurent House Foundation only needs to determine a parking solution for visitors before the permit is approved. Read more here.
Image via wifr.com
No, not Scooby Doo. A black Labrador named "Buster" trained in sniffing out cadavers has detected the scent of one at the Sowden House in Los Angeles (designed by Lloyd Wright). The home happens to be where George Hodel, a suspect in the almost 70-year-old murder of actress Elizabeth Short (aka the "Black Dahlia") once lived. Could it be the link needed to solve the mystery? Read more here and see what you think. Thanks to John C. for the link.
Top images via thedailybeast.com/Bottom image via sowdenhouse.com
We have some recent news about Florida Southern College's Usonian House Visitor's Center. Seems work on the project (as evidenced in the photos at left) has come to a halt. After a few inquiries at the college as to when the completion date would be and what the hold-up was, we learned that a $500,000 state grant had not come through and thus work has come to a stop. No date other than "hopefully soon" for completion was given. There's nothing more depressing than seeing an unfinished Usonian... hopefully work on this little gem will be up and running soon so visitors can its spaces.
All photos copyright PrairieMod
John A. sends a link to a news item from artsandcraftscollector.com that David Rago's magazines, Style 1900 and Modernism, have suspended publication and may go the way of the dodo. It would be a shame to lose these quality magazines, but anything print is having a hard time these days. Read more here.
Image via artsandcraftscollector.com
Adam F. sends news that the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum in Two Rivers, WI is being forced to move out of the building, perhaps as early as February 2013. With no cash for such a move and literally tons of rare wood type specimens to pack up, this is bad news for anyone who loves design history and printing. Find out how you can help this important institution after the jump...
The Phoenix City Council met yesterday to consider the Landmark designation of the David and Gladys Wright Home (which has been at the center of a hairy preservation battle). Janet Halstead and Larry Woodin from the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy were there and sent word on what transpired. Read more after the jump...
Now that the news has broken that the David and Gladys Wright House has escaped the jaws of destruction by being sold, the rumor of who the anonymous buyer is has people buzzing. One of the more interesting rumors is that musician and architecture buff, Moby (who likes Wright and spoke out against the destruction of the house on his Facebook page) might be the savior. See more here.
Image via Curbed LA
Several news outlets reported Wednesday evening that the current owners of the David and Gladys Wright House in Phoenix, AZ have reached an agreement to sell the architecturally significant home for the nearly $2.4 million asking price to an anonymous buyer who wants to preserve and restore it, real estate broker Robert Joffe. More after the jump...
After the staggering news broke that the embattled David and Gladys Wright House could be demolished as soon as tomorrow, the Associated Press reports Wednesday evening that "A senior adviser for Mayor Frank Stanton said Wednesday that the agreement with the developer who bought the 1952 home delays for nearly a month any demolition of the house." More after the jump...
For everyone following the saga surrounding the effort to save the David & Gladys Wright House near phoenix, AZ here's a bit of good news from Modern Phoenix's Alison King: "The City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission voted unanimously to recommend and proceed with pursuing Historic Property designation and Landmark Status of the David Wright House. Nomination now proceeds to Village Planning Commission Meeting next. One voted with reservations, but unanimous nonetheless. Why the reservations? Property owner 8081 Meridian was not present to participate in the process. Several thoughtful and moving speakers took the podium in favor [including Frank Henry, Grady Gammage, Scott Jarson, and the original contractor who built the iconic house.] A good night for preservation. Thanks everyone for your letters and attendance!"
As good as this step is, the battle is not over and the danger of losing this architectural wonder is still very real. Please follow the effort at the Arizona Preservation Foundation, Modern Phoenix, and "Save the David & Gladys Wright House" Facebook pages. Then make sure to support the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's effort to save this (and many other Wright buildings like it) here. Finally, sign the online petition to add your voice to the effort to save this irreplaceable home!
Images via PrairieMod
Turns out Chicago, the city Frank Lloyd Wright loved and which had the most important impact on his career, could have been the home of the architect's massive archive—but the Art Institute turned it down. Now the materials will go to New York instead. Sigh. Read more about it here.
Thanks to Mark H. for the heads-up.
Image via wikipedia
The web has been buzzing all day since the announcement that the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives will be moving to New York as part of a joint stewardship agreement between the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Columbia University’s Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library and the Museum of Modern Art.
