The Louis Sullivan-designed bank of Newark has graced the Courthouse Square for over a century at One North Third Street in Newark, Ohio. It was built in 1914 and opened its doors on August 25, 1915 as The Home Building Association Company, commonly known as “The Old Home”. It was one of eight banks, known as "jewel boxes," designed by the iconic architect. The Licking County Foundation announced in October its capital campaign raised the funds to begin the exterior restoration.
The exterior work will restore the facade, including the intricate terra cotta, art-glass windows and mosaics, and install new doors, lower-level windows, roof and facade illumination. The interior restoration will include the murals, marble, mahogany, safe, lighting, check counters, and wood benches. Read more.
As newly inscribed UNESCO World Heritage sites as part of a collection of 8 sites, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West in Arizona and Taliesin in Wisconsin have already seen an increase in visitors from around the world, a trend that the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation anticipates will continue for years to come.
To ensure Wright’s two personal homes are accurately preserved, Foundation Vice President of Preservation Fred Prozzillo has taken a contemporary approach to the historic preservation of both sites. Through the work of the preservation teams, Prozzillo seeks to extend the legacy of Wright’s innovation by showcasing unique design and sustainable practices.
“The preservation of Taliesin West and Taliesin is both unique and challenging. Often people think of historic preservation as picking a point in time and preserving a site to a specific date so people can study it, learn from it and experience it as it was in that moment. Wright meant both of these sites to be ever-changing laboratories. He’d split his time between the two and upon his return, he would see the property with a new eye and make changes to the sites season after season. Our challenge is thinking about how we preserve these living sites and accommodate 140,000 visitors per year, while working to preserve the concept of constant change. Our preservation teams maintain a respect for the history of the sites while evolving to fit the changing needs of the properties.”
Read more about the plans for both of Wright's homes here.
HomeAdvisor recently created an illustrated map of significant domestic Wright projects in 37 states. One of the buildings on the map is the John Gillin Residence, a large single-story Usonian house, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1950 and built in Dallas, Texas in 1958.
The Gillin House is Wright's only residential project in Dallas, built a year after Wright died and eight years after he designed it for Gillin, an oilman and geophysicist. The 11,336 square foot Usonian has a central hexagon that acts as a hub for three wings, with a large fireplace serving as the focal point, and the use of windows that would become the hallmark of Midcentury Modern design showcase the grounds, which overlook a creek.
In 1996, the home became almost another character in Wes Anderson’s Bottle Rocket, which starred Luke and Owen Wilson. One might even argue that Dallas supplied three stars for the movie — the Wilson brothers and the Gillin residence, which was the home of the character Bob Mapplethorpe. More here.
The Price Tower is a nineteen-story, 221-foot-high tower at 510 South Dewey Avenue in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, built in 1956 to a design by Frank Lloyd Wright.
The Price Tower Arts Center's next exhibition will begin January 24th and will feature the works of Bruce Goff and Herbert Greene. Goff was a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright, and lived and worked at Price Tower for over seven years. Make sure you put the special member-guest reception Jan. 23rd on your calendar; as Herb Greene will be there to speak.
The week of Feb. 17 PTAC will host a new “Wright Chef Competition” where once again they search the country for an inspiring chef to bring their skills and vision to Price Tower for an entire year. With ‘Tower Center at Unity Square’ preparing for its final phase of work, they are looking to combine the new Green Space, Wright Chef, and Price Tower itself — to create a trifecta of culinary excellence, celebrated art and world-renown architecture.
One last item to add to your “save-the-date calendar” is the annual Price Tower Gala, Friday, March 6, 2020. This year’s theme is: Preserve, Inspire & Celebrate; the three pillars of the Price Tower mission statement. More information here.
Every house has stories to tell, particularly if the house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Some stories are familiar. Some are even true. Some, true or not, have been lost to time, while others are yet to be told. Steve Sikora, co-owner of the Malcom Willey House, continues his exploration of the home and its influence on architecture and society at the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation's Whirling Arrow blog.
Steve writes that in a fit of financial angst, young Nancy Willey rejected Frank Lloyd Wright’s original design for her and Malcolm’s home in November 1933, and consequently set into motion a series of events destined to have long-lasting implications on the future of the American home. Although the initial scheme for the Willeys foreshadowed, in spirit, the dramatic character of the soon to follow Fallingwater, Nancy knew that she needed something more practical in a house, something affordable, easy to clean and a place she could entertain in. The resulting redesign by Wright proved an ideal home for the Willeys and spawned a host of innovations in modern living that would be emulated widely. Of particular interest to me, are the ways Wright connected indoor and outdoor spaces. Read more here.
A Glencoe house that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for his attorney and a leader in the fight for women’s suffrage in Illinois sold in late December after more than three years on the market and over $1 million in price cuts, according to Crains. Originally the home of Sherman and Elizabeth Booth, the Sylvan Road house on three-quarters of an acre sold Dec. 20 for $750,000.
The buyers, not yet identified in public records, are “a young family who are Wright enthusiasts,” their agent, Joy Axelson of Axelson Realty, said in a text message. “It is such a unique property and it had been on the market so long, we were told there had been some interest from buyers wanting to tear it down. I believe the buyers will do their best to maintain the original ethos of the home.”
Completed in 1916, the three-story house stands at the edge of a wooded ravine and largely faces north over the ravine and Lake Shore Country Club. It remains largely as Wright designed it, with slatted wooden light sconces and screens between rooms, an outdoor fireplace on a rooftop deck (a rarity in Wright's designs) and even a stylized flagpole that Wright repurposed from an older building.
While waiting to move into the house, the Booths lived in a temporary cottage, also designed by Wright. The cottage, a one-story building later moved to a site around the corner on Franklin Road, is the subject of a demolition controversy since a homebuilding firm bought it in May for the land it’s on. The Chicago Tribune’s Blair Kamin reported in December that preservationists are trying to get the cottage moved to a new site, rather than demolished.
The Booths’ permanent house was the largest of six that Wright designed for a subdivision called Ravine Bluffs, with Sherman Booth as developer and operator of some of the homes as rentals. Booth originally planned to build 30 houses. See the photos here.