Jennifer Gray writes an article in The Whirling Arrow about Frank Lloyd Wright's exhibition on April 15, 1935, in the heart of Rockefeller Center in New York, featuring a radical project called Broadacre City. In this exhibition, he proposed to resettle the entire population of the United States onto individual homesteads. Challenging the very urbanity of the space where it was exhibited, Broadacre City advanced an idea of decentralization whereby communities would be based on small-scale farming and manufacturing, local government, and property ownership.
Wright never intended to build Broadacre City but rather used it as a vehicle to address pressing social, economic, and environmental issues, many of which have contemporary relevance. His vision invites us to reflect on questions of our own time, such as the role of government, social and economic equality, infrastructure and sustainability, and how to foster community. Read the article here.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation informs us that this summer, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Taliesin Preservation, Inc. preservation teams, with the help of Wisconsin geothermal loop contractor G.O. Loop, completed the installation of a geothermal heating and cooling system to serve the residence wing of Taliesin. Read more here.
One of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy’s biggest annual fundraisers is a silent auction held during their annual conference. This year’s auction at the Madison conference (Oct. 10-14) includes more than 130 unique experiences, collectibles, and original artwork. Now all Conservancy members have the chance to bid online for 15 of these auction packages, ranging from a very rare Wright medallion with a unique backstory to the chance to live in an entire Wright house for a night.
Online pre-bidding is open now and ends Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 5 p.m. CT. Place your highest bid online and if you’re not outbid when the silent auction closes at the conference on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. CT, you win that item! More information here.
After over 20 years of restoration, a legendary Frank Lloyd Wright residence in Buffalo, NY has finally opened its doors to public visitors. Sitting inside the Martin House estate complex, the Barton House's $2 million upgrade is the final architectural piece of the estate to be restored, completing the ambitious preservation project. See the photos here.
The Graycliff Conservancy invites those of us who thrill at the colors of autumn to come view impressive architecture and the changing of the season. There really is no better fall foliage vantage point than from atop a 65 foot cliff overlooking Lake Erie. This is a prime chance to walk the colorful grounds of Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural landmark, which includes spectacular views of the gardens, the ponds, and the forested setting.
To that end, the Conservancy has established a “Sundays in the Country” series. Sunday is the perfect day to enjoy the tranquil surroundings. Plus, visitors will be able to see all of the impeccable work that has gone into the restoration of this FLW stunner – the interior restoration is almost complete! Word is that the house’s iconic red roof will soon be freshly repainted, which is a reason in itself to visit the grounds.
Graycliff is located at 6472 Old Lakeshore Rd., Derby, NY, 14047.
Sunday in the Country will be offered October 7th, and 14th, starting at 9am. Reservations are required for this great experience. Read more.
It's time for "Archtober," the month long festival celebrating architecture, design, and urban planning. Organized by the Center for Architecture and now in its eighth year, the festival provides an umbrella for events, lectures, exhibitions, and other programming throughout New York's five boroughs all month long. Included, on October 7, the Film Screening: 100 Women Architects in the Studio of Frank Lloyd Wright.
"It's no secret that women have often been overlooked in the architecture field. That might be why few people know that one of history's greatest architecture firms—that of Frank Lloyd Wright—was largely propelled by female architects. This film spotlights the talented women who worked under Wright on some of his most iconic project." Screenings are at 3 and 4 P.M., free with admission. More information here.
On Sunday October 14, 2018, the first of its kind Architectural Finds Tent Sale will take place in Oak Park on the lawn of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio. All proceeds of the sale will benefit the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust and the Oak Park River Forest Historical Society.
Volunteer organizer Tom Abrahamson said he is seeking doors, windows, hardware, architectural elements, light fixtures, fireplace mantles, ironwork, and other items from Oak Park and River Forest homes. During September, he can schedule free pickup service at donors' homes. Donors may also drop off their items during business hours at the ReUse Depot. Abrahamson notes that the ReUse Depot of Maywood is offering its services pro bono to make the event run smoothly.
To date, Abrahamson says he has already received significant donations. "Right now, more than twenty historic homes, many of them landmarked, have donated items to the sale," he said. "We have several Frank Lloyd Wright homes donating stuff. There are some pretty amazing homes involved."
Donations include leaded glass windows from the Hills-DeCaro house, remodeled by Wright and Heywood Wakefield chairs from the River Forest's Women's Club designed by William Drummond. Other donations include original kitchen floors from a Wright home, columns, architectural artifacts, stained glass and leaded windows, doors, hardware, bathtubs, pedestal sinks, medicine cabinets, doorknobs, sconces and hardware.
During the tent sale, each item will have a sales tag with a photo of the home it came from and a story about the item's origin, which Abrahamson thinks contributes to the historical tenor of the event. "It's pretty great that people can buy a little bit of history." Get more information here.
In 1945, a cooperative group from New York City purchased a 100-acre tract of land in Pleasantville, New York, and engaged Frank Lloyd Wright to build his Broadacre City concept, first published in 1932, on the land. Wright called the community "Usonia." Wright created a plan for the community, and designed three of the homes himself. The first of the Wright-designed houses to be built was constructed for Bertha and Sol Friedman in 1948. Friedman was a retailer of books, records and toys, and Wright called the home Toyhill.
It consists of two intersecting circles topped by mushroom-like concrete slab roofs. A mushroom-shaped carport echoes the shape of the house. Wright pulled in natural elements throughout the construction with his use of concrete, stone and oak wood detailing. The 2,164-square-foot house also boasts the architect’s signature central hearth and oak built-in furnishings, all of which remain in place today.
Barbara Gordon, executive director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, says the home is a unique and incredible variation on Wright’s Usonian vision and notes that Wright’s planned community remains a huge draw. “The sense of community here is such an important part of the story. The vision the original owners had lives on today, and this home is a key part of that.”
The Friedman House is listed for $1.425 million. Read more.
If you have not had a chance to attend one of the special house concerts performed as a benefit for the School of Architecture at Taliesin then you're in luck! Two more concerts are coming up in October:
• October 7 at the Winslow House in River Forest, IL
• October 21 at the Gridley House in Batavia, IL
It's a chance to enjoy a magical evening of music and architecture. Get tickets here.
In her new book, Wright on Exhibit, Kathryn Smith charts Frank Lloyd Wright’s rise and fall and rise again in a revealing exposition of how the architect refused to be forgotten and what he did step by step to attract the admiration of millions of Americans, not to mention the Europeans and Japanese.
As part of the Henry Meade Williams Local History Lecture Series, Ms. Smith with explore this topic on Wed. Oct 24th at 7pm at Carpenter Hall, Sunset Center, Carmel, CA. Special attention will be devoted to one of Wright’s most dramatic houses by the water, the Mrs. Della Walker House, Carmel-by-the-Sea, the only other Wright building that can be compared to Fallingwater in its profound connection between man and nature. More info here.