Want to learn more? Sean Malone, CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, sent special information which will appear in the upcoming issue of The Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly Magazine (if you don't already get it, then become a member to receive it here). Read Mr. Malone's message here.
Images via the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
I received word Monday evening from Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer at the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation that they have partnered with the Avery Library at Columbia University and the Museum of Modern Art in New York to form a unique joint stewardship of the 23,000 architectural drawings, about 40 large-scale, architectural models, some 44,000 photographs, 600 manuscripts and more than 300,000 pieces of office and personal correspondence that comprise the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives. Read more about this very significant event here.
Image via franklloydwright.org/Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
Sunday night marked the end of watching two weeks of the 2012 London Olympics. In between the remarkable feats of athleticism, NBC ran a brief segment on the rediscovery of the "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster by Scottish bookstore, Barter Books.
The simple, but effective graphic design inspired me to do my own riff on the now ubiquitous red poster that I thought PrairieMod readers would enjoy. Wright On!
Image copyright PrairieMod
News reaches us that the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed P.D. Hoyt House (1906) in Geneva, IL was damaged by fire Friday, August 3, 2012. Luckily, no one was hurt and the fire was put out before the entire home was lost, but it did cause a significant amount of damage. Read more about it here.
Image via geneva.patch.com
Zachary Matthews sent word that, after years of negotiating with the owner of the Bruce Goff-designed Tulsa Club building over unpaid bills, the city of Tulsa has filed papers to put the historic building up for auction through a sheriff’s sale on August 28, 2012. Read more about it here.
Image via tulsaworld.com
Speaking of Wright in Racine, Mark also posts that he has received preliminary news from SC Johnson Company that the possibility of opening parts of the long dormant Research Tower on their corporate campus for public tours is being explored. Read more about this tantalizing news here.
In the meantime, if you're eager to learn more about this remarkable building, make sure to pick-up a copy of the definitive book on the subject here.
Image copyright Mark Hertzberg
There has been some historic preservation drama in Phoenix, AZ this week. News came in from The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and the Arizona Preservation Foundation that the future of the David & Gladys Wright home, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1952, could potentially be threatened. Learn more about this story after the jump...
The National Trust For Historic preservation announced it's annual list of "11 Most Endangered Historic Places" today which includes such sites as the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr., a gym where boxing legend Joe Frazier once trained, bridges in Yosemite Valley and historic U.S. post offices.
Image via preservationnation.org
By now everyone is full-up of stories about the recent NATO summit held last Sunday and Monday here in Chicago. Even though the protests and diplomatic wrangling took most of the headlines, one aspect of the event that may not of gotten as much news was how impressed the foreign visitors were with the city itself.
As quoted in a recent Chicago Tribune article, first time visitor Michelle Stockman, a video journalist for French news agency AFP stated:
"I saw this gleaming city on the lake that was full of amazing architecture — I would say even better than New York City — and that was really impressive to me," said Stockman. "For the show that they're putting on for NATO, Chicago officials have done themselves well."
+1, Chicago. Read more about it here.
Image via northwestern.edu
While the Chicago Loop was filled with protestors and dignitaries this weekend, The Forest Leaves reports that 40 spouses of NATO officials toured the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park, IL on Sunday, May 20, 2012.
The idea for the tour came from the wife of U.S. Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder, Elisa D. Harris, who apparently is a big Frank Lloyd Wright fan. Read more about it here.
Image via GoWright.org
Taliesin Preservation, Inc. (TPI), a private 501(c)3 non-profit organization, just announced the appointment of four new board members. Each new member brings with them a valuable background in business, strong ties to Wisconsin, and a passion for the arts and environment; enhancing TPI’s mission to preserve Frank Lloyd Wright’s 600-acre Taliesin estate in Wisconsin. More info after the jump...
This is sad news: Frank Lloyd wright apprentice, Kamal Amin, is having to sell-off his home and possessions thanks to financial distress. He is pretty up a brave and stoic front, but it must be hard to lose the home he poured himself into. Read and watch more about this sad story here.
Image via kpho.com
According to this Reuters article, the Finnish government rejected the proposal to have a 140 million euro Guggenheim Museum built in Helsinki. Worries about governance and costs helped "Finnish" the Guggenheim proposal (sorry, couldn't resist). Read more about it here.
