A.D. German Warehouse Receives Grant
The Wisconsin State Journal reports that the Wright-designed A.D. German Warehouse in Richland Center, WI has has raised about $2 million of a $4.1 million campaign designed to restore the brick building that is largely void of windows and includes a concrete frieze around its upper edges resembling designs from a Central American Mayan temple. Last month, the warehouse received a major boost when it was one of 41 projects in 23 states and one of just two in Wisconsin, to receive a Save America’s Treasures Grant, a matching grant program founded in 1999 by the National Parks Service to “help preserve nationally significant historic properties and collections that convey our nation’s rich heritage to future generations of Americans.” Read more about it here.
Madison’s Mid-Century Homes Undergoing A Renaissance
Madison, Wisconsin is home to a lot of ranch houses. Many are basic, but others have truly remarkable designs, featuring dramatic roof lines, envelope-pushing floor plans, and subtle modernist detailing. Spurned for decades, ranches are in demand again. Mid-century modern styling is pervasive in current home and interior design — what was old has become new again.
Mid-century ranches are rightsized, livable, and filled with charming small details. They are better built than most new construction and easy to add on to and modify. They’re located in easy-commute neighborhoods near many local services. The real estate website Trulia lists the ranch-style house as the most popular type of home for sale in 34 states, including Wisconsin. Modern buyers, like their mid-century counterparts, are falling in love with the idea of the ranch house.
Frank Lloyd Wright designed 33 buildings for Madison, some of them residences. The First Jacobs House in the Westmorland neighborhood is neither a ranch, nor strict mid-century modern, but many of its features would become elements of the ranch. It has a long, low aspect with deep shading eaves. It groups bedrooms at one end and open living area, entry, dining and kitchen spaces at the other. And it’s built of brick and wood siding, eschewing the plaster finishes of its own era.
A number of local architects studied with Wright at his Taliesin school, then set up their own practices in Madison. Others trained elsewhere in the International Modern style, but after coming to Madison, were soon designing like Wright.
“The Taliesin influence is strong here,” notes Anna Andrzejewski, a professor of art history at UW-Madison. Andrzejewski sees Madison’s mid-century building boom as a unique laboratory for a regionally specific form of modernism under Frank Lloyd Wright’s long shadow. She calls this process “Wrightification.”
University Hill Farms is a great example of this. The neighborhood benefited from hosting the Parade of Homes in four separate years, starting in 1957. The whole area generally has a greater concentration of architect-designed and contractor-designed spec homes than elsewhere in the city. Frank Lloyd Wright himself contributed a house design to the 1959 Parade of Homes in University Hill Farms: the Walter Rudin house. More here.
Articulate: Frank Lloyd Wright — Wright and Wrong
In season five of Articulate, the show covers idealistic icons, including Frank Lloyd Wright. Through interviews with Wright scholars and experts, as well as a Wright home owner and Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation President & CEO Stuart Graff, we learn more about Wright’s life and legacy. You can watch the full segment here..
TAWANI Property Management’s Hospitality Division Announces Holiday Promotions
As the holiday season begins, TAWANI Property Management’s Hospitality division is excited to announce a series of holiday promotions for its properties located in the Chicagoland area. Whether you are looking for a special location to host your holiday party or unique vacation home to stay with family and friends, TAWANI’s hospitality division has a place to accommodate all your needs. Included in this list is the Emil Bach House, Chicago’s only Frank Lloyd Wright private vacation home and venue rental.
The Emil Bach House was built in 1915 and lovingly restored in 2013. Overlooking a long stretch of Chicago’s famous Sheridan Road, the house provides a timeless respite from the city. The first floor of Emil Bach House includes a large gathering space with an impressive fireplace, kitchen, screened-in porch, dining room and lounge area. The second floor features a study and two guest rooms, each with a full-sized hall bathroom. Guests can also take advantage of the Home’s beautiful outdoor space, which includes the Japanese Tea House and gardens. The property holds up to 130 guests for outdoor events, and 25 guests inside the main house. TAWANI is offering $100 off your stay anytime in 2020, book by Jan. 31, 2-night minimum. More here.
Alexandra Bachzetsis Takes Stock Of Exchange In "Chasing a Ghost"
On the northeasternmost edge of the Art Institute of Chicago, where Columbus meets Monroe, stands an arch in a small plot of land, fenced in with tall grass and dead flowers. It hovers over nothing and allows no roads through it. Viewed from the north, it is blank limestone; from the south, terra-cotta dense with ornate detail. "Chicago Stock Exchange Building, 1893" it announces, more like a tombstone than an entryway.
Once this arch graced the LaSalle ingress to Adler and Sullivan's celebrated edifice, considered by critics to be one of the masterpieces of modernist architecture by skyscraper pioneer Louis Sullivan. Despite frantic bids for its preservation, the Chicago Stock Exchange building was demolished in 1972, leaving only fragments—and bones: photographer Richard Nickel perished beneath the unstable structure as he attempted to retrieve historic ornaments. Nickel's body was not found for 26 days; his unfinished book on Sullivan was published 38 years later as The Complete Architecture of Adler and Sullivan.
