It took four years to bring Frank Lloyd Wright’s lifelong dream to fruition on February 10, 1956.
Price Tower opened to the public 65 years ago, welcoming huge crowds made up of a mix of curious local citizens, architecture aficionados and national press. Hundreds waited in line to get a peak inside the much-anticipated skyscraper on the prairie, as well as a view of the famous architect himself.
Price Tower Executive Director Rick Loyd said Feb. 10, 1956, was not only a memorable day for the local community, but also the architectural community at large.
“It was on this cold winter day 65 years ago, the world became aware of ‘The Tree That Escaped the Crowded Forest’ and saw firsthand why it was both an architectural and engineering marvel for the time,” Loyd said. “It was a long-awaited day for for residents who had watched what the workers endured and witnessed the daily construction of this amazing structure. To finally be able to see inside the building was well worth the hours-long wait.”
As part of the celebration of this historic anniversary, the City of Bartlesville, Oklahoma has proclaimed Feb. 10, 2021, as “Price Tower Day” to formally honor the memory of the day in which the iconic structure first opened.
“It is an honor for the city to recognize this date, and to help everyone celebrate and remember,” Loyd said. “We've been planning a celebration of this historic day for quite some time, but with COVID-19 we had to scale back considerably. So, this is great way to celebrate with our supporters and Bartlesville residents."
Read about the celebration events here.
Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s Registrar Pat Evans discusses aspects of caring for the thousands of objects that make up Frank Lloyd Wright’s collection during the pandemic in this The Whirling Arrow article.
"If you’ve watched the Home Edit or Marie Kondo on Netflix, you know how important it is to maximize the space you have to keep your books or shoes or boxes of cereal easy to find and use. Now imagine that you’ve got 1000s of items—some that belonged to Frank Lloyd Wright and vary in size and material including Japanese woodbock prints, sculpture, paintings, furniture, textiles, and ceramics—all important and all requiring the right space and the right housing materials to keep them safe. This is the challenge facing the Collections Department at the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation." Read the entire article here.
Frank Lloyd Wright houses are some of the most revered buildings in modern interior design. They have come to embody the mid-century movement, all interesting shapes, wide angles, clever use of timber and glass.
As an architect, Frank Lloyd Wright designed more than 1000 structures, bringing together a sense of peace, space and harmony with his homes' surrounding. They've stood the test of time, with properties like Fallingwater reaching icon status for design lovers the world over. Livingetc has a list of the most notable of his buildings that will provide insight into the thinking behind this prolific and hugely influential career. See if your personal favorite made the list here.
"This is The Illinois, gentlemen!"
With this exclamation, master architect Frank Lloyd Wright presented one of the most visionary projects in the history of modern architecture: a skyscraper one mile (or more than 1.6 km) high.
As extravagant and utopian as the American architect's idea was at the time – it was 1956 and Wright was almost ninety years old – today we can say that this feat is not impossible. Indeed, if any contemporary architect were to take up the master's challenge, no one would be surprised.
For the moment we are only halfway there: the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world's tallest skyscraper, is "only" 828 metres high, but among the towers under construction around the world there is already one, the Jeddah Tower, which will reach 1,000 metres.
In this list of skyscrapers under construction around the world, Domus spans as many countries as possible and highlight various types of architectural experimentation.
The library building in Menomonie, WI. was designed by architect John Howe (1913–1997) and opened to the public in 1986. Howe was a founding student of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin Fellowship in Spring Green, WI, and served as Wright’s chief draftsman for nearly thirty years before establishing his own practice after Wright’s death. In recent years, Howe has become recognized as a “master of organic design” and his work has established his own lasting legacy.
As with all buildings, repairs and upgrades are always necessary. The library relies on kind support from the community to continue the upkeep and maintenance on this significant landmark. The Menomonie Public Library Foundation has pledged to help with large projects to keep the building in good shape. This year they are assisting by helping to fund a tuck-pointing and masonry repair project.
If you want to learn more about the fascinating life and work of John Howe, check out this book by Minnesota authors Jane King Hession and Tim Quigley, John H. Howe, Architect: From Taliesin Apprentice to Master of Organic Design, or the documentary film by Rob Barros, John H. Howe, Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Master of Perspective. More here.
A developer who applied to demolish a Prairie Style home designed in 1925 by architect John S. Van Bergen, who worked for Frank Lloyd Wright at the Oak Park Studio, agreed to place the house back on the market before seeking to raze it to the ground.
Jon Kogan, of Northbrook-based Highgate Builders, signed an application in September for the demolition of the home at 1015 Starr Road and closed on the $1.35 million purchase of the property in December.
At last week's meeting of the Winnetka Landmark Preservation Commission, Kogan offered to put the house back up for sale for 90 days before continuing to pursue its demolition, telling Crain's Chicago Business that if a new buyer does not emerge before the end of that period, "we'll have to do the other thing — demo." Read more here.