Image via guggenheim-helsinki.com
Mike Cunnington wites to remind us that the Gunning House (aka "Glenbrow"), designed by Taliesin-trained architect Theo Van Fossen, is still very much in danger of being lost. Listed as one of Ohio's most endangered architectural pieces, it was recently taken off the market due to the death of the owner, but still very much in needed of restoration help. If you have the courage to save this fantastic piece of architecture, please contact Columbus Landmarks today.
Image via Columbus Landmarks
PrairieMod readers know I've got a thing for preservation long shots. Case in point: the saving of the First Christian Church building in Cedar Rapids, IA that is connected to Louis Sullivan and has beautiful Louis Millet art glass windows definitely looks like a long shot. But the one thing I know is that if you get enough people who care behind a project, anything is possible! More after the jump...
There's plenty of buzz around the Energizing Taliesin West™ program that brings solar power and energy conservation programs to the 75-year-old architectural icon. Studio Lux has joined the program, serving in a multifaceted role. As stated in a recent PR release "We will introduce lighting technology that advances the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation's goals, improves the quality of light in areas of the facility, and most importantly embraces the original design intent while using efficient, sustainable technology." Read the entire statement here.
An extra bonus to this Energizing Taliesin West™ story came from PrairieMod reader, John Clouse, who sends a few photos from a recent trip to T-West of the construction site where the solar arrays will be installed. Thanks John!
Image copyright John Clouse
Blow out the candles--today is Alfonso Iannelli's birthday! He was born February 17, 1888 in the hilly Italian village of Andretta. Celebrate by learning more about why saving his Park Ridge home and studio was so important.
Image courtesy of Tim Samuelson
Blair Kamin's recent article in the Chicago Tribune discusses the unlikely pairing of architect Jeanne Gang's creative vision and the reputation-sullied Chicago suburb of Cicero. Ms. Gang's idea on display at a new exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York re-imagines Cicero as a "Vertical Neighborhood" meets the "Born-Again Factory." Intrigued? Read more here and see a graphic about Gang's idea here.
Image via the Chicago Tribune
Blair Kamin has been thoroughly covering Chicago's Navy Pier re-design competition (of which the 5 finalist designs were recently unveiled) on his blog, Cityscapes.
One thing Blair wants to makes sure is squelched is the propensity by some of the competitors to attribute the phrase that Chicago's lakefront should remain "forever open, clear and free" to Daniel Burnham. Burnham did not say that. Read more about it here.
Image via wikipedia
Scott T. sends sad news for those of us that appreciate progressive architecture and its history: The endangered Marshall Erdman office designed by architect William Kaeser in Madison, WI that we brought to your attention in September 2011 is now a pile of rubble. It's a real shame and waste--but I guess "progress" cannot be bothered with such things as historic buildings. As we learn more on the story of its demise, we'll let readers know.
Image credit: Scott Templeton
Oak Park trustees voted unanimously this week to move forward with the construction of the $91 million tower project at Lake Street and Forest Avenue. The "tower" is much reviled by local historic architecture fans, but the fact it will feature two floors of retail space and 270 apartments hold appeal for those who want to move the Village's business prospects into the 21st century. We'll see how it plays out. Read more here.
Image via oakpark.com
Here's an interesting piece in the Capital Times that cites Taliesin's Charles Montooth, who back in 1972 said it would be short-sighted to remove thousands of miles of rail lines that service small communities and business because the railroads saw them as "non-profitable" in the wake of the new interstate systems being built. According to writer Dave Zweifel, that warning should have been heeded. Read more here.
Image via The Cap Times
"In the St. Paul church bulletin (Park Ridge) a young man named Mike Kapst is planning to help renovate Iannelli Studios for his Eagle Scout project for Troop 24. He's going to build a 16' x 6' display case and also refurbish ceilings and walls. Thought it might be worth writing up. Donations to Troop 24 at St. Paul of the Cross, 320 S. Washington, Park Ridge, IL 60068. He can be reached at 847-696-1305 or email@example.com".
Thanks Andrew for the news. I'm glad to see that people of all age groups are interested in historic preservation. Hopefully getting the news out will generate some help for Mike Kapst and the Iannelli Studios!
Photograph by Richard Nickel, courtesy of the Richard Nickel Committee, Chicago, Illinois