A trio of new journals are now available to order for fans of organic architecture!
The new Friends of Kebyar Journal revisits a number of organic architects who were previously featured in the publication, providing an update of their work accomplished since their initial issue was published. Architects include Arthur Dyson, Dean Bryant Vollendorf, James Hubbell, E. Fay Jones, James Howard Fox, Robert C. Broward, Will Miller, Bart Prince, Dan C. Duckham, Eddie Jones, Robert Oshatz, and Gary McCowan. Edited by Randolph C. Henning. You can order it here.
The newest issue of the Journal of Organic Architecture + Design is a monograph that features The Rio Roca Chapel & Chapel House located near Graford, Texas, which was designed by the Fayetteville, Arkansas architect Maurice Jennings in 2008. It is unquestionably a contemporary example of the growth of an organic architecture that flowered from the seed of Louis Sullivan, the roots of Frank Lloyd Wright, and the stem of E. Fay Jones. The lineage is unmistakable; the result extraordinarily stunning; the legacy sustained. The spirit of E. Fay Jones and those that paved his humbly rooted but highly skilled way live proudly alongside Maurice Jennings within this beautifully woven assembly of wood, glass, stone, and steel; all providing physical definition, ethereal manipulation, and spiritual purpose to the air, space, and light at Rio Roca. This single project monograph presents this stunning building with drawings, photos, and statements from its creators and others. You can get a copy here.
The Taliesin Fellows also have a new journal available, but as of this newsletter, the link was not on their website. Hopefully that will be updated soon. In the meantime, you can see their other issues and order any you've missed.
If you already subscribe to these journals, your copies are in the mail and will arrive soon. If you have not become a subscriber yet to any or all of these publications, then follow the links and sign up today!
Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida, will receive $250,000 for the restoration of the Polk County Science Building's planetarium through a program administered by the National Park Service. The Lakeland college is one of two Florida recipients of Save America’s Treasures grants announced Thursday.
The Science Building, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, was completed in 1958, the last of a dozen Wright structures built on campus. It contains the only planetarium designed by Wright to be constructed, according to William Allin Storrer’s book, “The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.”
"This is phenomenal news, and Florida Southern greatly appreciates the funding to help preserve and restore this Frank Lloyd Wright global treasure," FSC President Anne Kerr said. "Combined with significant philanthropy from a private donor, the future is bright for this magnificent one-of-its-kind planetarium. Scholars from around the world are eager to come and study this gem of world-class architecture at Florida Southern College.” More here.
Saved from the wrecking ball, carefully restored and donated by a local couple, Wright's 1906 Millard House sold last week for $950,000. Located on an 0.66-acre lot about a half-block from Lake Michigan, the 114-year-old Alice and George Madison Millard House was the first of two houses created for the couple by Wright to be listed on National Register of Historic Places and the third and final house designed by Wright in Highland Park, Illinois.
By 1992, the Highland Park property had fallen into disrepair, with one wing of the house appearing to be separating from another. That year, it was purchased for $485,000 by Claire and Juan Montenegro, and over the course of the next 19 years, they completed significant repairs, including restoring the original porch and adding a new foundation.
The Montenegros first listed the property in May 2011 with a $1.4 million asking price. The price was gradually reduced over the near few years, down to $750,000 in September 2015.
After the Highland Park Historic Preservation Commission granted conditional approval to demolish the house in October 2015, Highland Park residents Gale and Rickey Rothner decided to step in.
The Rothners purchased the house in December 2015 for $687,500 and carried out extensive improvements to meet the demands of a contemporary buyer and make the house move-in ready. The renovations were carried out with architect Douglas Gilbert, Landmark Construction and Highland Construction, according to the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy.
The goal of the project was to prevent the demolition of the house and dedicate the proceeds to charity. The home features 68 art glass windows, original fixtures, fireplaces and millwork. There's also a fireplace, dressing room and private balcony in the updated master suite. It also has radiant heating throughout the home and new air conditioning, according to its listing.
Mrs. Rothner said she expected the renovation project would take about six months. But instead it wound up taking three years. The updates included a new garage, a transformed maid's room, a finished cellar, a converted master suite and extensive storage. Earlier this year, the Rothners donated the house to the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, with the proceeds going to CJE SeniorLife, according to JUF.
It was listed publicly last month for $950,000 and sold Aug. 12 for its full asking price. The new buyer has not been identified in public records. "This was just an incredible win-win situation," said Linda Haase, senior associate vice president of marketing communications for the Jewish United Fund. "Gale and Rickey are extraordinary generous people who did two good deeds at once — They saved this beautiful, historic landmark from the wrecking ball and also made a tremendous gift to the community." See the photos here.
Dan Sokoloff didn’t want to move to the suburbs. He certainly didn’t want to move to Scarsdale. Urged by his wife, Martha Kaiser, to check out some houses on his lunch break — he works in Purchase — Sokoloff remained steadfast in not wanting to leave New York City until he saw 8 Overlook Road in Fox Meadow.
Built in 1950, the original architect was Edgar Tafel, who apprenticed under Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin from 1932 to 1941. The influence from Wright to Tafel is clear in the architecture with “the idea of horizontal planes that were jutting out into the landscape,” according to architect Stephen Moser.
According to Zillow, 8 Overlook sold for $2.75 million on Dec. 19, 2018 to Sokoloff and Kaiser. The house on a lot just under one acre in size had previously sold for $807,500 in 1996, then $2.56 million in 2015; and in May 2018 it sold for $2.97 million to buyers who intended to tear it down, but were denied permission to do so. That buyer and put the house back on the market in July 2018. With little competition due to the slowdown in the housing market after the federal government reduced deductibility of state and local taxes, Sokoloff and Kaiser took their time in deciding to purchase the house, which they planned to restore prior to moving in. Red more here.
Sandi Hemmerlein of KCET gives us 61 Self-Guided Tours for Exploring L.A. on our own. To read and download or print any of the three currently featured trail guides, you must provide your email address to sign up — and in return, you’ll receive thorough documentation as to the what, who, where and why of architecturally significant homes by such renowned architects as Richard and Dion Neutra, Stiles O. Clements, Rudolph Schindler, Frank Lloyd Wright, and even an array of postwar Japanese-American architects. To see all of the offerings click here.