The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has unveiled a new desert masonry gateway structure to signify Taliesin West’s main passageway. The project was made possible through weeks of staff, student, and community volunteer efforts and by a grant awarded to the Foundation from American Express, according to a press release noting that it took several months to complete. On Monday, April 29, those who participated in the project gathered at the new gateway to celebrate the completion of the project. Remarks will be made by Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation President & CEO Stuart Graff who also served as a volunteer for the project.
Visitors from around the world, entering or exiting the property, have a clearer sense of direction, according to the release. In addition, the new gateway will increase site security and provide better way finding for more than 110,000 guests that visit Taliesin West annually.
When creating the new gateway, volunteers experienced building like Mr. Wright’s apprentices once did, using desert masonry, a building technique that involves sourcing sand and stones from the surrounding desert, a method that was used to create Taliesin West, described the release.
In addition to desert masonry, an older metal gate was repurposed and incorporated into the design of the new gate structure. Students from the School of Architecture at Taliesin contributed to the initial concept designs for the new gate. More here.
Alden B. Dow was an American architect based in Midland, Michigan, and known for his contributions to the style of Michigan Modern. During a career that spanned from the 1930s to the 1960s, he designed more than 70 residences and dozens of churches, schools, civic and art centers, and commercial buildings. The Alden Dow house design work changed after World War II from the famous 1930s unit- block houses to a more "prairie style" with an open floor plan, low exterior profile with sloped or flat roof with overhanging eaves shading large glass openings.
The publication of the Dow houses in prominent magazines such as Life and Time brought national attention to the work being done in Midland. Forward thinking design is always an attraction to young architects, and they came to work in "modern design" for the Dow firm following the war. Architecturally trained while an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin, Robert Goodall was an early staff member with the skill to detail and execute the designs coming from Alden's drafting table. Other architects also moved to Midland following their college graduation including Francis E. Warner, Jackson B. Hallett, and Glenn M. Beach among others. These architects extended the development of the mid-century house in Midland and out of state. Many architects, attracted by Alden Dow and his design, came to Midland. They worked for periods of time with the firm, and moved on to other locations, carrying the Dow philosophy of modern design with them.
The work of the Midland architects influenced architectural designers, engineers and contractors in their Midland homes with elements of mid-century modern. This has provided the Midland community with a rare collection of structures of this great era. More information here.
A total of 18 libraries, schools, museums and other nonprofit organizations from Gary to Osgood have received grants from Indiana Humanities this spring. Among the awards was a $2,500 grant to William Wesley Peters, Evansville’s Connection to the World of Frank Lloyd Wright.
The Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science will create an exhibition and accompanying programs on William Wesley Peters, who grew up in the city and became Frank Lloyd Wright’s first apprentice and right-hand man. The project will focus on Peters’ life and works, including the recently restored Peters-Margedant House on the University of Evansville campus. The exhibit will run Aug. 11-Oct. 27. More here.
It's that time of year to start planning your summer vacation and *Curbed * has provided the Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiast a list of possibilities to add some architecture to that vacation.
"With an emphasis on simplicity, natural beauty, and integration into the surrounding landscape, Wright’s homes offer up the perfect vacation retreat. From a Wisconsin cabin in the woods to a stunning Hawaiian residence originally designed in 1954, we’ve rounded up 11 Frank Lloyd Wright homes you can rent right now."
Read the entire list here.
Alfred Browning Parker, who made his own architectural mark using Frank Lloyd Wright's Organic principles, was one of South Florida’s most important and iconic Midcentury Modern architects, creating fantastic structures across the state. One of the houses he designed in Broward County has just hit the market for $949,000.
Located in Sea Ranch Lakes, an oceanfront village north of Fort Lauderdale, the house was originally built in 1961 for General Motors executive Harold Good and his wife Wilma, whose family started Smucker’s Jelly. Every room is hexagonal shaped, with large open spaces for entertaining, including the vaulted living room with 21-foot ceilings that encircles a central fireplace and chimney, and a sun porch with skylights. The house isn’t really that large though, with only two bedrooms, plus a den. There are polished terrazzo floors, extensive cypress wood details, and molded concrete architectural features.
