The Wyoming Valley School, named after its scenic surroundings of northern Iowa County in southwest Wisconsin, is the only public grammar school designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Constructed for $12,000 in 1957, two years before his death, Wright also donated the land for the school to pay homage to his mother, Anna Lloyd-Jones Wright, who had been a kindergarten teacher. The school was used until 1990 and originally constructed to consolidate five, one-room, rural schoolhouses in the area.
Peter Rott spent eight years studying at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesin just south of Spring Green. Rott was the project architect in the 1990s during the construction of the Monona Terrace convention center in Madison. He’s now working on restoration efforts of the A.D. German Warehouse, the only warehouse designed by Wright and constructed between 1917 and 1921 in downtown Richland Center, Wright’s hometown. But Rott, owner and principal of Isthmus Architecture in Madison, has been making frequent trips back to the land of Wright to help restore one of his last buildings, the Wyoming Valley School.
Since 2011, the building, along Highway 23 and just west of Rush Creek, has been home to the Wyoming Valley School Cultural Arts Center. But over the past few years funding has been challenged, and the building is in need of repairs. The pandemic shuttered the center for most of 2020, and it won’t reopen for private events until likely this fall. Programming is expected to return in 2022, according to Dave Zaleski, the center’s new executive director, who grew up in Middleton and brings more than 25 years of experience from around the country to the position.
Zaleski is hoping the $200,000 in improvements to the building will bring a new look, stability and no more water issues. The work will allow for new classes, concerts and other events to the one-story facility that is bathed in natural light, features exposed beams covered in mahogany, and has a double-sided fireplace, two classrooms and a large assembly room. Read the entire article and see the video here.
The Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) rolls out its downtown and neighborhood CAC Walking Tours on April 17, 2021 for those eager to discover the city's classic architecture and diverse neighborhoods in a safe, open-air activity. The popular, always changing walking tours and CAFC River Cruise are led by a corps of 400 expert CAC docents, who in June 2021 celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1971 first CAC docent class.
Favorite Downtown CAC Walking Tours returning April 17 and bookable now include:
• Art Deco Skyscrapers: The Loop Art Deco masterpieces built in Chicago's financial district during the Roaring '20s
• Chicago Architecture: A Walk Through Time Chicago's early skyscrapers to super-tall high rises
• Must See Chicago Chicago's most famous buildings and more: Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, Art Institute, Willis Tower
• Historic Treasures of Chicago's Golden Age architectural landmarks of Michigan Avenue and State Street 1890 to 1930
• Chicago Icons: Connecting Past and Present see how architectural styles from the 1890s connect to today's skyline
• Mid-Century Modern Skyscrapers Chicago's modernist masters, Mies, Goldberg and Graham, set the stage for the modern city center
• Lights, Camera, Architecture! see architecture that starred in Ferris Bueller, Batman, the Blues Brothers, and other films
Neighborhood CAC Walking Tours returning April 17 include:
• Fulton-Randolph Market 150-year evolution from food wholesaling and meatpacking to gourmet restaurants, technology hubs and boutique hotels
• Northwestern University Campus a stunning, wooded campus on Lake Michigan with 19th Century Collegiate Gothic to cutting-edge designs
• Kenwood the stately neighborhood, home to early industrialists, modern-day innovators and President Barack Obama
• Hyde Park home to the 1893 World's Fair, the University of Chicago and Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece, Robie House, pre-Chicago Fire houses and the famous Midway.
• Evanston Along the Lake one of Chicago's most desirable suburbs, with many homes and churches with notable designs, where Daniel Burnham established his "country retreat"
There are also the famous CAFC River Cruises and upcoming Summer Celebrations Walking Tours, as well as a host of other interesting exhibits. For more information click here.
Chicago Magazine gives us five architecturally significant Airbnb vacation rentals to consider. From Bruce Goff to two Frank Lloyd Wright houses—as well as a John Randal McDonald and an Earl Young home—sample some famous Midwestern design this summer. View all the photos here.
