A Look At What Could Have Been
Ambitious ideas often come with a high price that cannot always be paid, causing some of the most exciting building, bridge, and tower designs to never evolve past archived plans. This inspired some researchers to question: how different would U.S. cities be if these projects were built?
NetCredit was given the task of reviewing historical archives to create an accurate representation of each unbuilt structure. They searched the archives of the Library of the Congress to uncover various urban developments that were never built in the United States. Once this list was made, their art director worked with architecture and CGI experts from Projection EC to produce the final images, which included three views of each structure to show the scale of the original plans. One of the unbuilt designs that made the cut was Frank Lloyd Wright's 1925 National Life Insurance Company Building.
Read here to learn about this and some of the other most ambitious projects designed by world-renowned architects and planners.
Auditorium Theatre Awarded For Historic Preservation Effort
The League of Historic American Theatres has given its prestigious annual award to Chicago's magnificent Auditorium Theatre. The League's goal is to help sustain venues like the Auditorium for future generations.
"They look at the variety and depth of programming - the diversity of programming. They look at community engagement and they also look at restoration and architectural significance," said Rachel Freund, Auditorium Theatre Interim CEO.
Designed by the architectural duo of Adler and Sullivan (with help from a young Frank Lloyd Wright) and complete in 1889, renovating, repairing and restoring never stops. Even though it once was used as a bowling alley, convention space, and ballroom dance floor among other things, there is always a return to performing arts. The theatre is stunning with near perfect acoustics. This award joins a list of honors that the building and theatre have achieved. More here.
Get To Know T.K. McClintock, The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s New Board Chair
T.K. McClintock, whose involvement with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation began in 1979, was recently named Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. His dedication and support of the organization have grown consistently over the years. With a vast expertise in the conservation of fine art and historic works, McClintock’s contributions to the Foundation have been invaluable.
The Whirling Arrow interviewed McClintock about the next chapter of his service to Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy and the Foundation. Read the article here to learn more about his connection to Wright and what he hopes to accomplish in his new role.
Living With Nature: Using Water Wisely
Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home, is located in the Arizona desert where water is sparse and there is very little precipitation. In the latest edition of "Living with Nature: Sustainable Practices from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation," more is explained about the Foundation's focus on using water wisely in everything from home appliances, to outdoor landscaping.
Ever since Taliesin West was established in 1938, all of the site’s water has come from an on-site well that Wright had dug 486 feet below the ground. This well is still running today and continues to fulfill all of the water needs at Taliesin West. In an effort to be good stewards of this precious resource, Scottsdale Water was invited to come out and perform an outdoor water efficiency check on the property. Through this process they were able to identify several leaks that were present in the outdoor landscaping. A plan of action to repair these leaks and ensure all systems are running more efficiently was enacted.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that water is a limited, shared resource, and conservation efforts will make an even bigger difference if everyone tries to use less and use it wisely. Read the entire article here.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Quest For An American Architecture
The River City Society for Historic Preservation will be hosting architectural scholar David Brashear to speak on "Wright’s Quest for an American Architecture" on September 19 - 7:00 PM at the Robert E. McCoy Architectural Interpretive Center located at 520 1 st St. NE, Mason City, IA, adjacent to the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Stockman House Museum. There is no charge to attend. Donations are appreciated.
Mr. Brashear founded an architectural lecture series while studying architectural history at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. Brashear co-teaches at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and currently serves as interim director of the Muscarelle Museum of Art.
This program is co-sponsored by the River City Society for Historic Preservation and Humanities Iowa. More here.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Penwern: A Summer Estate
While many people are familiar with Frank Lloyd Wright’s year-round urban and suburban residential designs, he also designed some fifty summer cottages and related buildings, most of them early in the twentieth century. One of the most stunning was an estate for Fred B. Jones (called "Penwern") at Delavan Lake in Wisconsin.
Mark Hertzberg, author of the new book about Penwern, will present a richly illustrated talk about Wright’s Fred B. Jones estate on Thursday September 12, from 6:15 PM - 7:15 PM at the Cliff Dwellers, 200 South Michigan Avenue, 22nd floor, in Chicago. Get all the details here.
Frank Lloyd Wright Topic Of Mentor Public Library Program
Frank Lloyd Wright innovated a truly American Architecture and designed hundreds of structures that dot the country. Learn about Wright's work and life during a free program at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 9, at Mentor Public Library’s Main Branch, 8215 Mentor Ave, Mentor, in Ohio. The speaker will be architecture enthusiast and library Executive Director Cheryl Kuonen who has studied Wright and visited dozens of his designs across the continental United States. The program is open to all. Learn more here and register at www.mentorpl.org or by calling the library at 440-255-8811, ext. 247.
The Miller House In Columbus, Indiana, Is One Of America’s Best Midcentury Modern Houses
American modernism is typified by three Midcentury homes glorified in equal part by architecture geeks and tourists: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, Mies Van Der Rohe's Farnsworth House, and Philip Johnson's Glass House. Since it opened as a house museum in 2011, another home in small town Columbus, Indiana, has been welcomed into that lofty club.
Industrialist and architecture patron J. Irwin Miller and his wife Xenia commissioned a trio of designers for their home in Indiana. It’s since been cemented in the canon as a masterpiece of Midcentury residential design. Designed by Eero Saarinen with interiors by Alexander Girard, and landscaping by Dan Kiley, the Miller House was commissioned in 1953.
Among other feats (the house boasts what may be the world’s first conversation pit, for one), Miller House was the first National Historic Landmark to receive the honor while one of its designers was still living and while still occupied by its original owners. The widow Miller died in 2009 and left the estate to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which undertook a detailed $2M restoration before opening it to the public eight years ago. See the photos and read more here.
Luxfer Prism Glass Lit Rooms Without Electricity
"Luxfer" is a hybrid word derived from the Latin words lux (light) and ferre (to carry), and angled prisms on the inside of glass blocks were designed to refract light into otherwise dark spaces. In the 1890s, electric lighting was expanding but still limited, and many business blocks brought light into their rooms using window wells, open spaces between two otherwise adjacent buildings.
The Luxfer Prism Company survived for decades following its founding in 1896 as the Radiating Light Company. The Luxfer operation grew even more in 1897 after it commissioned a series of more than 40 patents for prisms, invented by a young architect named Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright even designed a building whose façade was entirely made of Luxfer prisms, but it was never constructed. Royalties from Luxfer prism glass helped Wright build his world famous Studio in Oak Park.
Luxfer was bought in 1920 by American 3-Way Prism Company, their main competitor, forming the American 3-Way Luxfer Prism Company. Competition from electric lights put most or all prism glass makers out of business by the late 1930s. Read more here.
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