New for 2014, the interiors of the Taliesin residence will be open to early bird visitors this April. Taliesin Preservation, Inc. (TPI) offers several tours of the expansive 600-acre estate during the full tour season, which runs every day May – October.
Until this year, the shoulder months of April and November were limited to an exterior shuttle ride and landscape tour available on weekends only. That tour is now being replaced with our comprehensive two-hour House Tour and will be offered on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Read more after the jump...
Mark H. sends a couple of links to separate stories about the struggles historic preservationists are facing in sunny Miami. One involves an attempt to save a 1925 white mansion designed by Walter De Garmo, Florida’s first registered architect; the other involves the actions of a Miami attorney's unilateral action to shut down discussion of the city's preservation board about historic designation for an important prehistoric Indian site. Read them here and here.
Image credit: C.W. Griffin / Miami Herald Staff
Michael Bridgeman reports that there's good news from last night's Madison Common Council meeting: the alders voted to adopt the Lamp House Block Report as a supplement to the Downtown Plan. That means it will be consulted by developers, staff and elected officials to shape future projects in the immediate area of the house. While it does not have the force of an ordinance, it will be an important tool in protecting Wright's designs for the house, its site and its views. Here is a link to today's story for the Wisconsin State Journal.
Supporters of the plan will keep an eye on things as technical changes are made to city documents and as development proposals come forward. They'll also start work soon on a key recommendation of the plan: to explore eligibility for a historic district on part of the block.
Image via Wikipedia
On Tuesday, Preservation Chicago announced their annual list of "Chicago's Seven Most Endangered" city buildings. The list includes a shuttered public school by Dwight Perkins, A couple of former power stations, a catholic church, a hotel, an "L" station house in the Loop, a theater, and an entire manufacturing district. Read more about it here.
Image credit: Phil Velasquez/Chicago Tribune
AZCentral.com recently featured Taliesin apprentice Kamal Amin consulting with students of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture about rebuilding Amin's 1963 Lotus Shelter on the grounds of Taliesin West. The structure is one of the longest continually inhabited shelters occupied by students and is getting some much needed TLC as part of the "learn by doing" curriculum of the school. Read more and watch a video here.
Image via Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
Heidi Ruehle-May, Executive Director at George W. Maher's Pleasant Home in Oak Park, IL wanted to make sure PrairieMod readers remembered that Anthony Rubano will be speaking on Postwar Suburban Housing as the last event in the "Shockingly Modern - 20th Century Modernist Architecture" lecture series this Thursday, March 6, 2014. It's free, being held at the Oak Park Public Library main branch, and open to the public! More info here.
Image via pleasanthome.org
Mark Hertzberg sends a link to a story in The Journal Times about the history and impending demise of the once proud Porters Furniture Store in downtown Racine, WI. The Moderne store will be demolished later this year. No word yet what replaces it, but it's doubtful it will have the same character of this building. Read more here.
Image via The Journal Times
Michael Bridgeman reports that the Madison Common Council is not quite finished on the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Lamp House. A procedural glitch last week means another vote is set for this week's council meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Approving this week's resolution (Item 50 on the agenda) will give the Lamp House committee report official status as as a supplement to the Downtown Plan. A show of public support still matters and citizens are encouraged to register at the meeting. A link to the agenda, alder contacts and rules for registering or speaking are available here.
Image credit: Scott Templeton
MacArthur Genius Award winner and celebrated ragtime pianist Reginald Robinson will perform 7 pm and 8:30 pm, Saturday, May 17 at Unity Temple, 875 Lake St., Oak Park, IL in a benefit concert for the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust. Tickets for the one-hour concert will be $15 for the general public and $12 for Trust members. Details after the jump...
The Arkansas Traveler reports that the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (which recently bought and will move the Frank lloyd Wright-designed Bachman Wilson House) will collaborate with students and faculty of the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas to design and build an outdoor pavilion that will accompany the Usonian acquisition. Read more about it here.
Image via architecture.uark.edu
Michael Bridgeman reports in that additional protections for the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Lamp House and its immediate surroundings were unanimously accepted by the Madison Common Council at its Tuesday, February 25, 2014 night meeting. The recommendations of the ad hoc committee report still need to become part of the city's official Downtown Plan, an agenda item for the next council meeting on Tuesday, March 4. For more, see the end of the newspaper report here.
Image credit Steve Apps/State Journal archives
The Coast Report Online posts that officials at California's Orange Coast College are considering the demolition of the campus's Richard Neutra-designed planetarium and math wing to make space for new buildings. Complicating matters is the fact that experts aren't entirely sure Neutra should be credited with the buildings (someone named Robert Alexander may have been the actual architect). Read more about this concerning and confusing story here.
Photo credit Joe Charles
I'm hoping a reader out there might be able to help the PrairieMod library acquire the 4 volume set of The Architectural Drawings of R.M. Schindler by David Gebhard and published originally by Garland Architectural Archives.
