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Applicants Sought For 2019 Visser Historical Preservation Award

March 15, 2019 is the deadline for applications for the 2019 Kristin Visser Historical Preservation Award. The award, given by the directors of the Seth Peterson Cottage Conservancy, is presented every other year to an individual or organization in recognition of past work in historical preservation of a Frank Lloyd Wright or Prairie School building in Wisconsin or a contiguous state.

In general, buildings constructed between 1900 and 1925 are given preference, and the restoration work shall have been substantially completed within the two calendar years previous to the year of application. The 2019 award in the amount of $5,000 will be given for work done during 2017 and 2018. Applicants are asked to support their applications with a statement fully describing the restoration project, including its state of completion, a supporting statement from the building contractor and/or architect, a letter or letters of support from scholars and/or working professionals familiar with the project, photographic evidence of work completed, and any other supporting materials. Applications will be judged by a panel of members of the Seth Peterson Cottage Conservancy, along with several outside experts/scholars.

The award recipient will be announced on April 15, 2019 and the award presented at the Seth Peterson Cottage on June 9, 2019. The award is named in honor of Kristin Visser, who was one of the people instrumental in the restoration of the Seth Peterson Cottage and a tireless worker in its behalf. She is the author of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School in Wisconsin, and, with John Eifler, A.I.A., Frank Lloyd Wright’s Seth Peterson Cottage: Rescuing a Lost Masterwork. Visser, who was a planner for the Wisconsin State Department of Natural Resources, died in 1998 at the age of 48.

The Seth Peterson Cottage, located in Mirror Lake State Park, near Wisconsin Dells, is Frank Lloyd Wright’s final Wisconsin commission (1958) and, at only 880 square feet, one of his smallest. It was rescued from ruin by the concerted efforts of a local group of lakeshore property owners, spearheaded by Audrey Laatsch, and restored through a public/private partnership effort. Dedicated in 1992, it serves today as a unique rental cottage, managed by the Seth Peterson Cottage Conservancy.

The inaugural award was given in 2007 to Steve Sikora and Lynette Erickson-Sikora, for their work in restoring the Willey House, in Minneapolis. The 2009 award was granted to Paul A. Harding and Cheryl Harding, for their work in restoring the Davenport House, in River Forest, Illinois. The 2011 award was presented to Mary Arnold and Henry St. Maurice for their work on the E. Clarke Arnold Residence in Columbus, Wisconsin. The 2013 award was presented to Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin for the restoration of the B-1 ASBH in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The 2015 award was given to John Eifler and Bonnie Phoenix for the restoration of the Ross house in Glencoe, Illinois. And the 2017 award was given to Gene Szymczak posthumously for his restoration of the Thomas P. Hardy House in Racine, Wisconsin.

Send applications to: Seth Peterson Cottage Conservancy, 400 Viking Drive, Reedsburg, WI 53959-1466. Questions? SethPetersonCottage@gmail.com.

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