The Frist Art Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, presents Designing the New: Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style, an immersive exhibition that showcases Charles Rennie Mackintosh—the greatest exponent of the Glasgow Style—as an architect, designer, and artist, and contextualizes his production within a larger circle of designers and craftspeople in Scotland's largest city. Co-organized by Glasgow Museums and the American Federation of Arts, the exhibition will be on view in the Frist's Ingram Gallery from June 11 through September 12, 2021.
At the end of the 19th century, the Glasgow Style emerged as the major manifestation of Art Nouveau in Britain. Combining influences from the Arts and Crafts movement, Celtic Revival, and Japonism, Glasgow artists created their own modern design aesthetic, synonymous with sleek lines and emphatic geometries expressed in a wide range of materials.
This exhibition presents 165 works of fine and decorative art in a wide variety of media, including architectural drawings, books, ceramics, furniture, posters, textiles, and watercolors, drawn from Glasgow's most significant public and private collections. Videos provide guests with tours of buildings designed by Mackintosh and his contemporaries.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868–1928) is one of the most significant architects of early modernism, and Designing the New places his work into the context of Glasgow circa 1900, during the industrial city's heyday. As the most ambitious and inventive proponent of the Glasgow Style, Mackintosh is often compared to Frank Lloyd Wright, who was almost his exact contemporary. In 2018 Glasgow Museums organized this exhibition to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Mackintosh's birth, and this is the first major Mackintosh exhibition in the United States since 1996. "Designing the New is a landmark in the study of his career and offers a rare opportunity to see the art of Mackintosh and his contemporaries outside of his native city," says Frist Art Museum senior curator Trinita Kennedy. "We are thrilled to introduce the work to our guests or further their knowledge and appreciation of the Glasgow Style's impact and legacy." More information here.
Iowa Architectural Foundation (IAF) and Iowa Mid-Century Modern are collaborating to bring you four professionally-produced Mid-Century Modern home tours to celebrate Modernism Month. Links to the virtual tours will be released to ticket holders, one per day, between April 26 and April 29, 2021. Access to each tour will be for two weeks to give ticket holders plenty of time to enjoy. The homeowners will join ticket holders at a special Zoom Q&A on Sunday, May 2, from 4:00 – 5:30 PM.
The tours include Oskaloosa’s famed Lamberson home, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1948, which has been meticulously restored by its owners. Also included are a home in Indianola, designed by architect David Block, AIA-E; and two homes in Des Moines, one designed in 1952 by architect Amos Emery (1895-1973); and the other, built in 1954 and designed by architect Jim Lynch (1923-2000). The homes epitomize the Mid-Century Modern design aesthetic, and are rarely available for viewing. They will be personally led by their homeowners, who will share their experience of living in, restoring or renovating, and caring for these remarkable homes. Not only do the tours provide excellent architectural examples of the era, but they also exhibit how to bring mid-century styles to homes of every decade.
Tickets are still available for $48. The ticket price includes tours of all four homes and the Q&A Zoom with the homeowners. Tickets are required for access. More information here.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has recently collaborated with Bree Industries, taking several Wright-designed landmarks and crafting them into beautiful miniature wooden build-it-yourself models. The Whirling Arrow spoke with founder Marcus Bree to learn more about the process and the creation of the new landmark model collection. Learn how to purchase and build your own model here.
The John E. Christian House — a Frank Lloyd Wright home located in West Lafayette — is part of an auction benefiting Indiana Landmarks. The nonprofit’s annual fundraiser, Rescue Party, will be via Facebook Live at 7 p.m. April 29, 2021.
Indiana Landmarks’ President Marsh Davis will auction exclusive experiences and overnight stays, the nonprofit detailed in a release, including getaway packages to the historic West Baden Springs Hotel and the recently opened Bottleworks Hotel in the former Coca-Cola bottling plant near downtown Indianapolis.
In addition, a silent auction, which opened at 12 a.m. Monday and goes until 12 p.m. May 2, offers a chance to bid on other getaways, including a private tour of the restoration in-progress at Samara, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed John and Catherine Christian House.
Called "Samara," named after the winged seeds found in pine cones, the house consists of 15 interrelated areas totaling 2,200 square feet on one acre of land. The house, designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2015, is open to private tours, for parties up to six people, by reservation only. More information here.