The last home Frank Lloyd Wright designed before his death in 1959, the Norman Lykes house, is perched on a mountainside in stunning Phoenix, Arizona. Stepping on to the grounds of this architectural piece of history is like stepping into a parallel world made of circles.
The Norman Lykes house was completed in 1967 with Wright’s former apprentice, architect John Rattenbury at the helm. True to Wright’s style, the house is nestled in the desert in such a way that it looks like part of the Palm Canyon landscape. The curved lines of the building are reminiscent of Wright’s most iconic structures at The Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
The home was originally built as a five bedroom for Norman and Aimee Lykes, and has since been renovated by the second and only other owner to date to a three bedroom, with all renovations approved by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. More here.
For the first time, after over 20 years of restoration, the Barton House in the Martin House complex officially opens its doors to the public this week. But while the Barton House typically gets less fanfare than the Martin House, it was Frank Lloyd Wright’s first architectural volley in Buffalo, New York. The restoration project began in earnest in 1992 with the formation of the Martin House Restoration Complex (MHRC). Reconstruction of the site and of the building started in 1996 by the late Ted Lowney of HHL Architects, and was completed under the auspices of Matt Meier and Jamie Robideau. Read more.
The Wright Spirit Award recognizes efforts of extraordinary individuals and organizations that have preserved the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright through their dedication and persistent efforts. The Unity Temple restoration effort by the Alphawood Foundation and UTP, LLC, will be highlighted as they receive the Wright Spirit Award at the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy’s 2018 awards gala dinner on Oct. 13, at Monona Terrace in Madison, WI.
The preservation and stewardship of Unity Temple was made possible by the “amazing partnership” between Alphawood Foundation — a Chicago-based, private grant-making organization — and UTP, which is the Unity Temple Restoration, said Barbara Gordon, executive director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy. Thanks to outstanding work done by a team of architects, engineers, contractors, building trades and professionals, Unity Temple’s extensive restoration used “best practices for modern conservation.” Read more.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the Paradise Valley Unified School District Community Education Department in Phoenix, AZ are partnering on a six-week after-school program in 25 schools using the teachings and principles of the architect’s work.
The pilot program will begin in the fall for students in second through fifth grades with one lesson plan per week focusing on a different facet of architecture, including the use of glass, color and shapes. Each lesson plan is accompanied by a video featuring a member of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation team introducing a basic principle of architecture and applying it to the design and creation of Mr. Wright’s winter home in Scottsdale, Taliesin West.
“The driving force behind this partnership is to find ways to engage students in the creative areas of art and architecture by using the innovative concepts invented by Frank Lloyd Wright and applying them to the real world,” stated DeDee Ludwig-Palit, vice president of Public Engagement at the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. More here.
Save the date May 3-5, 2019, for the The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy’s annual spring Out and About Wright touring event, based in Dallas, Texas, with a special advocacy-focused visit to the Wright-designed Kalita Humphreys Theater and tours of private houses and museums by world-renowned architects. More details to come. Registration will begin in January, 2019. Become a member of the FLWBC and learn more about this and other events here.
As the school year gets underway again, students and teachers in Marin County, California now have a fun way to explore the unique architectural heritage of the Marin County Civic Center and to inspire students to think critically about the designed world around them. The Civic Center was one of the last major designs of Frank Lloyd Wright's career, is a California State Landmark, and appears on the National Register of Historic Places. In honor of National Arts in Education Week Sept. 9-18, the Marin County Department of Cultural Services and the Marin Cultural Association have launched Teaching by Design: Connecting Frank Lloyd Wright to the Classroom to provide educational programming for local schools.
"As a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building, the Civic Center offers a valuable entry point into STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) education, which is a key element of a 21st century education. We hope by providing Core Curriculum-based lesson plans, a field trip to the Civic Center will become a 'must-do' for every teacher and student in the county," said Gabriella C. Calicchio, Director of Cultural Services. Read more.
Curbed Atlanta has mapped the best midcentury modern homes available on the Atlanta market right now. From more standard ranch-style dwellings to the work of an Atlanta-based Frank Lloyd Wright protégé, these homes all have a unique flavor that sets them apart.
Included on this list of homes is one designed by architect Robert Green in 1974. Green was one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s later apprentices, and this two-bedroom, two-bath home in Sandy Springs features dramatic, tongue-and-groove wood ceilings and plenty of natural light from the surrounding wooded lot. See it here.
A new documentary DVD by Michael Miner features "Cedar Rock," a Usonian home designed by Wright in Quasqueton, IA/
Based on Wright’s design “A Crystal House for Town and Country” published in the Ladies Home Journal in 1945, the home was adapted as a weekend retreat for Des Moines businessman Lowell Walter and his wife Agnes. The Cedar Rock "estate” consists of four Wright Creations: The main house, boat house, front gate, and council fire. The project is considered to be one of Wright’s most “under the radar” Usonian homes, a delightful surprise of extraordinary design, one of his most livable and comfortable homes ever. The DVD is available here.
NPR's "Morning Edition" recently highlighted the Illinois's Tourism Trail for Frank Lloyd Wright works in the state. The trail links more than a dozen Frank Lloyd Wright-designed properties and takes visitors from urban Chicago sites like Robie House to quiet spaces in the more rural reaches of the state like Wright's Pettit Chapel in Belvidere, IL. Hear more here.