Public Wright Sites Begin To Reopen
The vast majority of public Frank Lloyd Wright sites were forced to suspend tours and close due to COVID-19. Now, as stay-at-home orders start to lift in some parts of the country, public Wright sites are cautiously beginning to reopen.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Conservancy has a list of sites that have reopened for at least some public tours. If you are planning a visit, we strongly urge you to consult each particular site’s website for the most up-to-date information and details about ticketing and safety protocols. See the updated list here.
And remember, if you’re still sitting tight at home, Wright Virtual Visits are an excellent way to experience sites all across the country from the safety of your computer or smartphone.
Pope-Leighey House: Turning 80 With Virtual Panache
On July 12, 2020 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. you can help the Pope-Leighey House virtually celebrate the 80th anniversary year of the Pope-Leighey House! The virtual mid-century cocktail party fundraiser for this historic site is sure to be (almost) as fun as the real thing! This way, you don’t have to worry about the weather!
Festivities will include:
• The usual mid-century costume contest. Who cares what you are wearing on the bottom half, but jazz up your virtual video "game" with a special hat, or more.
• A Pope-Leighey or Wright- inspired cake competition. Who cares what it tastes like? They are only going to be judging your artistic talent!
• A really special trivia game with author Steven Reiss, who literally wrote the book about Pope-Leighey and promises to be really kind (no pressure, no pressure) and longtime museum guide, Peter Christensen (who loves trivia). Sample question: What year was the Pope-Leighey House built (it is the 80th birthday)?
• A quick cocktail class with not one but two mid-century cocktails to try out at home with our cocktail maven, Emily Schimmel. Emily will send ingredients out in advance.
• And more!
Tickets are $10 ($5 of that is tax-deductible) and can be purchased here.
Harry Gesner’s Ravenseye House Asks $14 Million
Larger-than-life maverick architect, Harry Gesner, a onetime apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, is probably most famous for his iconic Wave House in Malibu. The modernist master, now 95 and still active in his Malibu community also designed the moody "Ravenseye" house in Las Flores Canyon, nestled in the hills above the beachside city, that’s currently available with $14 million price tag.
Gothic wooden arches criss-cross the home’s glass-sheathed façade of "Ravenseye," the approximately 4,500 sq. ft. abode packs in the full caboodle of expected luxury amenities, like a swimming pool, hot tub, and various patios and terraces, nearly all of them with breathtaking ocean views. More importantly, given its location, the house was hewn from stone masonry, designed to resist the wildfire flames. The structure is inwardly defined by its massive central great room that visually recalls Lloyd Wright’s sublime Wayferers Chapel, a glass church in L.A.’s South Bay.
Currently owned by an English businessman, the property last sold in 2008 for about $3.9 million, according to public records. Since then, it’s been extensively upgraded in collaboration with Gesner, with a larger kitchen and redone windows. Best of all, the asking price includes a 1957 Airstream trailer in pristine condition. See it here.
A Look At Wright’s Boathouse
Buffalo Rising explores the history of how a Frank Lloyd Wright design for a building, originally planned for a 1905 college team from Wisconsin, came to be built in Buffalo, NY.
"When Frank Lloyd Wright designed a boathouse for the University of Wisconsin crew team in 1905, he could not have imagined that it would be built 100 years later in Buffalo, NY. The Wright Fontana Boathouse is located on the Niagara River next to the West Side Rowing Club. Completed in 2007, it is a fine example of Wright’s Prairie Era architecture. The Wright Fontana Boathouse is a sister organization to the West Side Rowing Club and provides needed space for crew boats affiliated with schools throughout the area."
Wright’s Prairie Era design "embraces the flatness of the Midwest landscape. It incorporates horizontal lines, a flowing plan, low roofs with pronounced overhangs, and a connection between the building and its site. Many of these details are seen in the Fontana Boathouse. It is constructed of concrete with red oak trim and doors, a beautiful pairing of two very different materials. This was Wright’s first design using a flat roof which is a deviation from the hip roof often seen in Prairie designs. There are 10-foot cantilevers on either end of the building. Porthole windows are seen from the side view leading some people to think it resembles a boat. The red oak doors are beautifully designed and are a focal point of the building." Read the entire article and see the photos here.
Don't Miss Touring Wright's Brandes House
Larry Woodin sends word that despite the recent changes and challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he is VERY pleased to announce that the Eco House Foundation is still holding their tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Brandes House in Sammamish, WA on Saturday July 18th.
The main change is that rather than having a larger group gather for wine and cheese at one time, smaller groups of people will tour the house through the day. SO, if you have already registered for the tour they will be calling you to give your first choice for time of day. If you have NOT YET registered, visit their website here and follow the direction to do so ASAP!
Hillside Theatre Curtain Restoration
Get a glimpse in The Whirling Arrow of the carefully completed restoration work for the exquisite Hillside Theatre Curtain, still being used in a functional theatre space in Spring Green, Wisconsin near Taliesin. The Hillside Curtain is one of the largest gifts Frank Lloyd Wright ever received and it is also one of the largest objects in the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s collection. Read more about it here. Photographer and author Mark Hertzberg was asked to document the curtain after being re-installed. You can check out more of his photos at his Wright in Racine website here.
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