Fred A. Bernstein of Architectural Digest reports that Pritzker Prize–winning architect Thom Mayne has noticed a declining awareness of historical precedent among architecture students. So Mayne and his colleagues at the Now Institute, an urban planning research center at UCLA, began asking prominent architects to list the 20th-century buildings students ought to know. Questionnaires went out to about 70 architects altogether, including Richard Meier, Jeanne Gang, and Zaha Hadid.
In November, Rizzoli is publishing a book about the most frequently named buildings. Called simply 100 Buildings: 1900–2000 ($25). The building named most often is the Villa Savoye, in Poissy (outside Paris), the 1931 house by Le Corbusier. In fact, Le Corbusier is represented in the book by eight buildings, far more than any other architect. The second-most-mentioned architects are Frank Lloyd Wright and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, each with five buildings on the list. (In Wright’s case, those are Johnson Wax, Fallingwater, the Guggenheim Museum, the Robie House, and the Larkin Administration Building, which was torn down in 1950.) Read more.
According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, some 41,250 buildings have been rehabilitated in the United States using historic tax credits since the program was created in 1981. The trust calls it "the most significant investment the federal government makes toward the preservation of our historic buildings. The same study found an average of $1.20 to $1.25 is returned to the Treasury in tax revenue for every dollar invested, making it "a proven job-creating, community-revitalizing investment that enhances property values and attracts more investment and residents."
The federal credit that helped subsidize renovations of the historic buildings was not included in the Republican leadership's House and Senate tax reform bills. Without that historic tax credit, nothing would have been done in Buffalo," said Rocco Termini, who has used federal and state tax credits on 15 projects in the city -the Hotel @ the Lafayette, the Guaranty Building, and the Richardson Olmsted Campus to name just a few. That worries developers and preservationists, who credit part of Buffalo's comeback to reusing these old buildings as loft apartments, retail establishments and office space. Read more.
Jack Quinan, University at Buffalo Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus and a noted expert on Frank Lloyd Wright, will deliver the keynote address on Friday, October 20, at 6pm for a groundbreaking three-day conference that directs long overdue attention to Buffalo as the epicenter of the American Arts and Crafts Movement.
Quinan’s lecture, “The Larkin Building and Wright’s Oeuvre” at the Roycroft Campus in East Aurora opens the event titled, “Frank Lloyd Wright and the Buffalo School: An International Arts and Crafts Conference,” which will run Oct. 20-22.
Buffalo’s role as the creative center for design, production and innovation in American arts and crafts is widely acknowledged by specialists in the field, but little known across the country – including Buffalo itself, according to UB associate professor Jonathan Katz, the conference organizer and director of the university’s doctoral program in visual studies. Read more.
The El Paso Museum of Art (EPMA) invites the public to the Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior, exhibition that opened on October 13, 2017 at the museum.
The exhibit explores the design of Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses, often considered his greatest architectural accomplishment. Through design drawings, photographs, furniture, and textiles, the exhibition illustrates the various ways Wright created the visual character of interior space and objects within it.
Complementing the exhibition will be various educational and public programs, including a lecture on Wright’s creative vision and legacy by Taliesin West CEO and President, Stuart Graff on Thursday, October 19, from 6:30-7:30pm. The exhibition is free and open to the public through February 11, 2018. Read more.
The Louis Sullivan bank building in downtown Newark, Ohio was built in 1914 and opened in 1915 as the Home Building Association Company and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. It was one of eight banks designed by Sullivan known as "jewel boxes." The building was donated to the Licking County Foundation in 2013 and planning for its restoration and eventual reuse began at that time. Now a new fundraising challenge will help raise the money needed to continue the restoration.
The Jewel Box Challenge, as it has been dubbed by the Licking County Foundation, will aim to raise $1.5 million by June 30, 2020. Monetary gifts will be amplified by 50 cents to every dollar donated through a $750,000 challenge grant the Licking County Foundation received from the Jeffris Family Foundation, a family foundation focused on maintaining the architectural heritage of Midwestern small towns and cities. Read more.
Anne Midgette of The Washington Post critiques the opera about Frank Lloyd Wright titled “Shining Brow” that is being performed through October 21, 2017 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, Washington, D.C. Read more.
In her video “Ch’u Mayaa (Maya Blue)", Clarissa Tossin takes up the curious relationship of particular kind of Latin American influence in Los Angeles, California. Mayan motifs began popping up in Los Angeles architecture in the 1920s with Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Art Park (completed in 1921) and the Mayan theater downtown (1927). The show is part of the exhibition “Condemned to Be Modern” at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, and is the gallery’s contribution to Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, the Getty-sponsored art exhibitions that look at intersections between Los Angeles and Latin America.
Commissioned for the exhibition, Tossin’s nearly 18-minute video depicts dancer Crystal Sepúlveda on the grounds of the Hollyhock House, near the gallery in Barnsdall Park. Sepúlveda interacts with the building and surrounding gardens in gestures inspired by ancient Mayan depictions of the gods. The color blue of her costume refers to the azure pigment found in Mayan pottery and murals; the animal print is likely a reference to jaguar gods. Read more.
The Harvard Press informs us of the upcoming lecture, Fallingwater: Preserving a 20th Century Icon, Friday, October 20, 2017 – 7pm at Volunteers Hall, Harvard Public Library in Harvard, Massachusetts. Structural engineer Robert Silman shares his experience and perspective in connection with the efforts to save this iconic building. One might say that Robert Silman is one of the people who saved Frank Lloyd Wright’s seminal work of organic architecture, Fallingwater, from literally falling into the water beneath it.
In 1995 the building’s owner, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, was alerted to the possibility of trouble with some of the cantilevers, the very design feature that had made the dramatic building one of the most famous of the 20th century. The conservancy commissioned Robert Silman Associates, consulting structural engineers, headquartered in New York, to evaluate the situation. Read more.
To celebrate Wright’s legacy in Japan, the "Imperial Hotel Tokyo" now has a 150th year exhibit they are calling “Imperial Times” to share visions of the history of the property. Next to the entrance the commemorative display of Wright’s design complete with architectural elements, original china designed by Wright, menus, architectural drawings, furniture, and columns that have been reproduced with terra cotta from the original factory are on view until the end of the year. Soon this will be the site of a more permanent exhibition. It’s a legacy that the staff is proud of and many of the staff is well versed enough to share the history of his work in their country.
Back in Tokyo, Wright built the Jiyu Gakuen School in 1921. It has been restored and remains open as the alumni building and is open for tours, giving one more place for people to experience a Wright building in Japan. Wright's love for Japanese art and design is undeniable. In Japan, the country understood and appreciated his buildings and continue to find life in the Imperial Hotel world and beyond. Read more.
Stephen Gossett of the Chicagoist informs us that a landmark Chicago-area Frank Lloyd Wright house has hit the market.
"Built in 1913, the modest Summer Cottage in Glencoe, Illinois served to house Wright's attorney, Sherman Booth, while a larger residence was for the lawyer was under construction. (That other, famed residence hit the market last year for the first time in half a century.) The Booths stayed in the cottage until the main house was finished in 1916. The cottage was then moved to its current location, at 239 Franklin Road, according to the listing.
The seller "wants to find a special buyer who will commit to preserving this fabulous piece of history," a recognized landmark, the listing notes. The three-bed, two-bath 1,755-square-footer is asking $1 million." Read more.