In addition to the arch and Nickel's pictures, relics from the Stock Exchange—mail slots, panels, kickplates, an elevator grille—are scattered about the Art Institute. Most strikingly, the two-story-high Trading Room, with its elaborate polychrome stencils, stained glass skylights, brass sconces, and faux marble pillars, was reconstructed and incorporated in its entirety into the Rubloff Building of the museum in 1977.
For three days in Chicago, the Trading Room transforms into a theater for a performance of exchange. "The theme of my piece is the uncanny—the strange discomfort we have with things we recognize but no longer know," says Swiss-Greek choreographer Alexandra Bachzetsis about Chasing a Ghost, commissioned by the Art Institute as part of its new performance series "Iterations," curated by Hendrik Folkerts. "The Stock Exchange Room calls for that through its aesthetics, its colors, its history." Then the performance trades places, once again making the exchanged room an Exchange Room. More from the Chicago Reader about this performance here.
Holidays in The Chicago Loop
Chicago Loop Alliance releases ‘Holidays in the Loop’ list highlighting festive activities for 2019.
Along with the 106th Annual Chicago Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and other typical holiday fare is the "Rookery Light Court Tours", at the Rookery Building, 209 S. LaSalle St. Take a guided tour of The Rookery Light Court festively decked for the holidays, complete with a giant tree in the lobby. Learn how Frank Lloyd Wright remodeled Burnham and Root's landmark 1888 skyscraper. Get an exclusive view of the spectacular oriel staircase. On Mondays and Wednesdays, visit the library where Daniel Burnham and associates hatched plans for the 1893 Columbian Exhibition.
For ideas on how to make the most of the holidays in Chicago’s official downtown, check out the listings below. For more details, visit LoopChicago.com/Holidays. More here.
Architecture & Design Film Festivals in Vancouver and Toronto
After the successful run of its 11th season in New York City this past September, the Architecture and Design Film Festival (ADFF) is coming to Canada to debut two new festivals in Vancouver and Toronto, showing the best films from around the world that bring design and human stories together plus Q & A’s and panel discussions with industry leaders.
ADFF Vancouver runs from November 7 to 10 at Vancity Theatre and Scotiabank Dance Centre. The full line-up and tickets can be found here. https://adfilmfest.com/site/vancouver2019
ADFF Toronto runs from November 14 to 17 at TIFF Bell Lightbox. The full line-up and tickets can be found here https://adfilmfest.com/site/toronto2019 and use the code CanArch for a discount on tickets here.
Both festivals will be sharing a similar roster of films, and highlights include:
Frank Gehry: Building Justice- Architect Frank Gehry and philanthropist George Soros teach a series of master classes at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in which they examine what it would mean to re-design the American prison for a time in the future, a time of low incarceration in the United States. Screening with the short film: A Place of Second Chances.
GOFF- Bruce Goff was one of the greatest American architects of the 20th century. His unconventional perspective challenged stigmas about the Midwest’s inability to produce innovative work. A peer to Frank Lloyd Wright, his work had a profound influence on the next generation of architects, including Phillip Johnson and Frank Gehry.
That Far Corner: Frank Lloyd Wright in Los Angeles- During his time in Southern California in the 1910s and early 1920s, Frank Lloyd Wright accelerated the search for an authentic L.A. architecture that might be experimental but also responsive to the city’s history, culture and landscape. Screening with the short film: A Building Shaped by Light: Austin Central Library. More here.
The 37 Most Important Interior Design Moments From the Past 100 Years
Architectural Digest reflects that design doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Interiors are always shaped by the cultural and social contexts of their time. At its best, great design can influence the world around it, too. And as interiors evolve, so can our traditions, well-being, and even humanity, as is evident in the dozens of touchstone moments revealed in this article.
One of our favorites is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum in New York, featuring corkscrew-like interior circulation and galleries, including a spiraling ramp and no stairs. The space forever changes how museum goers experience cultural spaces. Read more here.
How Frank Lloyd Wright OP Home Tree Became Furniture
Steve Skorup recently wrote about the process and his experience turning a 70-80 year-old tree once located in front of the Frank Lloyd Wright Oak Park Home that had to be cut down because of disease and giving it a new lease on life as beautiful and useful furniture. Read more about it here.
Taliesin Preservation Wins National Award
Wisconsin-based Taliesin Preservation’s focus on programming and community engagement has earned the organization recognition and most recently the 2019 Trustees Emeritus Award for Historic Site Stewardship. The award recognizes a nonprofit organization for sustained achievement in historic preservation, management and programming.
“We are honored to accept this award for Historic Site Stewardship,” said Taliesin Preservation Executive Director Carrie Rodamaker. “Taliesin Preservation has always put the natural, cultural, and built environments of Taliesin (at) the forefront of our mission. I’m grateful for the work of my predecessors, all the members of our board, past and present, our partners in preservation the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and most importantly, all the donors and supporters over the past 25 years who have made contributions to make this award possible.” More here.
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.