One of the most anticipated architectural tour events, the Wright Plus Housewalk, is almost here—do you have your tickets yet? If you have not gotten yours yet, hurry over to the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust's website to get them before the event takes place on Saturday May 19. Get them here.
Illinois's new Frank Lloyd Wright Trail was unveiled by Illinois Office of Tourism Director Cory Jobe on Monday at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park. Made up of 13 Wright sites open to the public, they include favorites throughout the state, including the OP Home & Studio, Bradley House, Laurent House, Dana House, and more.
Director Cory Jobe stated in a recent State Journal-Register article that “the idea is to get visitors excited about Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and get them moving from point A to point B, with the ultimate goal of having them spend more dollars in Illinois and putting heads in the beds of our communities.” Plan your trip here.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s reach continues to be powerful and extensive — primarily because of the uniqueness and relevance of his architectural designs, but also because of his fascinating and dramatic life story. And it’s not only American architects and residents who find Wright interesting. That’s the case all around the world.
The British-produced "Frank Lloyd Wright: The Man Who Built America" examines those themes and more. Taliesin West in Scottsdale hosted the U.S. debut of the documentary on May 2nd. Its director, Ian Michael Jones, joined The Show on KJZZ to discuss the film. Listen to the discussion here.
"I would rather solve the small house problem than build anything else I can think of," wrote Wright in the January 1938 issue of Architectural Forum. The man famous for his grand mansions, hotels, museums, commercial buildings, and places of worship was most interested in designing housing for the common person.
Six of those homes stand side-by-side on Burnham Street in Milwaukee. One has been restored and its interior is open for tours. The others have been or are being acquired by preservationists who hope to return them to their original condition. Known as American System-Built Homes, they are an early form of prefabricated houses. But instead of being built off-site, Wright had lumber and other materials cut in mills and factories, delivered to the location, and assembled on the property. Twenty of these houses have been discovered in the U.S., though Wright experts believe there might be more.
The six on Burnham Block in Milwakee, WI, were built between October 1915 and July 1916. Today visitors have come from more than 33 countries (many from Japan where Wright has a big following) to see the unique homes. Docent-led tours begin at the "B1 model" at 2714 W. Burnham St., cost $15 and are given most weekends in summer and on Saturdays most of the rest of the year. Reservations are not necessary. Read more.
Lacey Sikora of The Wednesday Journal tells us that the Oak Park architectural world lost one of its biggest champions in 2016, when John Thorpe passed away at the age of 71. Noted for his work in saving Frank Lloyd Wright's Home and Studio in the 1970s, he was one of the founding members of the organization now known as the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust.
A noted architect in his own right, Thorpe founded his practice in Oak Park in 1984 with a focus on historic restoration work. Over his life, he provided restoration and preservation design services to 55 Wright-designed buildings, including the Home and Studio, Unity Temple, the Arthur Heurtley House, and the Frederick C. Robie House. His portfolio also included 68 other Prairie School architect-designed buildings.
Thorpe's family donated his archives in June 2017 to the Art Institute of Chicago, where they became part of the collection of the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries. With drawings and project files for 33 Frank Lloyd Wright projects and 27 projects by other Prairie School architects, the archives consist of approximately 3,000 documents. Read more.
Frank Lloyd Wright built the Millard House (or "La Miniatura") for George and Alice Millard in 1924. Its signature concrete facade and courtyard walls are covered in a "textile" pattern, which helps it blend into the steep but lush site. In the past, curious architecture enthusiasts could wander up to the property to gawk and take photos. However The Architect’s Newspaper ran a picture of a note taken recently outside La Miniatura.
Thank you for your interest in Frank Lloyd Wright’s La Miniatura. This is a privately owned residence and is not open for tours. Please do not wander past the driveway as you will be disturbing human and canine residents who are enjoying their privacy.
Photographs can be taken from the driveway as well as through the fence on Rosemont.
If for some reason you feel strongly that these rules can’t possibly apply to you because you are so special that you must be entitled to a tour, then you are welcome to leave a bottle of wine, along with your full name and contact information, and your request will be considered. Medium to full-bodied California Pinot Noir with strong notes of fruit and spices, such as Foxen, Hocus Pocus, and/or Husch, preferred.
Thank you and have a nice day!
A “Private Property” sign appears to be hung just below the note, for good measure. Read more.
According to the Commercial Observer, the firm Blackstone, is borrowing big to acquire a suite of luxury hotel resorts. Of special interest to us is the Arizona Biltmore. Located on 39 acres, the 90-year-old resort, which Frank Lloyd Wright provided consultation to its architect, includes 606 guest rooms and is adjacent to two 18-hole golf courses. The hotel is about six miles north of Phoenix’s international airport. Read more.
The New York Times asks, "Where Is Design Going?" It seems like design companies are resurrecting pieces from their morgue. Cassina, for instance, is reissuing "Taliesin 1" or "Origami" chair, an angular piece designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1949 for Taliesin West. Originally produced by Cassina between 1986 and 1990 before being discontinued, the chair returns in a slightly modified version approved by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. The chairs are available in a selection of colors, wood veneers, and upholstery options. Read more.
Wade House Historic Site will celebrate famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright with a series of lectures and an exhibit focusing on Wright’s life and work in Wisconsin and his relationship with Sheboygan carriage collector and restoration expert Wesley W. Jung. The first event in Wade House’s 2018 celebration of Frank Lloyd Wright will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 10. With a rich collection of historic and contemporary photos, Mark Hertzberg, photographer and expert on Wright’s work in southeastern Wisconsin, will present a lecture titled “Penwern: A Frank Lloyd Wright Summer Place” at the Wade House Visitor Center. During the presentation, guests will discover the story of Penwern, a summer cottage on Delavan Lake, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for Fred B. Jones. Read more.