Non-profits everywhere are in real trouble, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic—and Wright-related non-profits are no exception. Case-in-point: The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation's CEO recently recorded a video plea for help and Taliesin Preservation sent out email requests for donations to help during this challenging time.
As stated in the video:
"Earlier this month, we made the very difficult, yet responsible, decision to close both Taliesin and Taliesin West. This has deeply impacted our ability to keep Wright’s legacy alive. March is normally our busiest time of year, with visitors from around the world pilgrimaging up the hill to experience Wright’s winter home and desert laboratory. The revenue we generate from these tours keeps us in business the rest of the year, helping us to advance our mission and preserve and share Wright’s homes to inspire through an understanding and experience of his ideas, architecture, and design.
"As the CEO, I also had to make the hardest decision a leader has to make as we furloughed almost half of our dedicated staff. Further cuts may also be necessary. Many still working have taken pay cuts of 25% and are willing to do as much as possible to support the Foundation and each other through this crisis.
We know this is a difficult time for everyone, but we need to ask for your support. Any donation, large or small, will help us stay afloat until we can assess the situation and rebuild. Will you please offer your support today?"
If you are able, support the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation during this challenging time by following the link.
Additionally, you can learn more about Taliesin Preservation in Wisconsin's specific needs and donate help by following this link.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy has announced that the Glencoe Historical Society is beginning preparations to move the original portion of the Wright-designed Booth Cottage to its new location. This process is expected to take place over the next several weeks. They promise to provide updates on the progress. More information here.
The Larkin building, 1904, and the Johnson Wax building, 1936, clearly illustrate how Frank Lloyd Wright composed apparently disparate forces. By combining traditions of communal organization with contemporary materials and structures to shelter new social and economic activities, the architecture of these two major work-rooms is celebrated precisely because Wright’s “radical conservatism” recognizes the past even as it makes use of new possibilities.
In The Whirling Arrow, educator, author, and architect Sidney Robinson explores how the Larkin building and Johnson Wax are outstanding evidence of how Wright worked within the conditions that necessitated the buildings, incorporated new materials, methods, and changing social structures, while maintaining values that underlay the composition of individual and group, of part and whole. Read the article here.
A home in LaGrangeville, NY, has listed for $999,000 and comes with serious architectural pedigree: Curbed reports that architect Aaron Resnick, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, designed the “midcentury stunner” in 1954.
Resnick is known for his work on the planned community of Usonia — a neighborhood located 44 miles south of this listing, near Pleasantville, NY, that is filled with homes inspired by Wright’s own designs. This LaGrangeville house is one of the very few outside Usonia that reflects its central principles.
The three-bedroom, 1,792-square-foot home has organic materials (like slate flooring and stone walls), an open floorplan and a fluid connection with the outdoors (in part because of large windows). It also includes charming wood details, as seen in cabinets and beamed ceilings, as well as a fireplace surrounded by natural bluestone. Outside, stone pathways lead to a pool surrounded by a bluestone terrace, which also looks out to the Catskill Mountains. See it here.
Architect Frank Lloyd Wright used his 1889 Oak Park, IL, home and studio as a testing ground for his vision of the architectural style he would call the Prairie School. Wright carefully selected his materials to experiment with cohesive open spaces and roomy hallways. The three-bedroom home, where he and his wife, Catherine Tobin, raised six children, cost $6,000 to build—the equivalent of about $185,000 today.
But Mansion Global acknowledges it was the formal dining room, after an 1895 renovation, that is considered the first example of how each of Mr. Wright’s design elements creates a singular composition, says David Bagnall, curator and director of interpretation at the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust in Chicago. Wright’s designs, including recessed lighting and built-in cabinetry, retain their timelessness. More here.
Emma Krupp from TimeOut notes that under normal circumstances, visitors from across the world flock to Chicago to take guided tours of the many Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings located throughout the city and surrounding suburbs. Those in-person tours aren't being offered at the moment, of course, but if you're looking for a quick diversion during a long workday, you can go inside a few of Wright's most influential Chicagoland buildings via a short series of YouTube tours.
"The videos, which cover Hyde Park's Frederick C. Robie House as well as Unity Temple and Wright's home and studio in Oak Park, are brief and not particularly fancy—definitely no 360-degree technology here—but they possess a pleasant and almost ASMR-like charm, with humming ambient background noise, narration delivered in a British accent and slow camera pans tracing the intricate details of Wright's designs. And even if you've been inside the buildings before, it's still fun to check out Wright's famous architectural flourishes, like the gem-like stained glass windows of Unity Temple or the Prairie School-influenced, low-slung horizontal angles of the Robie House; both are Chicago's only World Heritage sites." More here.