Reflections On Frank Lloyd Wright World Heritage Designation
Two Chicago area buildings have landed on a list side by side with the Taj Mahal, the Statue of Liberty, and the great pyramids of Egypt, along with other international icons. It’s the UNESCO World Heritage List of the most prestigious and culturally significant places in the world, including both man-made and natural sites.
Now, the list includes eight sites designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, including two buildings in the Chicago-area. Chicago-area PBS station WTTW host, Geoffrey Baer, highlights his favorite sites from the designation. See the clip here.
Scanning Taliesin West
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, tasked with preserving Wright's visonary legacy, wanted to truly understand Taliesin West and create maps and plans where none previously existed. But perhaps even more than that, they were seeking a way of bringing more people to the site – even if that meant doing it virtually.
“Coming to the sites is not going to be possible for everyone,” says Jeff Goodman, Director of Marketing & Communication for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. “It is really important to us that we don’t leave anyone behind in terms of what they can see and experience.”
Both of these needs lead the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to undertake a project to attempt to scan the property and get both architectural accuracy and create a model that could be explored by visitors that were miles away. So they approached Lecia Geosystems with this unique challenge. Read how they hope to accomplish this challenge here.
Wright Exhibit Opens At AIA’s District Architecture Center
Curbed DC informs us that a free exhibit on the work of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright is now on display at the District Architecture Center, located in Penn Quarter and administered by the D.C. chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The exhibit centers on his houses, known for their open space and functionality.
“Through reproduction drawings, photographs, and photographic murals, the exhibition illustrates the myriad—both obvious and subtle—ways Wright created the visual character of interior space and objects within it, each an essential detail of the larger whole. The works in this exhibition reveal how all elements in Wright’s design express the overarching abstract geometric order of the house.”
Virginia Terry Boyd, a Wright expert, is serving as the curator. The AIA is partnering with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and International Arts & Artists on the exhibit, which will be on display through September 6, 2019. The gallery is generally open Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (It is closed on weekends.) More here.
Taliesin West Board Room Preservation Uncovers Earlier Construction Efforts
In part two of this series, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Taliesin West Preservation Manager Emily Butler continues to dissect the process of the preservation of Taliesin West’s Board Room, and how the team is utilizing innovative technologies to embrace the Board Room’s rich history, as well as uncover new details of the historic space. Read her article here.
Wright Oak Park Visitor Center Plan Gets Cool First Reaction From Commission
Last month, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust announced its plans to build a new visitor and education center just east of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio. The 8,000 to 9,000 square-foot center would help accommodate the approximately 90,000 visitors to the site each year.
Trust members appeared in front of the Oak Park Historic Preservation Commission on July 11 to seek a certificate of appropriateness to remove additions to the east and south elevations of an existing home at 931 Chicago Ave., and a certificate of appropriateness to move or demolish the home at 925 Chicago Ave. Both homes sit in the village’s Frank Lloyd Wright-Prairie School of Architecture Historic District. Although the HPC took no official action, members said they could not support the Trust’s proposal as it was presented. More about this issue here.
Chicago Auditorium Theatre Wins Outstanding Historic Theatre Award
On July 14, 2019, the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago by Adler and Sullivan (and worked on by a young Frank Lloyd wright) received the League of Historic American Theatres' (LHAT) Outstanding Historic Theatre Award, recognizing the Auditorium for its demonstrated excellence through its programs and services, community impact, and the quality of its restoration and rehabilitation work. Read more about it here.
UPENN Students Uncover History at Taliesin West through Preservation Research
In early January, two students from the University of Pennsylvania’s historic preservation program came to Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona, to conduct in-depth research about the history of the site. For her thesis, Ashley Losco, who was working on completing her Masters in Historic Preservation at the time, focused her project on the history of Taliesin West’s Garden Room, including the history of the furnishings, décor, and color schemes. Mia Maloney, who was also working on completing a Masters in Historic Preservation, conducted research about the materials used throughout the property, in which she identified the wood species and age of the wood used to construct the buildings. They share an in-depth look at their process, as well as what they discovered through their research of Taliesin West here.
How Two Designers Brought Heath Ceramics Back From the Brink
Mention Heath Ceramics to design nerds or high-end restaurateurs, and chances are they'll fawn endlessly over its retro, midcentury tile or brightly glazed stoneware. Heath devotees are nothing new: Since visionary ceramicist Edith Heath and her husband started the company in 1948, enthusiasts have included architect Frank Lloyd Wright and chef Alice Waters. Yet the company likely wouldn't be around today were it not for Catherine Bailey and Robin Petravic. Read more here.
Lincoln Park House by Louis Sullivan For Sale
Only a handful of remaining homes in the city of Chicago designed by architect Louis Sullivan have survived the wrecking ball. One of them, an 1884 house on Cleveland Avenue in Lincoln Park, is coming on the market for just under $1.95 million. Its owner, a Chicago interior designer, has restored and updated it extensively over the past three decades. Find out more here.
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