To celebrate Wright's importance and his architectural footprint in Elmhurst, IL and throughout the Chicago area, the Elmhurst Art Museum and Elmhurst History Museum are collaborating to present two different exhibits, each focused on different aspects of Wright's life and work. In recognition of this unique cultural partnership, the city will proclaim Saturday, October 24, 2020 as Frank Lloyd Wright Day in Elmhurst to encourage residents and out-of-town visitors to visit both museums to learn more about the architect.
Elmhurst is home to the Henderson House, one of Wright's classic Prairie-style residences built in 1901, and his architectural influence can also be seen in two residences designed by Wright's fellow Prairie School architect and former Elmhurst resident, Walter Burley Griffin.
Elmhurst's Mayor Steve Morley stated in an official proclamation that "this special cultural collaboration underscores the value of our two award-winning museums working together to create meaningful experiences for residents and visitors." Morley added: "We value our diverse architectural landscape in Elmhurst and we are very excited to bring visitors here to learn more about architecture through the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibits." More here.
The battle to preserve Chicago’s historic buildings officially began fifty years ago this month. Geoffrey Baer traces the half-century story that cost at least one preservationist his life, in this week’s WTTW "Ask Geoffrey."
"Landmark status in Chicago usually protects from demolition the parts of a building visible from the public way, like the façade. Today we take it for granted that many buildings with historic and aesthetic value are preserved as landmarks, but it’s a relatively new practice here.
In fact, the first official Chicago landmarks were designated just 50 years ago this month: the Glessner and Clarke Houses in what we now call the South Loop.
The idea of landmarking in Chicago got off of the ground several years earlier. In the late 1950s, several groups started worrying about the number of pioneering skyscrapers of the so-called “Chicago School” that were being torn down and started pushing the city to do something about it.
In 1960, the city granted more than 30 Chicago buildings “honorary” landmark status. But that didn’t come with any legal authority to keep buildings standing.
This was put to the test later that year, in one of Chicago’s first huge preservation fights to save the Garrick Theater in the Loop – which had received that honorary status.
The building, with its stunning auditorium and “Chicago School” exterior, was designed by Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler.
The battle to save the theater ultimately failed, but out of it emerged an unlikely hero: a photographer named Richard Nickel. For decades he fought to save Chicago’s architectural treasures, especially the work of Louis Sullivan. His passion would ultimately cost him his life.
Nickel was killed in 1972 when part of Sullivan’s Chicago Stock Exchange collapsed on top of him during demolition while he was inside scavenging ornament.
Four years before Nickel’s tragic death, in 1968, the city had in fact passed a new landmark ordinance that actually had the legal power to protect buildings.
And Glessner and Clarke were the first they selected." Read more here.
The Chicago Tribune highlights the 10th annual Open House Chicago event this month. Though the COVID-19 pandemic means no indoor visits, guests can still check out dozens of architectural gems.
The free festival runs from Oct. 16-25. In typical years, it offers access to hundreds of sites across the Chicago area. This year, however, the event has been modified so guests can only view the acclaimed sites outdoors, as well as participate in some online programs.
Open House Chicago will focus less on specific sites and more on larger themes, forgotten or under-celebrated architects and how community areas develop specific architectural styles. This year’s event focuses largely on Chicago’s west and south sides, officials said.
While visitors are not allowed to enter participating sites, they may admire the exterior and learn about specific locations via the OHC 2020 mobile app and website. Guests are asked to wear masks and maintain social distancing when visiting a participating location.
Oak Park has four sites participating in Open House Chicago, including the Pleasant Home at 217 Home Ave. Another famous Oak Park home taking part in the open house is the Cheney Mansion, 220 N. Euclid Ave. Visitors can also stop by Pilgrim Congregational Church, 460 Lake St., Oak Park’s oldest continuously-used house of worship. Guests can stop by the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Unity Temple, 875 Lake St.; however, a reservation is required to visit the site.