The set will greatly augment our ability to study and help others research the work of one of Modernism's most important architects (it would have been most helpful to have when we were saving the Schindler/Wright cottage not long ago).
If you have a set that you'd like to see end up in the PrairieMod library, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image via Google books
DNAinfo Chicago reports that condos are being developed where the New Hope Bible Church now sits and across from Louis Sullivan's famed Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood of Chicago. Neighbors are worried about how these condos will impact the historic nature of the area and possibly intrude on the important Sullivan landmark. Read more about it here.
Photo credit: DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser
According to an article from the globegazette.com, Wright On The Park and the Mason City Public Library this week will unveil a 12-inch reproduction of the Richard Bock designed statue of Mercury which was originally created for Frank Lloyd Wright’s City National Bank in 1910. The unveiling will be in the library commons on Friday February 28 at 4 p.m. and is open to the public.
The statues will also be for sale for $85 each (plus shipping fee if required) at the library, the Architectural Interpretive Center, The Historic Park Inn Hotel, Moorman’s Clothiers, In Home Gallery and Gifts and online at www.wrightonthepark.org, with proceeds going jointly to the library and to Wright on the Park. Read more about it here.
Image via globegazette.com
Michael Bridgeman lets PrairieMod readers know that the Madison Common Council will vote Tuesday February 25, 2014 on whether to accept a special area report that would increase protection for the site around Wright's Lamp House (1903). If adopted, it will become part of the city's plan and help guide future development. Madisonians (and others) are encouraged to contact their alders to voice their support. The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin have partnered with local preservationists on this effort. Useful resources and links here and here.
Image via Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin
The Dallas Morning News reports that the city of Dallas needs about $200 million just to maintain its existing arts facilities and to build the new ones desired. Unfortunately it does not have that kind of cash laying around.
One Dallas arts facility on that "to fix" list that is of particular concern is the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Kalita Humphreys Theater which apparently needs a $30-million restoration/rehabilitation (see page 25 of this report).
Read more about the entire situation here.
Top image via The Dallas Morning News/Bottom image via dallascityhall.com
Curbed Chicago reports that a new crop of sites in the city were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013. One of those new additions was the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed J.J. Walser, Jr. House on the far West Side of the city. The home (and the neighborhood it's in) have seen better days. Now that it's listed, it enjoys a little more protection...but the long-term future of this home is still not assured. See the entire list of Chicago's new inductees here.
Image via Curbed Chicago
Gizmodo and The New York Times recently featured architectural wonders from American cities that were lost to the wrecking ball in the name of "progress." Gizmodo lists 9 buildings in particular that were a shame to lose—including Louis Sullivan's Garrick Theater. These lists could run reams of paper, but see what's been listed as lost here and here.
Image credit: Richard Nickel
I received a message yesterday that informed me that the John S. Van Bergen-designed Ewing Residence is for sale in Bloomington Illinois. Not only is the house, built in 1920 for Spencer Ewing, almost completely intact in its original form, so is the Jens Jensen landscape design!
The house has no landmark protection whatsoever and the fear is that it will be bought by a developer and torn down. Let's hope that a preservation-minded buyer comes forward to save this impressive home and return it to its Prairie School glory. See the listing here.
Image via johnvanbergen.org
North Carolina Modernist Houses (NCMH), the award-winning non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting Modernist residential design, has updated the NCMH Masters Gallery. With these updates and additions, the NCMH Masters Gallery is America’s largest open digital archive of Modernist houses, as well as the internationally known Modernist architects who designed them. Read more after the jump...
Florida Southern College's student newspaper, the Southern, reports that the university recently received $400,000 from Florida’s Division of Historical Resources to go towards in an effort to restore the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Annie Pfeiffer Chapel back to its original appearance (as close as possible). This grant money must be matched by the university, which means the restoration total spent will be $800,000. Read more about it here.
Image via Wikipedia
The Frederick Law Olmsted Society of Riverside recently announced their 2014 Housewalk. America’s first planned suburb, Riverside, Illinois, is a pastoral, walkable community with homes of varied architectural styles and vintages. “Sustainability: Then and Now” features homes ranging from Victorian, Arts & Crafts and Mid-Century modern to contemporary green-build construction, with an emphasis on sustainable materials and design. Learn how these homes achieve high visual impact with reduced environmental impact and enjoy your stroll through this National Landmark community. The event is Sunday, June 1, 2014 from Noon - 5:00 pm. Tickets are $40 per person. Visit www.olmstedsociety.org for ticket information. Inquiries may be directed to: email@example.com.
Image via The Frederick Law Olmsted Society of Riverside
The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Samuel Eppstein House in "The Acres" community of Galesburg, MI has been getting some much needed TLC. This blog has been doing a fantastic job keeping us up-to-date on the progress and providing some pics of the work done.
Having walked through the home last Fall as part of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy Conference, I saw how much work was needed. Knowing the house is getting all this needed work is good news indeed. Read and see more here.
