When Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fellowship at Taliesin was first developed, architecture students learned by doing. Today, this tradition lives on through students of School of Architecture at Taliesin building their own desert shelters. The Whirling Arrow features student Xinxuan Liu, whose shelter is nearing completion. In this article she dissects the process of creating and building the shelter from start to finish, and what she learned along the way. Read about her journey here.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater is one of the most incredible architectural achievements of all time. There’s no substitute for visiting the iconic site, but sometimes you can’t make the road trip to Mill Run in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Enter Cristóbal Vila and his 3D-computer-rendered fly-over showing the environment, structure, and design of the masterpiece. While the video feel more engaging than just a static picture, we strongly urge you to go for real. See it here.
Highlighting Highland Park, Illinois' 150th Anniversary Celebration, an hour-long tour showcasing residential architecture in multiple neighborhoods will take place at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., starting at Highland Park City Hall, 1707 St. Johns Ave on May 11.
"The City of Highland Park is lucky to have a particularly large collection of Prairie School homes by architects, such as Frank Lloyd Wright, George W. Maher, John Van Bergen and Robert Seyfarth,” said Jean Sogin, vice chair of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission. “We want to look at that important period in the context of what came before and what came after. So, our architecture tour ranges from 19th century farmhouses to modernist masterpieces.”
Sites and homes in Highland Park that have been used as sets for iconic movies also will be the focus of a half-hour guided bus tour called, “Hollywood in Highland Park”, and a guided art tour will focus on artwork at the Highland Park Public Library and on the grounds of Ravinia Festival. More information here.
The circular Norman Lykes Home in Phoenix, Arizona was one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s final residential designs. The 3,095-square-foot home was designed just before his death in 1959 for Norman and Aimee Lykes. The home is an excellent example of the architect’s late-career style—exemplified by the Guggenheim and David and Gladys Wright home—and is most notable for its curving set of concentric circles. Apprentice John Rattenbury was appointed the architect for the home following Wright’s passing, and the project was built in 1967.
Located on a desert plateau in Phoenix’s Palm Canyon, the home looks like a set of intricate clock gears from above. Wright was inspired by the curves and forms of the surrounding mountains, and the home boasts 180-degree-views of the landscape. The interior features curved walls clad in golden hued Philippine mahogany, circular and semi-circular windows and other geometric cutouts, custom built-ins, and original Wright-designed furniture.
In 1994, Rattenbury updated the interiors, which originally had five bedrooms—some as small as closets—and now has three bedrooms and three bathrooms with a larger master suite. (All changes were approved by Taliesin.) The house also includes a crescent-shaped pool, which helps mitigate the desert heat.
The home is now going for $2,985,000 after being on and off the market since 2016 with an original list price of $3,600,000. See it here.
Steve Sikora, co-owner of the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Malcolm Willey House, continues his exploration of the home and its influence on architecture and society. In part 13 of his story, Steve recounts a March 1995, House Beautiful magazine celebrated Nancy Willey in an article entitled “Glorious Times.” In the article, Nancy recounted a Taliesin gathering where Eugene Masselink told assembled friends, “Nancy’s house was the plow that broke the plains,” “I was so proud,” she recalled. As well she should have been. Her house, after all, was a forerunner in so many ways. Read the entire chapter here.
Landmarks Illinois announced its 2019 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois, naming 12 historically, architecturally, and culturally significant sites throughout the state to its annual list of threatened properties.
On this list is the Booth Cottage, in Glencoe, Illinois. This Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home is currently for sale and unprotected. The one-story frame house was originally built in 1913 for Sherman and Elizabeth Booth, prominent members of the Glencoe community in the early 20th century. While charming in size, the house is located on a substantial lot that could accommodate a much larger residence, putting it at risk for tear-down and redevelopment.
"A troubling trend with this year's Most Endangered sites is the number of historic places that face demolition despite strong and active community support for preservation," said Bonnie McDonald, Landmarks Illinois President & CEO, "People all over Illinois are working to save special places that help tell the unique stories and history of their neighborhoods despite the many challenges that stand in their way." More here.