The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, a true world-class masterpiece of architecture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright will be 60 years old in 2019. A series of events and initiatives are planned to celebrate this important anniversary throughout the year, and on January 7th the museum will start staying open for extended hours, opening every day of the week ready to receive extra visitors.
The curvilinear slope of the building is without doubt the most revolutionary and visually disruptive feature of the New York Guggenheim. Wright went beyond the long tradition of museums, which had remained unchanged for centuries, to create a series of spaces in sequence in which the works of art could be exhibited on the basis of chronological or thematic criteria. Wright’s space is a single encompassing area, a spiral-shaped ramp rising up to the big glass roof, a unique space and “a temple of the spirit” where contemporary art and architecture come together. Visitors can follow the exhibition route from the top down, taking the elevator up and then walking down the ramp to the big central space. On the outside, the building looks like a white ribbon progressively winding upwards from the bottom, like an upside-down ziggurat.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s building has over the years become a fundamental physical and cultural presence in the New York cityscape. Plan a trip to enjoy some of the numerous events that are planned throughout the year to celebrate the anniversary of its opening on October 21, 1959. Read more.
Fallingwater is again nominated to be added to the World Heritage List by UNESCO, which recognizes natural and cultural sites with “outstanding universal value.” The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization recently announced its 2019 nominees. The new sites will be selected in July when the World Heritage Committee meets in Baku, Azerbaijan.
This is a second try for Fallingwater, the former weekend home of the Kaufmann family in the woods near Mill Run, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. It was one of a group of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings first nominated as a group in 2008. The group of 10 buildings’ serial nomination to the list in 2015 was deferred in 2016 and the list was pared down and revised again.
This nomination, coordinated by the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and submitted in November by the National Park Service, includes Fallingwater and seven other Wright-designed buildings in the U.S.: the Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago; Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House in Madison, WI; Hollyhock House in Los Angeles; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York; Taliesin in Spring Green, Wis.; Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Unity Temple in Oak Park, Ill. Read more.
Regina Cole of Forbes gives us a trip down memory lane with a story of what might have been for Mason City, Iowa. During the first decade of the 20th century, business was booming in Mason City. In 1909, a group of local attorneys and businessmen decided to develop a street corner to meet three needs: for a new, much needed hotel, a bigger building for the City National Bank and offices for their corporation. To design their tripartite new building, they turned to the hottest architect of the day, Frank Lloyd Wright.
The previous year, Dr. G.C. Stockman had hired the architect to design a house; for their mixed-use development, the attorneys and businessmen wanted more of the voguish new Prairie Style. Wright took on the work in Mason City, which had been settled in 1853. When Stockman’s house influenced the town’s business community, Mason City’s accumulation of Prairie School architecture began.
Today, Mason City is home to the largest concentration of Prairie School homes in a natural setting in the world: at least 32 houses were built in the style between 1908 and 1922. 17 are on the National Register of Historic Places; eight more are contributing properties to a historic district, the Rock Glen and Rock Crest National Historic District. But, other than the Stockman House and the Park Inn Hotel and City National Bank Building, none were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
When he scandalously eloped with Mamah Cheney in 1909, Wright put an end to his Mason City career. Local citizens with money to spend on new homes turned to other architects, including Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin, Francis Barry Byrne, William Drummond, Einar Broaten and Curtis Besinger. The upright citizens of River City were not the only ones who felt that way: Wright did not get another commission until 1916, in Japan. Read more here.
The Boulter House in Clifton, Ohio, designed in 1954 by famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, is set to hit the market later this month for $695,000. Owners Chuck Lohre and his wife, Janet Groeber, have spent much of the past 15 years restoring the home to its original Usonian design – a term used by Wright to refer to his vision of affordable housing for the masses.
Originally built for University of Cincinnati professor Cedric Boulter and his wife, the 2,700 square feet Usonian occupies a corner lot not far from the bustle of the busy UC campus, and yet feels secluded enough to appear almost suburban. Constructed of concrete block, plate glass and mahogany (stained in "Taliesin red"). The house is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and changes to the exterior of the home can't be made without the permission of the Cincinnati Preservation Association. More here.
Parade has an article about a Lloyd Wright-designed home restored by Diane Keaton. The star has a long list of homes she has purchased, remodeled, and sold. But now, one of Southern California’s most famous homes, originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son, Lloyd, has undergone Keaton’s ministrations, and, according to TopTenRealEstateDeals.com is for sale priced at $4.295 million.
The Samuel-Novarro House (named after early Hollywood silent-film actor Ramon Novarro and his business manager Louis Samuel) was designed by Lloyd Wright in 1928 and has now undergone a transformation that stays true to the architect’s original concept — highlighting his signature touches including interior accents and the oxidized copper trim on the exterior — but includes modern updates that make the home livable in 2019.
Measuring approximately 2,690-square-feet of interior space on four levels, the house offers three bedrooms and three baths, a large sunny kitchen with wide garden views, large great room and dining area, light-filled master suite and a master bath that has a dramatic Wright-designed accent wall. The interior has large open, light-filled spaces that bring the outdoors in through large, well-placed windows and glass walls. The main living area opens to the walled swimming pool terrace for total privacy. Many of its rooms open to terraces for dining, entertaining or for relaxing meditation, all overlooking mature professional landscaping of trees, ferns and overhanging vines, perfectly achieving Wright’s architectural goal of blending structure with nature. See it here.
Atlas Obscura informs us of an interesting tidbit. In a quiet north Chicago neighborhood rests a stunning relic of the golden age of earthenware design. For a glimpse back in time to when Chicago was considered a capital of architectural ornamentation, you need only take a walk down this quiet street on the city’s north side.
The stretch of West Oakdale Avenue running between Sheffield and Seminary streets in the Lakeview neighborhood was designated a Chicago landmark in September of 2005. Here, curious visitors can find a clutch of old buildings that once housed the officers of the Northwestern Terra Cotta Company.The company was active in Chicago from 1878 through the early 20th century. In its heyday, it worked with some of Chicago’s most influential architects, such as Louis Sullivan, Daniel Burnham, and John Root, to produce the iconic, highly detailed works of earthenware that helped define that era of the city’s architecture. You can walk by the houses at any time, though it's best to go during daylight hours so you can better appreciate their architectural details. More here.
Schumacher, makers of fabrics, wall-coverings and trim, recently celebrated their 129th anniversary. This company's passion for design has its origins in the family-owned business' rich history of collaborations with the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright and Paul Poiret. Today, the brand introduces monthly collections to keep up with the latest design currents. Read more here.