The newest issue of the Journal of Organic Architecture + Design presents an overview of the independent practice of the American architect Louis Henry Sullivan. That independent practice, with a duration of almost 29 years, began after the dissolution of the Adler and Sullivan partnership in 1895 and ended with Sullivan’s death at the age of 67. His architectural commissions numbered around 50 and during these final years he also completed non-architectural designs for various and sundry clients, publications and causes. Perhaps most important to his legacy he wrote prolifically during this period as well.
Filled with never-before-published images and new scholarship, this journal takes a look at the twilight of one of America's most important architects who planted the seed that germinated into the roots of organic architecture. Order your copy here.
The Whirling Arrow reminds us that in August of 2017, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the School of Architecture at Taliesin officially separated and the School pursued its own accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission as an institution of higher learning. The Foundation maintains ownership of Taliesin in Wisconsin and Taliesin West in Arizona, and the School remains based at these campuses. Both organizations are dedicated to using these properties as examples and teaching tools of how to build a more beautiful world.
A year later, the School’s President, Aaron Betsky, reflects on what the year of being an independent entity has meant for the School, and what the future holds. Read it here.
In honor of Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy, Taliesin Preservation has announced the 2018 Shining Brow Award winners. This year’s Shining Brow Award winner is Arthur Dyson, along with this year’s Emeritus Board member inductees are, David Uihlein, Jr., and Minerva Montooth. They were selected for their profound, enduring creative and professional excellence in architecture and the allied arts and sciences.
Award recipients will be celebrated at The 2nd Annual Shining Brow Awards Gala on Friday, October 19, 2018. The gala magnifies Wright’s profound legacy through the preservation of his personal home and famed architecture studio, Taliesin. This year’s event features The E Street Band’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame drummer Max Weinberg and a culinary dinner experience by celebrated Chef Luke Zahm in Taliesin’s Hillside Drafting Studio. Tickets for this limited-seating event are on sale. More here.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has named Stephanie Pierotti as its new vice president of licensing. As the vice president of licensing for the Foundation, Pierotti will lead the department’s efforts in making Wright’s timeless designs accessible to the public worldwide, with high quality products and a diverse group of licensees.
“We’re excited to have Stephanie join our team and help us bring Wright’s ideas and designs into homes and lives,” said Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation President and CEO Stuart Graff. “The Foundation carries Wright’s idea of democratizing design forward through its licensing program, and Stephanie’s experience in developing new products and retail programs will help us accelerate that aspect of our mission.”
Pierotti most recently served as the vice president of marketing for Scott Brothers Global. Previously, Pierotti managed brand expansion programs from Yahoo! and Match.com, and licensed merchandise programs for Hot Topic and Bandmerch. Pierotti began her career as an Artist Development Representative with Universal Music, and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a double concentration in public relations and advertising, and a minor in marketing. More here.
On Sept. 1 the David and Gladys Wright House in Phoenix, Arizona, was listed for sale. It is on the market to any buyer who will pay $12.95 million for the 5.9-acre property in Phoenix’s Arcadia neighborhood.
Since 2012, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy has been heavily involved with saving this important building from the hands of developers who initially planned to demolish the house to make way for two large houses. Despite tireless efforts to secure the protection of the house through local landmarking, and a historic preservation application pending since September 2015, the house remains legally unprotected.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy writes, "As we saw in January with the demolition of the Lockridge Medical Clinic in Whitefish, Montana, when Wright-designed properties fall into the hands of the wrong buyer, they can be lost despite public outcry and the best efforts of advocacy organizations. The destruction of the David and Gladys Wright House would result in an irreversible and devastating loss to the canon of American architecture—comparable to the demolition of Wright’s groundbreaking Larkin Building in 1950."
Preeminent Wright scholars have recognized the importance of the David and Gladys Wright House among Wright’s works. Built for his son and daughter-in-law in 1950-52, it is the only residence by the world-famous architect that is based on the circular spiral plan of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, whose construction followed it by six years. When the house was first published, in 1953, it was stated that “no other Wright house since Fallingwater” was as praiseworthy and remarkable. Since then its reputation has only increased. The spatial design, the processional movement through the patio and along the encircling ramp, the custom-designed concrete-block detailing, and the total interior design all give this house a spectacular expression entirely appropriate to the desert environment of the region. Wright’s original drawing for the house described it as a response to “How to Live in the Southwest.” It is one with its site in both the specific and general senses of the word. Read more.
