The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Pappas House could open to the public as a public museum. The Frank Lloyd Wright Pappas House Foundation, led by Town and Country Alderman Richard “Skip” Mange and supported by residents and historical activists, recently formed with the goal of raising about $2 million to buy and refurbish the house and open it to the public as a museum. Read more about it here. Then visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Pappas House Foundation and donate today to help make this new museum a reality! Donate here.
For nearly a decade, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has invited a graphic designer to work full time on the Marketing and Communication team. The graphic design fellow is responsible for the visual identity of the Foundation, including designing the Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly magazine. In this The Whirling Arrow article, 2018-2019 graphic design fellow, Meagan Vanderhill, is sharing her experiences and inspiration in a day of her life at Taliesin West. Read the article here.
In an update to an ongoing mystery, the Los Angeles police said Tuesday they are seeking the public’s help in solving a years long crime involving highly valuable furnishings from Wright's Freeman House that vanished from a storage facility managed by USC.
The four rare items in question are two floor lamps designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and a folding chair and a tea cart designed by R.M. Schindler.
The Freeman House was donated to USC’s School of Architecture in 1986, and the university has been in charge of its maintenance ever since. When the Northridge earthquake hit in 1994, the Textile Block residence suffered significant damage. Furniture was removed and locked up in a USC storage facility, LAPD said. But the four irreplaceable items disappeared in 2012, sometime between July 5 and Sept. 17. There were no signs of forced entry, investigators said.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the thieves appeared to know exactly what they were looking for in USC’s unmarked warehouse on 24th Street in South L.A. Perhaps even more puzzling, the newspaper said high-profile theft was never reported to police until this year, after someone sent an anonymous letter about the crime to the L.A. Times. Kenneth Breisch, who oversaw USC’s graduate program in historic preservation, told the Times that he only knows of one key to the storage room, and it’s maintained by the facilities department.
The two lamps, each more than 6 feet tall, are made of plated cast iron, brass, and glass. One may have a glass pane that was missing or replaced. A similar lamp by Wright from around the same period sold for $100,000 at an auction two years ago, the Times reported.
The home, where the Freemans hosted salons with other avant-garde thinkers of the time for better part of the 20th century, remains in a state of disrepair. It was somewhat stabilized in 2005, but the university hasn’t been able to come up with funding for the substantial renovations it requires. The building is included in the National Register of Historic Places, but is not currently open to the public.
Anyone with information on the missing furniture can contact LAPD’s Art Theft Detail at 213-486-6940, or contact 877-527-3247 after business hours. Anonymous tips may be submitted via 800-222-8477 or LACrimeStoppers.org. See the photos here.
Steve Sikora, co-owner of the Malcom Willey House in Minneapolis, MN, continues his exploration of the home and its influence on architecture and society.
"A small color print, converted from slide, and exposed in the year 1938, arrived in our mailbox, in January 2004. As the old expression goes, one picture is worth a thousand words. The photographer who tripped the camera’s shutter was likely Nancy Willey, while playing host to a young visitor at her home. Here is the story of that remarkable photograph in one thousand words." Read this story here.
In this second edition of The 8 Most Interesting Houses In Cleveland, Margaret Howell of FreshWater includes a home she calls the Monticello Mod.
"This mid-century modern beauty was designed by Albert J. Sgro back in 1954. The house stands apart from the traditional homes of its Forest Hill neighborhood, and not just because there’s a tree growing through the roof. Sgro was deeply inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, which can be seen in design details such as the flat roof, floor-to-ceiling windows, and built-in benches and shelving. True to Wright’s nature-inspired approach, an interior courtyard was built around an existing Pin Oak, which died during construction and had to be replaced. One of the home's grooviest elements? A freestanding fireplace, suspended from the ceiling and supported by two beams that run the length of the house." Read more here.
