Laurent House Expansion Plan Approved
Frank Lloyd Wright's Laurent House is looking to expand its operations as the number of visitors are expected to increase. The Kenneth and Phyllis Laurent House is a Usonian house in Rockford, Illinois and was designed for a physically disabled client.
The Laurent House Foundation and nearby concerned residents came together at the most recent meeting of the City of Rockford's Zoning Board of Appeals, so board members could vote on whether or not this expansion moves forward.
Jerry Heinzeroth, President of the Laurent House foundation, presented his proposed expansion plan and says some changes are necessary for the future of the iconic home. Heinzeroth says, "Visitors must have an easy, safe access to the museum. And that access must provide all of the amenities and comforts they expect from an internationally recognized, singular example of Frank Lloyd Wright's work."
The proposed amendment to expand the Laurent House was passed 5-1 through the Rockford Zoning Board of Appeals and it now moves on to the Code and Regulations Committee. Their next meeting is on Monday, April 22. More here.
Fallingwater: An Icon Of The Modern Movement
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, arguably the most famous house of the Modern era, will be the subject of a lecture presentation by the museum’s former director, Lynda Waggoner on Thursday, May 16th at 6pm at Columbus Museum of Art, 480 East Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43215. Hear the story of how in the midst of the Great Depression this extraordinary building came into being, reviving the flagging career of Wright and propelling its owners to positions of importance in the art world. Waggoner will discuss Fallingwater’s place as an icon of the modern movement.
Lynda S. Waggoner served as Vice President of Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and Director of Fallingwater, from 1996 until her retirement in 2018, at which time she was named Fallingwater’s first Director Emerita. Waggoner has been affiliated with the Frank Lloyd Wright masterwork since first serving as a tour guide during her high school days. She now is widely regarded as one of the nation’s foremost authorities on Fallingwater. She currently serves on the board of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, Chicago, and the Iconic Houses Network based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
This lecture is presented in collaboration with our partners Columbus Landmarks and Columbus Museum of Art. This lecture series is possible thanks to the grant support from the Ohio Humanities Council. The event is free to the public. Please RSVP here.
Taliesin West Educates About Living With Nature
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has used Earth Day, April 22nd, 2019, to launch a new initiative focused on educating the public about how sustainable practices are used in the conservation of National Historic Landmark sites, including the renowned architect’s Taliesin (Wisconsin) and Taliesin West (Arizona) residences. Taking place throughout the year, the Foundation’s efforts will aim to show how these practices can serve as examples for other facets of society.
Through the end of the year, the “Living with Nature: Sustainable Practices” campaign will share monthly blog posts, social media posts, and videos showcasing big an small ways to build and live better. The topic will share examples of the Foundation’s actions, and advice on how the public can incorporate these practices into their own homes and lives. More here.
Get Your Tickert For The Wright Raffle
The Westcott House is offering up the chance for some lucky individuals to win some unique Wright-related experiences through their "Wright Raffle." Winners will have the choice of one of the top FLLW travel destinations is just a $100 raffle ticket away! Each package offers a fabulous weekend getaway for two, valued at up to $5,000, including admission to the selected Wright site (Taliesin West, Guggenheim, Fallingwater, Wright in Chicago, or Martin House/Graycliff), luxury hotel accommodations, travel, top-rated restaurants, and admissions to a variety of cultural experiences.
The raffle sales will begin at 9am on Monday, April 1st, 2019, and will conclude on Saturday, June 8th, 2019 at 8pm, or when all 350 tickets are sold, whichever occurs first. Offered by the Westcott House Foundation. All proceeds support Frank Lloyd Wright's Westcott House. Purchase tickets in person at the Westcott House or online here.
Visit Wright's Zimmerman House
One of the most remarkable exhibits of Manchester, New Hampshire's Currier Museum of Art is not a painting or installation, but an entire home: The former residence of Dr. Isadore and Lucille Zimmerman. The couple commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design the Usonian home, with his specifications including the interior and furnishings as well as the mailbox and specific seasonal plantings in the landscape. The Zimmermans carefully maintained Wright’s vision and, in 1988, donated the house and grounds to the Currier, which maintains it all to this day. Public tours are offered by the Currier for a $25 fee (less for seniors and members) beginning in mid-April.
