Make plans for the Wright Plus Architectural Housewalk on Saturday, May 18, 2019. Tour the interiors of eight private residences and two landmark buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and his contemporaries in the historic Chicago suburb of Oak Park. Four homes make their Wright Plus debut in 2019 – the Francis J. Woolley House, an early Wright design hinting toward Wright’s development of the Prairie style; the George L. Smith House, a beautiful Prairie home by architect John S. Van Bergen; the Ernest P. Waud House, a stately Tallmadge & Watson; and the Ashley B. Smith residence, a charming country-home style residence by Robert E. Seyfarth.
For guests seeking the ultimate all-access invitation to one-of-a-kind architecture experiences, there are deluxe weekend packages that include the Wright Plus Housewalk. Buy tickets early and SAVE. See information and rates for the Ultimate Plus Weekend Package and Ultimate Saturday here.
Join the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Local First Arizona For(u)m's Taliesin Next on February 13, 2019 for an informative and entertaining panel discussion with leading authorities on designing for desert environments and the functional impacts of landscaping, sun, water, shade, and soil on form.
Panelists include Stuart Graff (President & CEO, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation) with Panel Moderator Fred Prozzillo (Vice President of Preservation, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation). 6:30 p.m. Reception, 7:00 p.m. Panel Presentations, and 8:00 p.m. Q&A & Post-Event Reception at Taliesin West. $25 General Admission with a 20% discount for Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation members and Local First members. More here.
In this postcard from San Francisco, Sydney architect Virginia Waller reflects on the “heroic modernism” of the Fog City's striking cathedral, the towering Transamerica pyramid and the V.C. Morris Gift Store, th famous gift store designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1948. Read her account here.
In 1974, the congregants of St. Michael’s commissioned architect Nils M. Schweizer of Winter Park to prepare a master plan and design a new sanctuary in Gainesville, Florida. Schweizer was a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, and specialized in the design of religious buildings. He prepared plans for some 100 institutions and oversaw the construction of more than 40 churches.
Last year, St. Michael’s was one of 20 individual buildings identified as meeting the criteria for local landmark status and inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places as part of a comprehensive cultural resource survey led by the city of Gainesville with grant funding from the state of Florida. On Nov. 6, the city’s Historic Preservation Board unanimously voted to submit the local landmark nomination for St. Michael’s. Attorneys for the Episcopal Diocese of Florida requested a postponement of the scheduled Dec. 4 public hearing. The city capitulated.
On Dec. 12, the diocese filed for a permit to demolish St. Michael’s. The day after Christmas, within hours of the permit being issued, demolition began. Read this sad story here.
Nestled on a hillside on a private lane in Weston, Connecticut, sits this mid-century modern gem — The Trinkaus House — built in 1965 by Allan J. Gelbin, apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright. According to the real estate listing, this home takes full advantage of the landscape, sun and sky. The heart of this home is the expansive open living room/dining room with huge stone fireplace surrounded by wood elements, walls of floor-to-ceiling windows, a wraparound deck and views of the pool and field beyond. There are 5 bedrooms, including a master suite with panoramic views and access to one of the many terraces. Tasteful updates include 2.5 bathrooms and kitchen, lighting, radiant heat, newer roof, Mitsubishi AC wall unit and walk-in master closet. The delightful sounds of the waterfall and babbling brook across the street adds to the serenity of this modern habitat. More here.
The University of California Berkeley Environmental Design Archives has started the process of acquiring the Aaron G. Green, FAIA Collection. Given the size of this collection, it will take 1-2 years to process. Once processed the finding aid will be made available on the Online Archive of California. Check out page 5 of issue 15:1 of the "Tracings" newsletter for more info.
Toshiko Mori’s design for the visitor centre of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo, New York, references Frank Lloyd Wright’s design through an inverted hip roof, but its airy form also quietly challenges the low-slung earthiness of the Martin house.
“Architecture is a product of a dialogue,” Mori informs us. “There are two qualities necessary for good dialogue – listening and observation.”
When she was working on the visitor centre of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo, New York, Mori was reportedly less concerned with the architectural details of the Martin house than she was with Wright’s interest in transcendentalism, which led her to design a series of skylights that bring natural light into the centre’s underground galleries. Read this interesting profile here.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is working with The Opportunity Tree members (adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities) to build and sell desert masonry candle blocks.
The Opportunity Tree—formerly known as the Arizona Foundation for the Handicapped— is “committed to promoting the development of a society that fully embraces individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities through inclusion, advocacy and opportunities.” Together, The Opportunity Tree and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, inspired by the desert environment and Taliesin West’s rich history, partnered to produce a product that allows individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to share their creativity with the community. This partnership builds on the Taliesin legacy of inclusion established by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Wright’s Taliesin West was built using desert masonry, a technique that involves sourcing sand and stones from the surrounding desert. Inspired by this technique, a former student in the School of Architecture at Taliesin’s Immersion Program created the angled candle blocks. After continued experimentation with size, angles, and mixtures, the molds for the candle blocks were perfected, allowing production on a larger scale.
“Frank Lloyd Wright’s studio has always been a place of inclusion—a place where people could explore their talents and creativity regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, faith, or otherwise,” said Stuart Graff, president & CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. “Through this partnership with The Opportunity Tree, we’re able to advance our mission of enabling everyone to contribute to our community by realizing their potential.”
In September, Opportunity Tree members were invited to Taliesin West to explore the site, learn about the desert masonry, and explore the materials in the environment. Then, members spent time on The Opportunity Tree campus in Phoenix learning how to make the desert masonry candle blocks, finding which stones worked best with the molds, and seeing how the molds were filled. Once the members had learned the history and the process, they then collected stones from Taliesin West and built the candle blocks at their campus.
See how the candle blocks are made here.