The price for the Phoenix spiral house Frank Lloyd Wright designed for his son David has dropped by almost $3 million to $9.999 million. The 2,553-square-foot house built in 1952 was listed last September for $12.95 million.
The concrete block house with three bedrooms and four bathrooms sits on 5.9 acres in the affluent Arcadia neighborhood, south of Camelback Mountain.
Zach Rawling paid $2.3 million for the house in 2012 when a previous owner tried to demolish it. He had tried to open the house as a museum before working with the School of Architecture at Taliesin for it to use the space. Last summer, a plan for the house to be donated to the school fell through.
Neighbors have been concerned about the property becoming a commercial attraction that may bring more traffic. There were also some concerns about the school proposal. See the photos here.
No American architect, living or dead, commands the kind of recognition given to Frank Lloyd Wright. A new licensing push by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is an effort to get more of the architect’s relevant work into contemporary homes. The foundation tasked with preserving and protecting Wright's legacy wants to build on that substantial brand equity with new product licensing initiatives, expanded educational campaigns, and other efforts to “create more of a lifestyle brand.”
That’s the vision Stuart Graff, the president and CEO of the nonprofit Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, laid out for Curbed. He said the Foundation’s new plans represent a continuation of Wright’s own goals to “help inspire people to live a more beautiful and comfortable life.”
“I think in the past, the focus was on serving the museum shops and serving Frank Lloyd Wright sites by creating souvenirs and memorabilia,” Graff says. “What we’re looking at now is how relevant he is to contemporary living.”
There are many potential projects and collaborations—including new furniture pieces, home goods, and even agreements to sell at new retail outlets—are still under discussion, with plans to start rolling out items in the fall and throughout 2020. The Foundation is looking in an expanded line of products, including home furnishings, floor coverings, rugs, wall coverings, and home goods, as well as products such as masonry veneers, hardwood flooring, and architectural millwork. Every new product would need to meet the organization’s specific style guide, and receive permission from the Foundation, which must also sign off on all packaging and marketing material. Graff also envision a more robust, multichannel strategy, with items appearing in retail outlets as well as online.
The proceeds of any new product sales will go to the Foundation, primarily to fund preservation at places like Taliesin North and West, and to fund publications and educational initiatives around Wright’s career and work. Products based on specific designs at specific Wright properties sell, such as the "Tree of Life" window at the Darwin Martin house, the specific site and Foundation split the proceeds. More information here.
Old House Online recently featured the efforts of Tommy and Marla Kane, who have undertaken the restoration of a unit in Frank Lloyd Wright's "Suntop" Homes, an innovative 1939 quadrant of four homes joined in a pinwheel and asymmetrically sited so that no unit looked directly at another. Wright named it "Suntop" for its profusion of outdoor decks. Read all about the labor of love here.
10 spots remain for Buffalo Architecture Martin House Event, Travel By Design:
Here is an unforgettable four-day, three-night travel experience exploring the design masterworks of Greater Buffalo, NY — a region renowned for its remarkable architectural heritage on Thursday, June 13 — Sunday, June 16, 2019.
This excursion will begin with an overnight stay at The Roycroft Inn — a National Historic Landmark located in the charming village of East Aurora. From there, you will expand our knowledge of the American Arts and Crafts movement through a hands-on class and tour at the historic Roycroft Campus, followed by a unique visit and luncheon on the grounds of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Graycliff.
The journey will continue with a two-night stay at The Hotel Henry on the Richardson Olmsted Campus, where you will explore the grounds on a private tour. You will discover many of the city’s architectural treasures that include the Eliel and Eero Saarinen’s Kleinhans Music Hall; Louis Sullivan’s Guaranty Building; an escorted tour of downtown Buffalo, the Larkin District, and Silo City; a private visit to Wright’s Walter V. Davidson House; and an exceptional evening at the Martin House where you will have all-exclusive access to the buildings and gardens of Wright’s Prairie-period opus.
This trip will sell out! Make your reservation today by calling 716-856-3858. More information here.