Architectural Digest asks the question, "Will Historic Preservation Survive COVID-19?" With sites closed to visitors, how can so many nonprofits who operate historic sites—many existing on slim margins—possibly hope to emerge from this moment intact?
Many organizations, separated by scale, geography, and circumstance, demonstrate the varied impact of the pandemic on preservation in the United States. Stories of reduced staff, like at the Chicago’s Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, conjure images of sites collecting dust and falling into disrepair, or worse. Vulnerable properties are subject to being defiled by vandalism or razed by developers without proper maintenance and protection. That anxiety is understandable; the gears of progress have long chewed up some of America’s most important buildings, from New York’s original Pennsylvania Station to Chicago’s Prentice Women’s Hospital. There is the worry that the longer the pandemic keeps buildings closed and visitors home, challenges will mount. Read the entire article here.
For the third time in two years, the Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative is making available to the public a tour at a previously, virtually inaccessible Frank Lloyd Wright home, the Seamour and Gerte Shavin house in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The house was commissioned by newlyweds Seamour and Gerte Shavin in 1949 and the home on Missionary Ridge was completed in 1952. It is the only building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Tennessee.
The house is sited on top of a hill to take advantage of the view of the Tennessee River and Lookout Mountain. Both the exterior and interior of the house use primarily crab orchard stone and treated Louisiana cypress wood. The stonework is reminiscent of Fallingwater: laid horizontally, stones are allowed to protrude (or "stick out") at points from the line of the wall, resembling stone ledges.
With a stunning example of a 12'×16'×16' cantilevered roof over the carport, the home has a hidden entrance and features a kitchen, den and bathroom at the top of the hill, and sleeping areas down some stairs on the lower, or eastern, side of the hill. The den/living room is the focal point of the home, featuring a large stone fireplace. Mitered glass in one corner and wood framed corner glass doors that open outward allow the eyes to wander both outside the home and around the interior. There are double clerestory windows with cut-wood light screens. The Shavins' house contains built-ins and furniture designed by Wright, resulting in a unified design scheme.
Tours will take place on July 11th and July 12th, both days at 2:00pm and 6:30pm. Special guest Karen Shavin will offer stories of the history of, and growing up in the house. If you wish to attend, PLEASE buy your tickets early, as they may be able to add additional tours based on demand.
Tickets are $250 each, fully tax deductible*.
Groups will be limited to 10-12 people due to the size of the home. Masks must be worn inside the house at all times. No exceptions! Adult beverages will be served. More here.
On June 28th from 3pm-4pm CST, Winston Choi and MingHuan Xu of Duo Diorama will offer a special short performance safely from their living room for the UTRF audience consisting of works by Bach-Gounod, Beethoven, Elgar, and Manuel De Falla. There will be time after the performance for Q&A from the audience.
Pay what you can! Your donation is 100% tax deductible and supports Unity Temple. A link for the video performance will be e-mailed upon your registration. For more info, follow the link.
The rich tumultuous tale of Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahoney Griffin has more to it than designing Canberra, landscapes, and working for Frank Lloyd Wright. In an article posted on the-riotract.com, Dr. David Headon, the History and Heritage Adviser for the Centenary of Canberra and a distinguished historian explains that while the legacy of their groundbreaking Canberra design is well marked, we have missed a crucial element in the social, intellectual, and cultural story of the remarkable American pair. And, he believes, there’s an opportunity to build enduring links between Australia, Chicago, and Lucknow in India—all key parts of the Griffin story. Read more here.
2020 marks the 15 year-anniversary of the Westcott House museum. Since it opened to the public, the house has made a significant impact as an economic driver, educational resource, and as a source of pride. However, not that long ago, the probability of saving this place seemed slim, and it took nothing short of a miracle to bring the house back to its original glory. The success of this project can be attributed in large part to the involvement of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, an organization that advocates for Wright-designed properties nationwide. The restoration was also propelled by the Turner Foundation and their decisive philanthropic intervention, which was recognized by the Conservancy with the Wright Spirit Award in 2010. The Westcott House’s story is one of a local community partnering with a national organization to save an important American landmark on the brink of demolition.
A webinar on June 25th at 6:30 EST/5:30 CST will be moderated by Marta Wojcik, Executive Director & Curator of the Westcott House, and will feature special guests, including Barbara Gordon, Executive Director of Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy; Ron Scherubel, board member of Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy; John Landess, Executive Director of the Turner Foundation and board member of the Westcott House Foundation; Lauren Burge, AIA, Chambers, Murphy & Burge and principal architect of the Westcott restoration; and Shawn Beckwith, Westcott restoration project manager, Durable Slate Restoration.
For more details and to register for this event, follow the link.