Some of the original art glass that was removed more than seven decades ago from the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Hollyhock House is in the process of being returned to the historic landmark from Boston art collectors. The UNESCO World Heritage site at the top of Barnsdall Park is primed to get back four art glass panels that used to be part of a skylight above the living room fireplace, according to a motion by City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell.
Four of the living room's nine laylight panels were removed during a renovation in the 1940s and replaced with opaque glass panels by Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright. But now, two Boston area collectors and museum patrons who possess of the panels have offered to contribute them back to the house in exchange for reproductions that were commissioned in 2017 to restore the laylights to their 1921 appearance.
O’Farrell’s motion calls for the City Council to authorize the Department of Cultural Affairs to work out the exchange of the reproductions for the originals now held by Marc S. Plonskier and Heni Koenigsberg. The couple are patrons of several Boston area museums and art institutions.
"The return of the four original art glass panels is critical to strengthening the authenticity of this UNESCO World Heritage site and represents a rare opportunity to improve the integrity of the site with original architectural furnishings," says the motion. "The original panels will be installed in their original laylight location and will remain the property of Hollyhock House."
As for the value of the vintage panels, Ed Avila, president of Project Restore, which has been overseeing the restoration, said, "They are original to the house and that is priceless." More here.
Think you know everything there is to know about Mr. Wright? Well, then the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation wants you to take this quiz to test your knowledge of the life and work of America's iconic architect. See how you do here.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy invites you to a visit to Auldbrass Plantation, Saturday, March 28, 2020 from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1939, Auldbrass Plantation provides a singular Wright experience. Nearly destroyed by neglect, the multi-building estate has been beautifully restored by its owner, movie producer Joel Silver, setting a gold standard for historic preservation.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy is the only organization granted access to this private house for an in-depth tour of the estate and intimate dinner party featuring gourmet cuisine and fine wines. Your tax-deductible ticket supports the Conservancy’s fundraising efforts. Take the opportunity to plan a getaway to nearby Savannah or Charleston (both around an hour away), all while supporting the ongoing effort to save Wright. Hurry, this limited-seating event fills fast. More here.
With the $8.2 million restoration of the Graycliff estate in Derby recently completed, attention now turns to building a $5 million, floor-to-ceiling glass-facade visitor center. The Graycliff Conservancy wants to improve the 8-acre site's visitor experience and better tell the story of Darwin and Isabelle Martin's summer home built by Frank Lloyd Wright on Lake Erie. A capital campaign to raise the funds for the visitor center is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2020.
"When people come to a Wright site there is an expectation of what they will experience," said Bryan LeFauve, the conservancy's vice president. "It's our hope that the new visitor center will deliver on that expectation by providing not only amenities but an opportunity for us to highlight the stories of Graycliff."
The visitor center's plans call for a main lobby and ticketing area, exhibit space, an indoor-outdoor cafe doubling as an event space, an administration area that includes a docent lounge and restrooms. The new visitor center would incorporate the current visitor center and feature an extended wood-clad green roof feature. Central to the project are using principles Wright espoused: a connection to nature, integrating buildings with the landscape and blending inside with the outside world.
"We are being sensitive to having something that really fits into the property and is a complement to the house without being a distraction," LeFauve said. More here.
Broad Margin, a private residence located in Greenville, was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1951 and built in 1954. It is one of only two buildings designed by Wright in South Carolina — the other is the Auldbrass Plantation in Beaufort County.
One of the last Usonian styles of architecture that Wright used it is characterized by the use of natural materials — stone and wood, as well the overall integration of the building and the site. Broad Margin is the name given to the property by Wright. The term comes from Thoreau’s Walden in which he states, “I love a broad margin to my life.”
Built into the slope of the 2-acre property, the home has 12-inch thick concrete walls and uses cypress wood throughout. Other unique building methods include copper tubes embedded into the polished red concrete floors that are used to heat the home with hot water; the use of screws instead of nails; and doors and windows that were constructed on-site, completely of cypress and with brass hardware. These unique residential building methods exemplify Wright’s architectural philosophy as well as his attention to detail. See it here.
Olgivanna Lloyd Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright’s third wife, wrote a series of essays titled, “Our House” for the Capital Times of Madison, Wisconsin from 1958-1962. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation's Whirling Arrow blog shares a December 1958 writing in which she shares an account of Frank Lloyd Wright’s final Christmas celebration at Taliesin West. Read it here and Happy Holidays!