The Role Of The Site In Taliesin’s Spatial Experience
PhD student Quentin Béran, shares with The Whirling Arrow his experience after staying for two weeks at Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Wisconsin home and studio.
"For two years now, I work on a PhD about the home and studios of Frank Lloyd Wright and in June 2021, I had the opportunity to stay at Taliesin for two weeks. Let me share with you my experience on site and what it changed about the perception of the home and studio’s architecture. As for Taliesin West, there is a lot to say about the necessity of visiting Taliesin to perfectly understand the purpose of Wright’s architecture. I decided to explore with you the one example that impressed me the most during my stay on site." Read his entire article by clicking here.
Growing Up in a Frank Lloyd Wright House - Free Virtual Presentation
Kim Bixler’s family owned Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1908 Edward E. Boynton House in Rochester, New York, from 1977 to 1994. In her multi-media presentation, Kim recounts the joys and pitfalls of owning and living in a Wright-designed home. Living with the public’s curiosity, playing hide-and-seek, coping with the habitually leaky roof and managing constant renovations make this an unforgettable story.
(If you love reality home-renovating projects, architectural tours and historical homes, you’ll love this event.)
Kim Bixler’s family owned Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1908 Edward E. Boynton House in Rochester, New York, from 1977 to 1994. Bixler published her latest book Growing Up in a Frank Lloyd Wright House and is also featured in the PBS documentary Frank Lloyd Wright’s Boynton House: The Next Hundred Years. More info here.
Frank Lloyd Wright Will Be The Focus Of Kirkland Museum Programming In 2022
Denver's Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art celebrates the genius of American architect and designer Frank Lloyd Wright in 2022 with a calendar full of exhibitions, lectures and tours.
“Frank Lloyd Wright is a name that many recognize as an influential American architect, but few may know he designed specific decorative art pieces to accompany his building projects,” explains Associate Museum Director Renée Albiston.
“Along with two original windows, multiple Frank Lloyd Wright pieces are found in Kirkland Museum’s permanent collection,” Albiston continues. “We can’t wait to share these intriguing examples of Wright’s work in a cohesive exhibition accompanied by a variety of programming that includes exciting lectures with internationally renowned experts and other visitor engagement opportunities throughout the year.” View Frank Lloyd Wright’s original windows at Kirkland Museum until mid-April 2022.
Kirkland Museum has announced the repatriation of two original windows from the Museum’s collection to their original context in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House (built 1903–1905) in Buffalo, NY. Currently on display near the east entrance of Kirkland Museum, the “light screens,” as the architect called them, will return to the Martin House in 2022.
Wright’s light screens are an important contributing attribute to the overall significance of the Martin House. There are 16 site-specific patterns of art glass in the form of windows, doors, laylights and skylights, which were designed by Wright exclusively for Darwin D. Martin and his family for their multi-residential estate.
The light screens—which were removed from the Martin House during a period in the property’s history when the home remained vacant and fell under disrepair—were acquired by the Museum and have been under their careful stewardship for 23 years.
“By making this extraordinary gift of these light screens, Kirkland Museum has asserted its leadership role as a steward of the public trust and reinforced its legacy as a center of cultural and artistic excellence,” states Martin House Executive Director Mary Roberts. “The light screens represent an excellent sampling of Wright’s genius in glass, which is critical to the scholarly interpretation and general appreciation of the Martin House estate.”
Read more about the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art's 2022 schedule of exhibits and lectures by clicking here.
How the Great Chicago Fire Changed Chicago Architecture
The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 — terrible, costly, deadly — changed the city in myriad ways. And it had a big hand in making Chicago an architectural capital.
Chicago virtually remade itself within 20 years. New buildings sprang up downtown and in other areas ravaged by the conflagration. Millions of tons of rubble from the fire were dumped into the lake, creating landfill that would be planted and reshaped into Grant Park and portions of Burnham Park. The fire altered the way we constructed buildings and protected them from fire. The blaze shaped the planning and development of neighborhoods as populations moved to join those who were forming and populating new communities outside of the fire zone.
Skyscrapers, fire-resistant buildings, breathtaking architecture and the eye-popping structures of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition came in the decades following the fire — and were writ deeply into the city’s genetic code. Read more about the history of the last 150 years of Chicago's architectural rebirth by clicking here.