The Society of Architectural Historians recently announced the winners of its 2018 Awards for Architectural Excellence. Harry Hunderman, FAIA, and Deborah Slaton, principals at Northbrook, IL–based firm Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, jointly received the Award for Preservation Advocacy and Stewardship of the Built Environment. Specialists in the preservation and renovation of historic buildings and sites, the duo has worked on numerous iconic significant architectural projects, including the Louis Kahn–designed Salk Institute, the Washington Monument, the New York Public Library, and works of architects such as Louis Sullivan, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen, and Minoru Yamasaki.
The winners will be presented with the awards on Nov. 2 at the ninth annual SAH Awards Gala at the Arts Club in Chicago. This year's gala is co-chaired by Carol Ross Barney, FAIA, founding president of Ross Barney Architects and Philip Hamp, FAIA, president of Vinci Hamp Architects. Proceeds from the gala will support the society's educational programs and publications, and will help fund the restoration of the Charnley-Persky House, designed by Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, which serves as the society's headquarters in Chicago. Read more here.
A retired Pittsburgh area art teacher has made her retirement dream of becoming a Fallingwater tour guide a reality. Sandra Spagnola’s first experience at Fallingwater made quite the lasting impression.
When her college boyfriend (later her husband) took her to visit Fallingwater, she fell in love with the globally recognized iconic home designed by famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
“We were both amazed at the connection of the house with nature,” Spagnola, 68, and a retired art teacher, recalls. "We immediately fell in love with the house and became Frank Lloyd Wright fans.”
Spagnola made sure she satisfied her annual Fallingwater fix, arranging field trips there with her art students. “I began taking students in 1988, and continued until my retirement in 2012,” she says. “It made me more aware of my passion for Fallingwater, and a few years before my retirement I thought about how wonderful it would be to work there.”
She placed a call to Fallingwater’s employment office after retiring, sent in her resume and aced her interview. Hired and trained in 2018, Spagnola just wrapped up her first summer season as a guide on the popular one-hour guided house tours.
“Being able to work at Fallingwater has been my goal for a few decades,” she says. “I’m so happy that I’m finally here.” Read more.
Artist and art dealer O.P. Reed and his wife Rosemary commissioned this seafront family house from O.P.’s brother, the architect John A. Reed, in 1960. Both Reeds had close associations with Frank Lloyd Wright. Architect John worked with Wright as a drawing apprentice between 1948 and 51, while in the early 1960s O.P. acted as art appraiser for Wright’s collection of Japanese prints, facilitating their sale to museums and the funding of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
Set into the hillside above Malibu’s Pacific Coast highway, the midcentury property tumbles down the slope, offering views across the ocean and towards Point Dume. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom Malibu property remains in the Reed family, who have put it up for rent for the first time ever via Crosby Doe Associates for $9,250 a month. See it here.
Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy continues in Bartlesville, as students from the School of Architecture at Taliesin — the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based institution Wright founded in 1932— will be designing Tower Green, the downtown urban green space between Price Tower and the Bartlesville Community Center in Bartlesville, OK.
In March, Bartlesville voters approved $1.75 million for the 1.6-acre development that will tie Wright’s Price Tower and the Bartlesville Community Center, which was designed by William Wesley Peters — Wright’s protege, son-in-law and Taliesin graduate.
The city-appointed Tower Green Design Committee approved the idea to allow students from the School of Architecture at Taliesin to provide the architectural planning for the green space. Scott Ambler, Tower Green Design Committee consultant and executive director of the Price Tower Arts Center, says, “What better way to continue on the Wright legacy than to have the Green designed by students of Frank Lloyd Wright’s school." Read more.
MyTaliesin opens Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home and Studio in Wisconsin to the world through a site for sharing experiences and responses and to visit through a RealTime, interactive digital animation, the Taliesin Estate as it was from its beginning in 1911. The opportunity to engage people in appreciating Wright’s amazing personal architectural living and working laboratory has never been so accessible in such exciting fashion. This site is an on-going project of story tellers, creative directors, renowned digital animators, and architectural historians.
The MyTaliesin project began with the impressive digital animation of unbuilt projects by the American architect Bruce Goff presented at University of Oklahoma. Seeing that amazing presentation, Skyline Ink was asked to construct a digital model of Taliesin when it was first built in 1911 to celebrate Taliesin’s Centennial in 2011. Subsequently, Faucethead inquired if they could engage people’s response to Taliesin on the internet. Together these two brilliant design teams built a web-site to bring people together through their experiences at Taliesin and their response to visiting Taliesin on line.
Check out the amazing animation and share your own Taliesin story here.