The School of Architecture at Taliesin has announced the closing of the school after 88 years. The news follows the conclusion of a multi-year struggle back in 2017, when the school was approved to maintain its accreditation as an institute of higher learning. The decision was made by the Governing Board, as the school was not able to reach an agreement with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to keep the school open.
The School of Architecture at Taliesin (SoAT) will continue operating during the Spring 2020 Semester. The school will officially close by the end of June. There are approximately 30 students currently enrolled at SoAT. SoAT is working out an agreement with The Design School at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts so its students can transfer credits and complete their degree programs. The School of Architecture at Taliesin offered a unique experience for architecture apprentices and students who traveled to Wisconsin and Arizona to work with Frank Lloyd Wright and other esteemed designers.
The School of Architecture at Taliesin is a separate independent entity from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. SoAT is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the National Architectural Accrediting Board, the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education. The school is in good standing with accrediting agencies as well as the states of Arizona and Wisconsin. “In an age of so much turbulence, this school and its students provided so much peace. It breaks my heart that all the parties could not come together to ensure the proper legacy of this great American,” said Jacki Lynn, a Member of the Board of Governors for the School of Architecture at Taliesin. Read more here.
Decades after Frank Lloyd Wright’s passing, his enduring influence and connection to some of the biggest popular culture phenomena today is clear. Author Darran Anderson delves into this influence, and shares how we can continue to learn from him in the 21st century and beyond. Read this article with Illustrations by Ellen Surrey here.
Glencoe, Illinois Park District’s Board of Commissioners formally approved a land lease agreement Tuesday with the Glencoe Historical Society, allowing an endangered Frank Lloyd Wright-designed cottage to stay in the village. Park commissioners voted 4-1 to approve the recently announced land lease agreement. The move came with some objections from neighbors of the park where the cottage will be relocated.
The board took the vote amid fears the property’s new owners were in line to acquire a demolition permit from the village. The waiting period elapsed several weeks ago, meaning the village at any time could issue a building permit that would allow demolition to proceed. Under the plan, the approximate 1,100 square foot structure known as Booth Cottage will be relocated from its current Franklin Road site to Park 7N, located less than a block away at the intersection of Maple Hill and Meadow roads.
"This decision required the board to take a broader view of what contributes to residents’ quality of life,” Board President Lisa Brooks said. “Preserving this asset within Glencoe in the Ravine Bluffs area is important to residents appreciative of the character of our village, historical preservation, architecture and culture. The board understands the neighbor’s concerns and will work with GHS to mitigate their concerns regarding parking and hours of operation.”
Barbara Gordon, executive director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, was in attendance and said she was pleased with the vote. “I think we are one step closer to finding a solution to save this house and this is a public process,” Gordon said. “Unfortunately, we are up against the racing clock so that is what makes this a difficult process.” Read more here.
The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), with support from the California Arts Council, announces the Hollyhock House Digital Archive. The archive, which is free and open to the public, encompasses over 500 works that include original drawings, blueprints, and ephemera, which date from 1918 through the early 21st century.
Completed in 1921 as the home of noted philanthropist and art collector Aline Barnsdall, the UNESCO-designated Hollyhock House is noted as the first Los Angeles building designed by the famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Reopened in February 2015 after an extensive four-year $4.4 million renovation, it now stands as the centerpiece of Barnsdall Park, a vibrant twelve-acre cultural campusmanaged by the Department of Cultural Affairs in the heart of Hollywood.
With the inauguration of the online Hollyhock House Archive we are able to make rare drawings and construction blueprints universally accessible. Now everyone interested in Frank Lloyd Wright may view documents previously available only to scholars," said Jeffrey Herr, DCA's Hollyhock House Curator. "Always stretching technology, Frank Lloyd Wright would be delighted with digital technology and the increased dissemination of his work."
The DCA Hollyhock House Archive is available for viewing online at http://hollyhockhousearchive.org/. More information here.
Roughly 75 architecture buffs gathered at the Chicago Architecture Center on the evening of January 23rd to learn about the process by which eight of Frank Lloyd Wright's buildings were designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2019. Of the eight buildings that were chosen, two—the Unity Temple and the Robie House—are in the Chicago area.
The crowd, which included several Wright homeowners as well as architecture and design students, heard from a variety of experts on the several-decade campaign to have the architect's works recognized by the organization.
“World Heritage Sites are a register of the world’s most exceptional cultural and natural sites,” explained Barbara Gordon, executive director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy. “The organization was created to identify and protect sites of universal value.”
Other speakers on the panel included Justin Gunther, vice president of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and director of Fallingwater, Phyllis Ellin, architectural historian for the U.S. National Park Service’s Office of International Affairs, and Heidi Ruehle, executive director of the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation in Oak Park. More here.
