According to Spectrum News, some area restaurants are teaming up to raise money for Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House Complex. Workers at the house on Jewett Parkway say it's been a tough year for them being closed for four months by the pandemic and having to cancel on-site fundraisers. So, they had to get creative.
"You know traditional fundraising events, you have to get dressed up, get a table together. This is fun. You can come in your casual clothes. Get a wonderful meal, take it home, dine at home with your family and friends and support the Martin House," said Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Executive Director Mary Roberts.
The house is currently closed for tours, but Mary Roberts says they hope to open in the middle of July following state guidelines. Visitors are currently allowed to walk the grounds outside. See the news story here.
After a five-month hiatus, Kentuck Knob in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, has opened back up for business. Timothy Fischer, the tour manager with the Frank Lloyd Wright’s House said the tourism destination was closed on March 15 because it was the safest thing that could be done to the property in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the three-month closure, Fischer said they made changes like removing any kind of obstacles and clutter that would create human traffic jams; in addition, plexiglass screens were installed in certain areas. There were also changes to the tours.
First, Fischer said they had to cut the number of people to under 50% capacity as a regular guided tour now includes six people at a time where it previously had 14 people at a time. The new walk-through tour is a 35-minute guided tour of the exterior and partial interior of the house, as some of the smaller rooms offered no chance of social distancing for a group of six. Other options include an in-depth house tour, which is a 75-minute guided tour of the exterior and interior of Kentuck Knob, giving an extended interpretation of the house and its history. That tour is limited to four guests at a time. Also available, the Woodland Walks, which is a self-guided tour of the wooded trail, the exterior of the house and the many sculptures that surround it.
Walk-through tours have been reduced in price from $25 to $20 while the other tours vary in price. Guests are required to make reservations in advance to control the amount of people on the property at any given time, and must wear masks, practice social distancing, not touch any surfaces unless necessary and must have a non-invasive temperature check before the tour begins. More here.
In 1948, Ken and Phyllis Laurent commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design a home for them in Rockford, IL. Ken was a paraplegic after spinal surgery in 1946 and Phyllis thought Wright’s architectural approach would suit his needs. The Laurent home is the only one the architect designed specifically for a person with disabilities. The Laurents lived in the home for 60 years, making sure all improvements and additions were completed according to Wright's intention.
In 2012, a group of local Wright enthusiasts formed The Laurent House Foundation and bought the home, the architectural drawings, furnishings, and the family’s personal effects. The organization opened the home to the public in 2014 and visitors have come from more than 40 states in the United States and five continents.
This year, the Laurent House took another step forward. The organization purchased a home across the street from the Laurent House and turned it into a visitor center. “That project cost about $750,000,” said Jerry Heinzeroth, a retired design engineer, who is president of The Laurent House Board of Directors. “We were able to get donations and funding for most of it, but we still owe the contractor $140,000.”
Unfortunately, until Friday, no one had been able to visit the Laurent House or see the new visitor center because it was shut down because of the pandemic. Now the home is once again open for visitors. For now, the Laurent House will open for tours of no more than four people on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and only by reservation. More here.
The Alden B. Dow Home and Studio has resumed tours of Midland's Mid-Century Modern architectural icon.
"We have created a more intimate experience that will accommodate the smaller number of guests per tour," said Lisa Quinn, marketing and public relations coordinator, of the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio. "Public tours will have a maximum capacity of nine guests with one tour guide. We have also added one single party private tour that will have a required minimum of four guests up to a maximum of nine guests with one tour guide."
All of the Home and Studio COVID-19 procedures are outlined and explained at their website. Registration can be made there as well. More here.
The Virtual Wright Design Series will happen Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 1:00pm CST. It is being presented by Heather Sabin, Tourism Coordinator at Monona Terrace in Madison, WI.
Sabin will share the story of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Monona Terrace, a dream civic center project for his hometown of Madison, Wisconsin. The project became mired in political battles that polarized Madison for almost 60 years. Wright's "long-awaited wedding between the city and beautiful Lake Monona" was finally realized when Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center opened in 1997.
This program is free and conducted virtually via Zoom video conferencing. Registration is required here.
For the first time in history, Taliesin is offering a self-guided opportunity called "Family Day" to walk the 800-acre estate in Wisconsin. This experience will take place on Sunday, July 19, Aug. 9 & Sept. 13 from 10 am to 3 pm and offers visitors a chance to explore the stunning Driftless Area landscapes and the exteriors of the buildings. Boxed lunches are available at the Riverview Terrace Cafe and a scavenger hunt will be available for younger guests. More info here.