Tuesday was moving day in Glencoe. The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Booth cottage made its roughly 800-foot journey to its new home, a short trek that first required the efforts of preservation groups like the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, months of planning, and some debate.
The one-story frame house was hoisted on dollies and slowly transported to nearby Park 7N as a couple hundred people gathered to watch the early morning scene. The procession had occasional stops as crews trimmed tree branches to allow the truck to proceed.
Yet roughly an hour later, the house, adorned with a “Saving Booth Cottage” red banner, reached its new location at the intersection of Maple Hill, Meadow, and Franklin roads. Read more about it here and catch up on all the efforts undertaken by the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy to ensure this Wright design was saved here.
Architectural historian Paul V. Turner, collaborating with the Stanford University Library, has developed a database and website devoted to Frank Lloyd Wright’s library. The books that inspired Wright’s life, philosophy, and work are compiled and discussed in this website, which has just now been made public according to the Frrank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
In The Whirling Arrow, Turner states, "For about three years I’ve worked on reconstructing Frank Lloyd Wright’s “library”—defined as all the surviving books Wright owned, and the lost books that can be identified, as well as works he is known to have read, even if he didn’t own them. A website has now been created for this project, in collaboration with the Stanford University Library."
Wright had an extraordinary passion for reading, throughout his life—not only for books on architecture and the other arts, but for poetry, novels, drama, and books on history, philosophy, economics, and other subjects. His own writings are full of references to books he read and his views on them; in his autobiography, for example, he speaks of authors and books he read in each period of his life. Read the entire article here.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has announced numerous recently completed and in-process accessibility upgrades at Frank Lloyd Wright’s historic Taliesin West in Scottsdale. “The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation wants to make sure that everyone has access to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s own home, Taliesin West, and experience his work so that they can bring it into their own lives and benefit from his ideas.
The upgrades are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which will make the UNESCO World Heritage site more accessible when it reopens later this year, according to a press release.
The esteemed architect’s winter home was built more than 50 years before the ADA came to fruition, without the codes and regulations that exist, the release said, describing the tight spaces and changes in level that are difficult or impassable for those with limited mobility.
During the COVID-19 pandemic while Taliesin West is closed to visitors, the Foundation has prioritized efforts and dedicated funds towards making the site’s public spaces more available to all visitors, focusing on ramps, handrails, surfacing and restroom additions.
The Foundation’s preservation team used $250,000 in challenge grant funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, combined with generous matching grants from the Pakis Family Foundation and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation for the following ADA-compliant projects:
- Stabilized, decomposed granite was installed at the entrance and on walking paths to provide navigable surfaces for those with restricted mobility.
- Two custom concrete ramps were installed at both ends of the Prow to allow guests to experience the renowned desert view at Taliesin West and have a pathway to an accessible restroom.
- A metal ramp leading from the entrance of Wright’s Office was custom-designed to blend into the site’s historic desert masonry walls, while preserving the original concrete landscape.
- Two custom handrails were designed to limit visual intrusion and provide support for low-rise steps between the Cabaret and Pavilion terraces.
- A restroom near Taliesin West’s iconic view of the desert landscape was retrofitted to be accessible.
“Our preservation team has used this time wisely in order to expedite the necessary measures to make Taliesin West accessible to all,” said Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Director of Preservation Emily Butler in a prepared statement.
“Some of the work that has been done is not required by the ADA since this is a historic site, however the Foundation has gone above-and-beyond. A great amount of thought was put into selecting materials and colors for each installation that complement Wright’s original look and feel. Our primary objective is to not take away from the historic or architectural character of the property, yet make it more accessible to visitors of all physical capabilities.”
In addition to the recent upgrades, numerous ventures at Taliesin West are underway, with completion scheduled in time to welcome visitors this fall including an ADA-compliant restroom near the Kiva and two in the Music Pavilion where most performing arts presentations are held. More here.
Dwell magazine features the Avery Coonley Playhouse designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Originally a private school and now a single-family residence, the 1912 design showcases Wright’s iconic windows, colorful stained glass windows that steal the show. Known as Wright's "kinder-symphony" windows, the modernistic composition of circular and square shapes conveys elements of a children's parade—balloons, confetti, and flags—and are considered to be the architect's most important window design.
The unique piece of Frank Lloyd Wright history is still seeking a buyer after two years on the market in Riverside, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. The current owners purchased the property in the early '80s and proceeded to reverse decades of haphazard alterations with the help of restoration architect John Vinci. Once the auditorium, a grand living area features reproductions of Wright's iconic "kinder-symphony" windows, the originals having been removed and sold to museums by previous owners.
After nearly 40 years, the current owners, Ted Smith and Susan Shipper-Smith, are ready to move on. The couple first listed the two-bedroom, two-bath home in 2018 for $800,000, recently reducing the price to $650,000. What the home may lack to some it makes up for in space and location—offering a 3,500-square-foot floor plan and and a prime lot in Riverside, the master-planned neighborhood designed by iconic landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Read more and see the gallery here.
The Frank Lloyd Wright (FLW) Trust lost one of its most dedicated supporters July 11 when Gloria Garofalo died at age 76. Through her work as a volunteer and then later a member of staff, Garofalo became one of the driving forces behind the trust's growth and success.
Garofalo started her work with the trust as a volunteer in 1980 and participated in the restoration of Wright's home and studio. Garofalo joined the FLW staff in 1988 as tour center director where she helped cultivate greater appreciation for Oak Park's collection of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings and solidify the village's status as a necessary pilgrimage for architecture aficionados. She worked on multiple committees within the organization, and served on the trust's board of directors for five years, including a three-year stint as president. Read more about Gloria Garofalo and her impact at the FLW Trust here.
The news earned a front-page headline in the Daily Journal, a major fundraising drive to gather $1.7 million is complete, and the group Wright in Kankakee has fully purchased the B. Harley Bradley House. Built by acclaimed architect Frank Lloyd Wright at the turn of the 20th century, the home is considered one of the first examples of Wright’s celebrated “Prairie’’ architecture.
The Daily Journal reports that the home has long been a source of pride for the region, and that is never more true than now. But there was a time this landmark, now listed as a historic property by the National Park Service, was in disrepair and in jeopardy of being torn down.
That’s when Gaines and Sharon Hall purchased the property and began major restoration efforts in 2005. As the work progressed, Wright in Kankakee was formed in 2010 with the intent of raising the money to purchase and operate the home.
The couple ultimately made the transaction rather easy. According to Wright in Kankakee President Norm Strasma: “Essentially the Halls donated the property to Wright in Kankakee.” That was a $700,000 donation. “The $1 million they spent on the restoration is being returned to them without interest following 10 years of partial installments along the way.’’
The Halls’ generosity was mirrored by more than 500 donors, including a number who offered major contributions.
As the fundraising and restoration work was ongoing, the stature of Wright was growing in the modern day. Tom Desch, a talented filmmaker, released the documentary “An American Home: Frank Lloyd Wright’s B. Harley Bradley House.” State tourism officials chose to place the Bradley home on the “Frank Lloyd Wright Trail,’’ and as part of Illinois’ 200th anniversary celebration, Wright was voted the greatest artist of architecture in state history. More here.