The house was restored in 2005 with impact-resistant windows. Nonexistent historic preservation laws, however, mean that any house in Broward County, especially a small one on a large lot like this, is in perpetual danger of demolition. Check out the photos here.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative has announced that its organization will expand efforts beyond those of its original mission, and offer assistance to various Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings in need. Since the loss of the Lockridge clinic to demolition, and the Oboler complex in the Malibu fires of 2018, the FLWRI has expanded its mandate to include assisting other Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in need, and have re-doubled their efforts at raising funds!
CEO Michael Miner will be embarking on a fundraising tour starting this summer, which will provide the opportunity for people to visit Wright-designed private homes rarely available for public tours, plus meet with high profile Wright experts and original client descendants, all while supporting a worthwhile cause, which will truly make a difference in the protection of these buildings!
FLWRI is now posting the first few events, which will be updated constantly as new programs and features are added. Ticket prices include a free copy of any DVD from our library, as well as special perks specific to each tour. Each event will be strictly limited to 50 attendees. No children under 8, please. View Tours and Dates: http://flwrevivalinitiative.org/2019-events/ and more information here.
A discussion on a theater lease focused on stage equity brought out quite the performance at city council's Quality of Life, Arts and Cultural committee meeting on April 22. The city's Kalita Humphreys Theater campus has been leased to the Dallas Theater Center for a dollar a year since 1974, when they donated the playhouse to the city of Dallas. The Kalita campus includes the Heldt Annex used for black box theaters and rehearsals. For the past eight years, The Dallas Theater Center has been in a holdover lease with the city. The new lease agreement staff recommended Monday takes into consideration the Dallas Cultural Plan, which emphasizes broader access to the arts for emerging and minority groups. The proposed lease requires DTC to develop a business plan and equitable access plan, as well as sharing access to equipment such as lighting, audio, and technical support. It also forces DTC to block off several weeks of the year for outside groups, building up to three months in five years.
Some council members asked why there was not a formal request for proposals for the operations of the 60-year-old theater. Also at issue: why strategic plans for the theater and surrounding grounds were never adopted when they were completed in 2010. Some council members questioned how minority groups were able to utilize the space. The Kalita lease is slated for a full council vote on June 12. Read the original article here and learn more about the struggle to save Kalita here.
Mary Forgione of the LA Times gives us an article about exploring Rancho Palos Verdes. Ease along a short, curvy route that follows the contour of crumbling bluffs and rocky beaches, just thirty-plus miles from downtown L.A. lies Rancho Palos Verdes, where you can drive for a leisurely adventure, or park along the route and set off by bike or foot for a more athletic trek along a roughly 2½-mile stretch of rugged coastline.
"First stop is the Wayfarers Chapel at 5755 Palos Verdes Drive South, a Midcentury Modern structure with glass walls and roof panels that all but disappear. It and its stone bell tower are nestled into a hillside. Slide into one of the nine rows of simple wooden pews and gaze up to see a canopy of pines and skinny redwoods. Listen for the chimes on the quarter-hour at the chapel designed by Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright, and dedicated to the influential 17th century Swedish theologian Emanuel Swedenborg. The setting high above the Pacific makes this site a stunner, so don’t rush off. It’s a sought-after site for weddings; visitors sometimes are shooed away during short ceremonies. No matter. Tour the gardens and take in the views while you wait. (There is small parking lot adjacent to the chapel; parking is free.)" More here.
After a years-long relocation and rebuild, a second Frank Lloyd Wright home now stands in the woods of Polymath Park in Mt. Pleasant Township in Pennsylvania. On Monday, CEO Tom Papinchak welcomed friends and family to the opening of Mäntylä, which is Finnish for “under the pines.”
After dismantling the original Lindholm House and transporting it 1,000 miles from Cloquet, MN, Papinchak and a small crew spent more than two years — and 9,000 man hours — on its painstaking reconstruction. Read more and watch a video here.