News comes from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation that the Avery Coonley House in Riverside, IL is for sale for $1.6 million. Built from 1908-1912, the Coonley House is considered one of Wright’s most elaborate Prairie era designs. It is also the first time Wright designed what he referred to as a “zoned house,” a home in which the rooms were divided based upon their functions. The two-level, five-bedroom, five-bathroom home has been carefully maintained according to the home’s listing agent. Rows of Wright’s iconic art glass windows frame the rooms, overlooking an acre of land. Read more.
The Herald-News has a brief history of our beloved Unity Temple. In the summer of 1905, lightning struck the spire of the Unity Church in Oak Park and the wood frame Gothic Revival-style building was destroyed by fire. Within months, the congregation commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design a new church. For the 38-year-old architect, the church would be a major commission and one of his most important contributions to Modern architecture. Read more.
Jim Weiker of The Columbus Dispatch recently posted his impression of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. On his second visit to the iconic home he has come to the conclusion that Fallingwater is justifiably famous for its setting, but is more enjoyable as a curiosity than as "a home."
"Fallingwater, in fact, lacks just about everything that makes Wright’s great prairie homes so inviting — warmth, ornamentation, color, wood and flowing layouts. Compared with the rich beauty of Wright’s Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago, for example, Fallingwater seems less a masterpiece and more an indulgent eccentricity."
Fallingwater wasn't meant to be a home in the same way that Robie was...plus there's almost three decades of time between them. So it's kind of comparing apples to oranges on that one, Jim. Read more here and tell us what you think.
For those who want to learn about one of the world’s most famous architects, Frank Lloyd Wright, a free seminar will be held at Founders Hall in Ridgefield, Connecticut on Friday, April 27, 2018 at 1 pm. Presenter Mark Weber will highlight the design elements of Wright’s “Prairie Style”, which Wright developed in suburban Chicago at the turn of the 20th century. Before relocating to Connecticut, Weber served as a tour guide at the architect’s home and studio in Oak Park, Illinois. In addition to design elements, Weber will discuss the famous homes and buildings Wright built, as well as furniture and artwork from Wright’s homes.
Thanks to sponsor Union Savings Bank Foundation, this seminar is free and open to the public. Founders Hall, located at 193 Danbury Road, is a donor-supported education and recreation center for people age 60 and older. For more information, www.founders-hall.org
In celebration of their Bicentennial, Illinois residents voted for their top ten buildings in their state. On the list were two designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and one designed by Mies van der Rohe. Here’s a look at the top 10 buildings in Illinois that made the list:
 Wrigley Field,  Dana-Thomas House,  Baha’i House of Worship,  Willis Tower (Sears Tower),  Robie House,  Tribune Tower,  John Hancock Center,  Farnsworth House,  Jarrot Mansion,  Fort de Chartres Powder Magazine
The Guaranty Building, now also known as the Prudential Building, was initially completed in 1896 by Adler & Sullivan. The building was granted National Historical Landmark status in 1975 and features Sullivan’s use of vertical lines, semi-circular arches, and his trademark ornamental ironwork. Today, it’s used as initially intended for general office space, but is also open to the public during regular business hours or by appointment with the Preservation Buffalo Niagara. Read more.
Frank Lloyd Wright, known for creating “organic architecture” that prioritizes harmony between buildings and the natural environment, liked minimalist desert living so much that he encouraged his protégés to continue building rudimentary desert shelters. In addition to providing hands-on practice, the shelters forced aspiring architects to become intimately familiar with nature’s impact on living spaces.
The School of Architecture at Taliesin West and its 20 or so students are still strongly encouraged to try desert living. Most do. The school requires students to build a shelter or enhance an existing one. Thanks to special zoning rules that essentially create an architectural sandbox in the Taliesin West desert, students are allowed to experiment without running afoul of city regulations. As for how long the shelters last, that’s “in direct proportion to what they are made of,” says Christopher Lock, a SOAT student. “Structures of thin canvas and wood often blow away within a year or two, other wooden frameworks may hold on longer—but the dry air makes them brittle and rain, sun, and wind often warp them over time.” Read more.
Nestled in the high desert foothills of Scottsdale, Arizona’s McDowell Mountains, Taliesin West was Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and studio. This space, which served as a laboratory for some of the architect’s most innovative ideas, is today the home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the School of Architecture at Taliesin. Ahead of his time, Frank Lloyd Wright tapped into design principles that are commonplace today.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation's Whirling Arrow covers some of Wright’s most innovative ideas that are on display and are now core Modern design principles. Here they have listed the 5 modern design trends embraced at Taliesin West.
Curbed Chicago reports that Frank Lloyd Wright’s William F. Keir House is back on the market for $838K. The updated 1914 Prairie School home last changed hands in January. Just three months after selling for $752,000, the renovated Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in suburban Glencoe, Illinois is back on the market seeking a new higher price.
The 2,200-square foot home at 1031 Meadow Road was named after its first owner, physician William F. Keir. It is part of the Ravine Bluffs subdivision located on the estate of the Wright-designed Sherman Booth House. The concrete structure was built in 1914 as an evolution of on the architect’s 1907 "Fireproof House for $5,000" concept. The Glencoe example features many hallmark’s of Wright’s Prairie School of design such as a wood and stucco exterior, broad overhanging eaves, and attached porte cochere.
While the mill work and brick fireplace are consistent with Wright’s original vision for the home, other aspects of the interior are less authentic. The North Shore property features a number of changes included a family room addition, updated bathrooms, and a newer kitchen. Due to all the modifications, the Keir House holds only an “honorary” landmark designation with the Village of Glencoe. Read more.
One of L.A.'s most distinctive-looking homes, the Sowden Residence in Los Feliz, has sold for $4.698 million. The home was designed by architect Lloyd Wright, who studied under his father, Frank Lloyd Wright. Concrete blocks — known as textile blocks — stamped with symbols for elements such as water, earth, and air were used liberally inside and outside the 1920s house with a pyramid-like shape.
Named after original owners John and Ruth Sowden, the home has frequently been in the public eye as a popular location for television and film shoots, as well as private events such as weddings. Read more.
The Detroit News reports that Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research was recently donated the Sarah and Melvyn Maxwell Smith House in Bloomfield Hills, MI built by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1950. The donation came from the Towbes Foundation and Cranbrook will open it up for public tours several times a month from May to November. Read more.