Katsushika Hokusai, known far beyond the limits of the art world for his most famous woodblock print “The Great Wave Off the Coast of Kanagawa.” An exhibition at the Freer Gallery of Art, “Hokusai: Mad About Painting,” focuses not on the long-lived artist’s abundant wood blocks but on his paintings and drawings, of which the Freer has the largest collection in the world. Given the strictures of the museum’s namesake patron, Charles Freer, many of these works can’t leave the museum, which Freer gifted to the nation in 1906.
The exhibition includes about 120 works, including rare preparatory drawings for the woodcuts, spectacular painted screens and books of drawings and prints. A second rotation of material will be installed this spring, amounting to a two-part festival of Hokusai over almost a year.
Among the printed volumes on display are three books that belonged to Frank Lloyd Wright, containing one of Hokusai’s most important collections, the 100 Views of Mount Fuji. Wright worked in Japan, and was a smart collector of Japanese prints, some of which he used to pay off debts and assuage angry or ruffled clients. It’s easy to see his interest in Japanese aesthetics showing up in his architecture. But he also may have sensed a kindred spirit in Hokusai. They were both prolific and turned on the world a fire hose of invention. Hokusai: Mad About Painting Through Nov. 8 at the Freer Gallery of Art. asia.si.edu. More here.
Wright Plus returns on May 16, and the historic housewalk will have a River Forest focus. Walk participants will gain access to eight private residences and two landmarked buildings designed by Wright and his peers. Wright Plus Coordinator Angela Whitaker welcomes the opportunity and the challenge that comes with planning the homes for each year's Wright Plus and says this year will be a fun walk for participants. "What is unique this year is that we are so heavily focused in River Forest. It's a really good opportunity to shed some light on that village after being more Oak Park-focused in previous years. We're really excited about River Forest being out in front. It gives us the opportunity to highlight some new houses."
One of those houses is the F. H. Bell House, designed in 1913 by H. Mahler. Mahler's only Prairie-style design, it was commissioned as a wedding present from father to daughter. Whitaker says of the home, "The Bell House is outstanding. The fact that we're able to share it is great. It fits into the time period of all the houses: the first 20 years of the century."
The other new home on the walk is the John A. Klesert House, designed in 1915 by William Drummond. Whitaker says this Prairie design is "a great example of a really sweet, livable family house." And back on the walk after 20 years, the J. Kibben Ingalls House is a Wright design last open on Wright Plus in 1999. Whitaker says that with new homeowners, the house offers a fresh perspective on living in a Wright-designed home.
As Wright Plus enters its 47th year, Whitaker says homes that have been featured in the past are often quite different when they are purchased and decorated by new owners, creating an entirely new experience for those visitors who attend Wright Plus every year. She points out that Wright's Oscar B. Balch house in Oak Park, also back on the walk this year, has new owners as well. "For sure, people are going to see different things if they have visited these houses in the past," she says.
Also on this year's walk, Purcell and Elmslie's Henry Einfeldt House, which has not been on Wright Plus since 1982, the Seth A. Rhodes House, which features Philippine mahogany and diamond-paned glass windows, and the Edward Probst House. Whitaker says the Probst House "is just a showcase. Everything is museum quality. It's a jewel."
Tickets are on sale now at www.flwright.org/wrightplus, and cost $90 for the general public and $80 for Frank Lloyd Wright Trust members through Jan. 31. After that, prices increase each month under the tiered pricing system. One hot item? The limited number of fast passes, which allow walk participants to skip the line the day of the walk. Fast passes cost $500.
The Ultimate Plus Package includes an entire weekend of events centered around Wright Plus. For $2,650, you receive access to an exclusive Wright-Night at the Rookery Building, tickets to the day excursion, Wright in the Region, a Wright dinner, accommodations at Oak Park's Carleton Hotel, fast pass tickets to Wright Plus and transportation.
Limited tickets are also available to Wright in the Region, a one day tour on Monday, May 18 to explore Wright's answer to affordable yet aesthetic housing in Milwaukee with a tour of the fully restored Model B1 House and the privately-owned Frederick Bogk House, as well as a tour of the landmark SC Johnson Administration Building and neighboring Research Tower in Racine. More here.
Registration is now open to all Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy members for "Out and About Wright: New Mexico’s Modern Side," May 1-3, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
New Mexico is practically synonymous with adobe-style architecture, but there’s another side to the Land of Enchantment. This is your chance to see hidden gems of modern and organic architecture in the Santa Fe and Albuquerque areas, including a very special visit to Wright’s Arnold Friedman House (1945), the first of Wright’s two “teepee” houses, still owned by the original family and seldom open to visitors. Distinctive works by famed organic architect Bart Prince, Wright scholar Anthony Alofsin, AIA Gold Medal winner Ricardo Legoretta, and a special tour dedicated to artist Georgia O’Keeffe round out the Conservancy’s first event in New Mexico. More info here.