Just east of Oak Park, five sites in the Austin neighborhood are also participating in Open House Chicago, including the Austin Town Hall Cultural Center, 5610 W. Lake St; the Kehrein Center for the Arts (Catalyst Circle Rock) 5628 W. Washington Blvd; St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, 5700 W. Midway Park; Third Unitarian Church, 301 N. Mayfield Ave; and Catholic Charities Father Augustus Tolton Peace Center (Austin State Bank Building), 5645 W. Corcoran Place.
Since 2011, Open House Chicago has been organized by the Chicago Architecture Center. More information about the event, and a list of participating sites, is available at www.openhousechicago.org. Read more here.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation wants you to roll out your next Zoom call or virtual meeting in style: Frank Lloyd Wright inspired design lends extra polish to your “Zoom Room” background and work space decor.
2020 has certainly changed the way we work and what we consider “office space,” at home or at work. According to interior designers polled by apartment therapy, areas that hinge around communication on various digital platforms like Zoom, now affectionately coined “Zoom Rooms,” will be one of the top home decor trends for the year.
We’ve all seen the overachievers who are doing it right, with neatly curated Zoom Rooms with fresh flowers, flattering lighting, and serene, artful backdrop accessories. We imagine Frank Lloyd Wright would’ve curated the ultimate Zoom Room, blending art, nature, and architecture for his virtual client meetings. Why not look for a little Wright inspiration to impress the Room Rater in your life?
The Frank Lloyd Wright Store has curated Wright designs and Wright-inspired design products that will help you impress your colleagues and clients with the ideal workspace! More here.
Chairs are often viewed as simple functional objects, but in their design is thoughtful craftsmanship. An overview of American chair design, “The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design,” will be coming to the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia from Oct. 17 to Jan. 3, 2021.
The works of art in “The Art of Seating” relate a compelling story about American history, the evolution of design and incredible artistry and craftsmanship. The chairs in the exhibition feature a variety of materials, including acrylic, fiberglass, leather, metal and wood. They offer a stylistic journey through the past two centuries of furniture, with showstoppers by John Henry Belter, George Hunzinger, the Herter brothers, the Stickley brothers, Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Isamu Noguchi, Frank Gehry and others. The exhibition also features contemporary and historic designs by some of the biggest manufacturers such as Knoll, Herman Miller and Steelcase. More information here.
Dwell magazine features a recently listed home in Inverness, Illinois, designed in 1954 by Taliesin Apprentice Don Erickson, which is attracting attention far and wide. "It has brought interested buyers from all over Chicago, several from California, and one who requested a virtual showing from London," says listing agent Valerie Campbell.
Erickson left Taliesin and started his own practice when his father asked him to design this home in Inverness. "I had my own ideas to express," Erickson once said about the decision to leave Taliesin. "My father gave me a chance to build something that my mind had created. When I left, I told Mr. Wright that I’d be back, and I fully intended to be back."
But Erickson didn't return to Taliesin. Instead, the home's successful design led to numerous other commissions in the Chicago suburbs and eventually his most well-known project: the Indian Lakes Resort in nearby Bloomingdale, IL.
Last sold in 2013, the property is now back on the market with an asking price of $594,500. Offering 3,700 square feet of interior space, including four bedrooms and three full bathrooms, the spacious home also comes with a newly renovated kitchen and two principal suites. Buyers will also be attracted to the 1.6-acre lot, which is forested and has an expansive lawn. See more here.
Lauren Levine media, in cooperation with Unity Temple Restoration Foundation (UTRF), has announced the release of the new documentary, Unity Temple: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Modern Masterpiece. An homage to America’s most renowned architect, the 55-minute film brings to life the historic collaboration to restore Unity Temple back to its original beauty.
In the documentary, a dedicated team of architects, craftspeople, historians, and members of the Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist congregation and Unity Temple Restoration Foundation reveal the history of one of Wright’s most innovative buildings that merged his love of architecture with his own spiritual value. The film includes reflective quotes of the architect’s philosophies and is narrated by Brad Pitt.
An exclusive preview community fundraisers event viewing window will take place on Friday, October 30th through Sunday, November 15, 2020. a $20 rental fee will help support five participating Frank Lloyd Wright sites; Unity Temple, Fallingwater, Taliesin, Taliesin West and Hollyhock House. More here.