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
Curbed Chicago reports another price drop for the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed George Millard House (1906) in Highland Park, IL. If you have $799,000, this stunning and important Prairie School gem can be yours. Someone out there has to snap this beauty up! Check more out here.
Image via Curbed Chicago
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
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
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
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...
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
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
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
In conjunction with the recent National Park Service announcement that 10 Frank Lloyd Wright sites across the country have been submitted to UNESCO as a World Heritage nomination, the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation (UTRF) has confirmed that one of them, Unity Temple in Oak Park, IL, will undergo a comprehensive $25 million restoration and that UTRF has launched a fundraising campaign of the same magnitude. More after the jump...
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Stockman House's move from its original location at 311 First St. S.E. to its current location at 530 First St. N.E., a special DVD has been created that documents the event. The DVD is available for purchase at the gift shop in the Robert E. McCoy Architectural Center, located next to the Stockman House. Plan a visit to Mason City, IA to see the home and purchase the DVD, or contact the the Architectural Center here for more details.
Image courtesy Library of Congress
The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Eppstein Residence in "The Acres" (the Wright-designed community in Galesburg near Kalamazoo, MI) has had a slight price drop to $469,900. The home has had an extensive amount of restoration and is waiting for the next steward to come along and continue to polish this gem. More info here.
Image via architectureforsale.com
Mark H. sends a link to the A.D. German Warehouse Conservancy's Facebook page post about a carriage on display at the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building that is said to have belonged to the iconic architect. It was purchased at an auction at Taliesin during the 1950s by a man from the Bear Valley community and was later acquired by an Ithaca area family before finally making its way to the Warehouse. Follow the link to see more and plan a visit to see it in person!
Image via ADGWC Facebook page
Mark H. sends a link to a New York Times article highlighting Phoenix's historic preservation officer, Michelle Dodds, and her efforts to save Phoenix's historic architecture, which she has outlined in a plan called PreserveHistoricPHX that will be presented to the Phoenix City Council next month. Read more about it here.
Image credit Jarod Opperman for The New York Times
Lisa T. sends word that there's some potential danger for the Edward Dart-designed house for sale at 1021 Lake Cook Road in Highland Park, IL. Apparently a developer wants to tear down the main house and secondary small structure (which was rented out and used to be a tool shed) and build 14 houses on the almost 5 acre property—which would be a huge loss to the community. Read more about the home here and check out the listing info here.
Image via coldwellbankeronline.com
The current owner of the David & Gladys Wright House in Phoenix, AZ saved the day when he purchased the home from developers who were eager to demolish it. His plans since have involved much needed restoration work and preparing the grounds for a grander use as a public site. Unfortunately, this has some of the neighbors up in arms and vowing to fight the zoning changes. Read more about it and watch a video here.
Image via Scott Jarson/azarchitecture.com
The Charleston Gazette reports that the silver lining to the vandalism of the intriguing "Top-O-Rock" house (designed by architect Henry Elden in 1968) is a renewed interest in capturing the oral history on the home and its architect and sparking a design competition that envisions the future use of for the house and its property in West Virginia. Read more about it here.
Image via Rachel Molenda/The Charleston Gazette
Chicagobusiness.com features an article on architect Chris Enck's recent purchase and subsequent moving of the 1928 a John S. Van Bergen-designed Irving Residence—formally of Wilmette, IL. The action saved the home from demolition and the move will allow another town to benefit from having an important work of Prairie architecture added to it. Read more about it here.
Image via chicagobusiness.com
It's that time of year when you're probably getting a ton of letters from not-for-profit organizations asking for year-end donations. While many of those causes are worthwhile to support, I received a letter from The Friends of Cedar Rock, who oversee the stewardship of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Walter House in Quasqeton, IA, for a cause that I think is definitely worth supporting. More after the jump...
Andrew B. sends a link to an article in The New York Times about a historian who has uncovered the remains of an Arts & Crafts era Rookwood tile covered balcony boutique and stairway in Lord & Taylor’s Manhattan flagship store. Read more about it here.
Image via The New York Times/Michael Padwee Collection
Nelson B. also sends a link to an article on the efforts by Mark Sanders to restore Bruce Goff's McGregor House in Tulsa, OK. Mark learned of the home's pedigree originally in the Friends of Kebyar's Bruce Goff Oklahoma Guide. Learn more and become a member to the Bruce Goff organization here.
Image credit: Mark Sanders
Nelson B. sends a link to an article in Architect Magazine that probes the soul searching questions around the current Herculean task of developing (and then implementing) a comprehensive restoration master plan for Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West. Follow the link to read more about the challenges in what current FLlW Foundation president and CEO Sean Malone calls the effort to ..."nurture that ephemeral feeling without having an ephemeral reality.”
Image credit: Mark Peterman
The Louis Sullivan-designed Chicago Auditorium officially opened 125 years ago today on December 9, 1889. In honor of Chicago's oldest theater and what was billed as "the eighth wonder of the world" when it opened, I dug up and scanned a period hand colored Magic Lantern glass slide of the Auditorium Building from my archival materials. Read about the celebratory events planned for the anniversary here.
Image copyright PrairieMod
December 4, 1973 was a special day for architecture lovers. As posted on the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust's Facebook page, it was on that day that Oak Park’s Frank Lloyd Wright-Prairie School of Architecture Historic District was added to the U.S. Register of Historic Places. The federally designated Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District includes roughly 80 structures, such as the Mrs. Thomas H. Gale House, Nathan G. Moore Residence, Arthur Heurtley House, Frank Thomas House, Edwin H. Cheney House, Oscar B. Balch House, and, of course, the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio. Plan a visit to see why it was important to protect these places.
Photo credit: Tim Long
The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) held its 2014 Awards Gala on November 8, 2014 at The Fortnightly of Chicago. The theme was "A Foundation for Preservation", honoring the work of early initiators and continuing supporters of preservation work in Chicago. The gala’s nearly 200 attendees included architectural historians, architects, preservationists, and others from the Chicago architecture community. The event raised over $45,000 to support the educational mission of SAH and the ongoing restoration of SAH’s landmark headquarters, the Charnley-Persky House, which suffered flood damage in August. More after the jump...
Hyperallergic.com reports that at its December 9, 2014 public meeting the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) plans to expunge 96 locations from its landmark status consideration for the sake of streamlining the agency's process. The concern is that this action leaves these sites with little to no protection in the meantime (and we've learned that high-profile NYC sites like the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Hoffman Auto Show Room can be demolished). Read more here.
Image via hyperallergic.com
Tristatehomepage.com reports that the William Wesley Peters-designed Peters-Margedant House in Evansville, IN has been purchased by Indiana Landmarks and efforts are underway to move the prototype Usonian house moved to the University of Evansville campus by late next year. Read more here.
Image via Tristatehomepage.com