New Hampshire Magazine features a special opportunity to enjoy the Zimmerman House as part of the Palace Theatre’s 15th annual Kitchen Tour that takes place on Sunday, June 2. This tour offers a day to explore some of the finest kitchen designs in Bedford, Manchester, and Amherst. This year the Palace has partnered with the Currier Museum of Art to allow access to the amazing Zimmerman House. This beautiful piece of architectural history will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for tour goers to walk through and enjoy as part of the overall tour of kitchens. Read more here.
Wright's Affleck House Re-Opens For Tours In May
The 2,300-square-foot Affleck House is one of only a handful of Wright’s Usonian homes built in southeast Michigan. Built in 1941 for Gregor and Elizabeth Affleck, it was donated to Lawrence Tech in the late 1970s after the Afflecks died. It’s now used as a satellite classroom at times, for fundraisers, and even a place for visiting professors to stay overnight.
After extensive renovations, including 19 skylights that were replaced last year, the house—which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985—will re-open for public tours in May. Tours run through the fall and generate funds to maintain the house year after year.
Lawrence Technological University offers tours of the Affleck House on the third Saturdays of the month from May through October, except August when tours are on the second Saturday. Tickets are $25 for adults; $15 for children or students. Regular tours are offered at 11 a.m., 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. Advance ticket sales are required. Read more here.
Frank Lloyd Wright Michigan Tours
If you are looking to see more Wright-designed houses in Michigan, there are plenty of options to build a road trip around. According to architectural historian Dale Gyure, Wright designed 31 houses in Michigan. Several are still privately owned, such as the Dorothy Turkel House in Detroit, but others open their doors for tours. Here are some options:
Smith House: Built for school teachers Sara Stein Smith and Melvyn Maxwell Smith, the house is another example of Wright's Usonian designs. Wright called the house "my little gem." Tours resume May 11 and run through November. More info here.
Meyer May House: The Meyer May House in Grand Rapids was initially designed for a prominent Grand Rapids clothier. It was later purchased and restored by Steelcase and opened to the public in 1987. It offers free tours, so plan your visit here.
In Ann Arbor, Wright's Palmer House, built for Bill and Mary Palmer during the early 1950's, can now be rented for $400 a night. It "offers an unforgettable artistic and sensory experience," according to its website, flwpalmerhouse.com. More here.
Wright's Henderson House Returns To The Market For $1M
With a new asking price of just under a cool million, Curbed Chicago asks if the notable Frank Lloyd Wright-designed F.B. Henderson House will finally attract an otherwise elusive buyer? After nearly a year-and-a-half absence, the home is back on the market in west suburban Elmhurst, Illinois, seeking $999,000.
The Henderson House is one of just a handful of buildings constructed during Wright’s brief partnership with business associate Webster Tomlinson. Built in 1901, the 5,500-square-foot residence is an excellent example of Wright’s Prairie School residential design. It boasts five bedrooms, four bathrooms, 80 leaded art glass windows, three brick fireplaces, and an open floorplan that seamlessly blends a living room, dining room, and library. Its long veranda and deck overlook the property’s landscaped grounds.
Despite its distinguished architectural pedigree and design, the historic home at 301 S. Kenilworth Avenue has struggled to find a buyer. It’s hopped on and off the market for more than a decade—asking as much as $1.33 million in 2012 and last listing for $1.1 million in 2017. See it here.
Buehler House Owner Fails To Respond To Lawsuit
The owner of the Buehler House in Orinda has ignored a federal lawsuit alleging trademark infringement — and now, the lack of a response could cost him three times whatever he has made in renting the site for weddings and other events.The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco entered a default order April 10 against Gerald Shmavonian over his failure to respond to the lawsuit.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation contends that Shmavonian has infringed on the Foundation’s trademark and design to market and promote the Orinda home “for his own commercial gain.” In addition, the Foundation contends that Shmavonian “registered in bad faith” the domain name www.franklloydwrightestate.com and is capitalizing on the Foundation’s reputation “of commercially advertising the home for use as a ‘Special Event Venue,’ ” the complaint alleges.
The Foundation is seeking to prevent Shmavonian from using the Foundation’s trademark and design and is also seeking triple damages of all the profits that Shmavonian has made, along with attorneys’ fees and legal expenses, the complaint says. The Foundation intends to move for default judgment against Shmavonian, according to the complaint. Read more.
This weekly Wright Society update is brought to you by Eric O'Malley with Bryan and Lisa Kelly from PrairieMod. If you enjoy these free, curated updates—please forward our sign-up page and/or share on Social Media.
If you’d like to submit content to be featured here, please reach out by emailing us at mail[at]wrightsociety.com.