Unity Temple Restoration Documentary
The Unity Temple Restoration Foundation invites you Join them for an exclusive screening of “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Modern Masterpiece: Unity Temple” at the Lake Theater in Oak Park on October 27 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm. The 55-minute documentary, narrated by Brad Pitt, illuminates Wright’s vision and the painstaking efforts of the restoration artisans to restore Unity Temple back to its original beauty.
A live panel discussion with the filmmaker, restoration architect, and other experts will immediately follow including time for audience Q&A.
This is a fundraising event supporting Unity Temple Restoration Foundation. Tickets are $25 or $20 for UTRF members.
Advanced registration through UTRF – tickets are not available through the theater. Masks are required and UTRF is limiting capacity in the theater to ensure social distancing. Lake Theater is located at 1022 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL 60301. To register click here.
Wright Designs You Can Touch Without Getting Yelled At
Anthony Paletta visited Florida Southern College noting that it has the largest concentration of Frank Lloyd Wright works in the world, and nobody will yell at you for touching.
"If you’ve made a few or many stops along America’s Camino de Santiago of Organic Architecture venerating the relics of Saint Frank, you will know well the fear of accidentally grazing a surface and drawing reprimand from the worshipful scribes. You will encounter a much greater shock early on in your tour of Florida Southern College—in the very first building, a house—an invitation to sit down, in Wright-designed furniture!
Now to be clear this building, a faculty house, was constructed in 2013 from Wright specifications and is accordingly at no risk of collapse from time, and yet it augurs a tour of a different sort from most Wright sites, one of a campus in active use where engaging with features of the site don’t prompt a second thought. There are obviously other Wright ensembles that are working places and not just reliquaries, from the Marin County Civic Center to Taliesin West to the Guggenheim Museum, and yet it’s a rare visit that provides a comparable sense of liberty." Read more here.
Fay Jones' Yarbrough House Lists For The First Time At $1.8 Million
Clarke and Mona Yarbrough long admired the work of Frank Lloyd Wright—so when one of their closest friends introduced them to Fay Jones, who apprenticed under the master architect, they jumped at the opportunity to commission a home in Alabama.
The couple took an active role in the design process, and they met regularly with Jones and his team. "They all envisioned a home that would complement the landscape and accentuate the lot’s sparkling views of Mobile Bay," says the couple’s daughter, Terri Lorant.
Nestled on a deep, wooded lot, the three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom home was built over the course of three years, and it’s teeming with custom elements. The Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice filled the interior with an abundance of custom millwork—and it’s still in pristine condition.
"All the details that appear mundane in most houses are custom architectural details at Pebble Hill," says Terri. "The air return ducts, wardrobes, and shelving are all incorporated as part of the house’s woodwork and design. The closet doors align with the angles of the ceiling, so they appear as an organic extension of the home’s design. There is even a ‘secret’ closet that literally fades into the woodwork."
The home is clad in redwood that was imported from Washington State and milled on-site. All of the cabinetry was also custom milled, and the hundreds of dowels in the woodwork were all hand-hewn. The project is one of the final homes that Jones designed, and it’s been meticulously maintained—the only additions are a new cedar shake roof installed two years ago, fresh carpet throughout, and updated appliances. The home’s impressive array of custom built-ins—including a couch, open shelving, and sconces designed by Jones—remain intact. The home is currently listed for $1,875,000. See it here.
In Memoriam: Vale Laurie Virr
News reaches us of the passing of Vale Laurie Virr (1933-2021), a skilled designer and one of the world’s best organic architects. Shannon Battisson writes about her mentor at the website ArchitectureAU:
"Laurie Virr was the antithesis of what popular media would have you think of when you hear the word architect. Yet he was a peerless architect who dedicated his life to finding the purest expression he could through architecture. He was a generous teacher, and dedicated mentor to countless young architects over his career and has left a legacy that won’t easily be forgotten by those who were privileged to know him." Learn more about the life, work, and legacy of Mr. Virr here.
This weekly Wright Society update is brought to you by Eric O'Malley with Bryan and Lisa Kelly. If you enjoy these free, curated updates—please forward our sign-up page and/or share on Social Media.
If you’d like to submit content to be featured here, please reach out by emailing us at mail[at]wrightsociety.com.