John Clouse was kind enough to send some of his beautiful architectural photos from a recent trip to Cuba. The island nation retains many examples of pre-war Modernism, and the subsequent embargo years have meant slow development. This means that the drive to tear things down to put up bland condos and hotels has not occurred there like in other places. Read and see more after the jump...
The Chicago Tribune reports that Com-Ed has started the initial stages of implementing their "Grand Prairie Gateway" power line project, which is planned to run a little too close for comfort to the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Murihead Farmhouse. Petitions to change the project's impact on the historic home's site have been filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission and it remains to be seen if a ruling will alter the outcome. Read more about it here.
Image via Chicago Tribune website
The Chicago Tribune reports that the congregation of Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple is preparing to temporarily move its services out of the concrete building this summer so that extensive restoration work can take place to the iconic building. Read more about it here.
Image credit: Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune
Blair Kamin reports for the Chicago Tribune that architectural preservationist, Seymour H. Persky, has passed away Sunday March, 22, 2015 at the age of 92. In addition to saving an unparallelled collection of architectural fragments and objects, Persky was responsible for helping to save and restore one of the most important works of domestic Modern architecture: The Charnley-Persky house. Read the article here.
Image credit: Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune
The Lakeland Florida Ledger reports on the restoration work currently underway on the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Annie Pfeiffer Chapel at Florida Southern College. Albany, NY architect, Jeff Baker, is heading up the restoration project which is targeted to be completed by June 30, 2015. Read more about it here.
Image via Wikipedia
Jack L. sends word that Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple in Oak Park, IL will be closing its doors to tours as of May 30, 2015 and the congregation will be moving out the end of June. This is all in preparation for the building's complete restoration. If people have not visited this iconic work of Modern Architecture then get going and see it by the end of May or you'll have to wait until the restoration is complete in September of 2016. Tour info here.
Image via flwright.org
Crain's Chicago Business reports that the current owners of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed J. Kibben Ingalls House in River Forest, IL, after owning and caring for their lovely home since 1977, will soon be listing the house for sale with Jameson Sotheby's International agent Pamela Tilton with an asking price of $1.325 million. Read and see more here.
Image via chicagobusiness.com
Author George H. Marcus will be in Springfield, IL at the Springfield Public Library on Wednesday, April 15 – 6:30 to 7:30 pm to discuss his new book, Total Design: Architecture and Interiors of Iconic Modern Houses, and specifically Frank Lloyd Wright's Dana House as complete work of art.More after the jump...
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...
The Arizona Republic reports that efforts are underway to raise $16.2 million for improvements to the 50-year-old Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Grady Gammage Auditorium in Tempe, AZ. Among the list of things to fix, the top two include the restrooms and the sound system. Read more here.
Image via azcentral.com
There was a lot of buzz over the move of the John S. Van Bergen-designed James B. Irving House yesterday from its staging area in a local Whole Foods parking lot to its new home in Evanston, IL. Read and watch some video of the slow trek here.
Image via Chicago Tribune
Chris Enck wanted to let PrairieMod know that after much waiting, the John Van Bergen-designed James B. Irving House will finally be moved to the final site this Thursday March 5, 2015 (weather permitting). The house is scheduled to leave the Whole Foods parking lot at Isabella and Green Bay Road at 6:00am and should be through the Central Street business district by about 7:00am. For the remainder of the route the mover anticipates traveling about 1 MPH to the final destination at Crawford Avenue and Old Glenview Road. The City of Evanston put together and a web link with info about the move that you can check out here. Thanks Chris--we'll be excited to see photos of the move and the home being placed in its new home.
Image via evanstonnow.com
Richard L. Kronick sends some information about the upcoming sale of the Purcell, Feick, and Elmslie-designed Paul Mueller Studio in Minneapolis, MN. Read more info after the jump...
The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust Restoration Resource Center, an extensive archive of resources for the conservation, restoration and preservation of historic buildings, opens March 12, 2015 and is a service available to all Trust members. More after the jump...
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