Images via projecteppstein.blogspot.com
Michael Bridgeman reports that Madison residents can support a special advisory report that can help protect Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robert Lamp House in downtown Madison TODAY.
The Plan Commission meets at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, February 10, 2014 in Room 201 of the City-County Building. Beginning at about 5 p.m. Supporters can register in support of Item 1 on the agenda, “Accepting the report of the Lamp House Block Ad Hoc Plan Committee" which is available here. Registrants are not required to speak or stay for the meeting. Details about registering for public meetings is here. If accepted by the Plan Commission, the report will go the the Common Council on February 25, 2014 for a final decision.
Michael will try to get us a further update on Tuesday after the Plan Commission meeting. Thanks Michael and all the Madisonians who are trying to save this important Wright work!
Image credit: Scott Templeton
Curbed Chicago recently featured Martin Gonzalez's depressing photos from 2013 of the Bertrand Goldberg-designed Old Prentice Women's Hospital being destroyed. It's a sad reminder of how fragile the protections are for works of MCM architecture and how short-sighted institutions like Northwestern University and the City of Chicago can be. Read and see more here.
Image copyright Martin Gonzalez
Mark Hertzberg sends links to the news that Racine, WI is likely to lose the historic Porters building, a former high-end furniture store at 301 Sixth St., because owners have lost too much time and revenue on the delayed redevelopment process and want to cut their losses. It would be nice if they could at least find a way to save the fantastic Streamline Moderne facade. Read more about the story here and here.
Image copyright Mark Hertzberg
The new issue of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's Save Wright publication arrived yesterday and it filled with fascinating articles related to Wright furnishing design and preservation. There's articles by Margo Stipe, Pamela Kirschner, Oskar Munoz, Jack Quinan, Neil Levine, and Susan Jacobs Lockhart (who is also the guest editor of the issue). If you are not already a member of the FLWBC, then join here to receive your copy of this fantastic publication.
Image via PrairieMod
The Phoenix Journal reports that the $1 million that the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation raised in 2013 will be used in three areas: restoring Taliesin West, funding the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, and creating youth educational programs. Read more about it here. Want to support these causes? Then become a member of the FLW Foundation here.
Image via bizjournals.com
Metropolis Magazine reports that Le Corbusier's Chapel of Ronchamp in eastern France, one of the major architectural works of the 20th century, had been broken into and vandalized. The article states that a stained-glass window executed with an original illustration by Le Corbusier, was destroyed beyond repair and a concrete trunk was missing. Read more about this troubling destruction here.
Image © Cara Hyde-Basso
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
Are you interested in helping to present Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House to visitors from around the world? The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust will hold training sessions in February for volunteer interpreters to lead tours at the Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago’s Hyde Park. More info after the jump...
Pam O'Connor sends word that after 3 years of effort, Alfonso Iannelli and his Fountain of The Pioneers in Kalamazoo, MI FINALLY appears on the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office's Michigan Modern website. A capital campaign to restore this amazing Modern public art work is preparing to begin, and it's hoped that appearing on this website will help significantly. See more here.
Image via michiganmodern.org
We heard from multiple sources, including the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, that the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Bachman Wilson House in Somerset County, NJ has been purchased by and will be moved to the campus of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AK. Sharon Tarantino of Tarantino Studio (and the most recent owners responsible for the exquisite restoration of the home) was kind enough to send in-depth information of the deal via a press release. Read more after the jump...
Michael B. and the Wisconsin State Journal both report that a special committee approved a report filled with recommendations for redevelopment guidelines that preserve the block in Madison, WI that contains the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Robert M. Lamp House. More details will emerge and there is a ways to go before the Lamp House is secure, but this is a good first step. Read more here.
Image via Wisconsin State Journal
The Associated Press reports that the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, based in Scottsdale, AZ, raised over $1 million in 2013 for restoration, education, and other organizational goals, which was more than the total raised the two years before. Read a little more about it here. If you'd like to contribute to the cause, then follow the link.
Image via franklloydwright.org
I recently came across a fundraiser event announcement for January 10, 2014 being held in support of The Women's City Club of Pasadena. What piqued my interest was that the organization's clubhouse is a home designed by Prairie School architect, George W. Maher, for a former Oak Park, Illinois resident, Edmund Blinn, in 1905. The home looks amazing and I'm eager to try and see it the next time I'm in Pasadena. Read more about it here, and if you live in Southern California, find out how to support the fundraiser here.
Image via Wikipedia
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
Experience the beauty of historic Pleasant Home at night! Bring your friends and take this rare opportunity to tour the George W. Maher-designed mansion after dark. The evening will include a wine & cheese reception with live music, while docents give station tours of the many beautiful rooms located on the first floor. Pleasant Home’s restored library will house an exhibit of historic clothing, courtesy of the Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest. $30 per person, reservations required and available online, minimum 10 guests per event. Contact Sarah for questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image via Pleasant Home