A new Sarasota Performing Arts Center in Sarasota, Florida, moved many millions of dollars closer to reality this week. The Van Wezel Foundation’s 20th annual Inspiration Gala was the most successful fundraising event in the Foundation’s history, bringing in more than $1.7 million. That’s in addition to the announcement that night of a $20 million commitment in private funding from the Foundation’s board.
“The Foundation’s board is comprised of generous, passionate leaders with an unwavering sense of resilience, and, because of those values, we can proudly announce the first $20 million in private funding for a state-of-the-art performing arts center for our community,” said Jim Travers, Foundation chair.
Although an architectural firm has yet to be hired, preliminary site drawings show a multi-story building, which likely will include parking and a landscaped green space on what now is the parking area for the iconic Van Wezel, designed by the Taliesin Associated Architects. That building opened on Jan. 5, 1970. Its color was said to have been inspired by the lining of a seashell found by Olgivanna Lloyd Wright.
Whether the Van Wezel, which needs millions of dollars in repairs and upgrading, will survive, seems to be an unknown at present—although its image has been incorporated in preliminary releases and drawings of the proposed site of the new performing arts center. More here.
Mark Hertzberg shares his story of recently visiting Taliesin on a cold winter day on his blog, Wright in Racine. Mark states in his blog post: "I have been to Taliesin countless times, but never in winter, until Sunday when we had a lunch date with our friend, Minerva Montooth. It had snowed overnight. We would not be able to get to Spring Green until Noon, so there would be no photos in the morning’s 'golden light.' I fared better in that respect in the late afternoon. But in between, at Noon, there was a rich, rich blue sky." Read his entire story and see some wonderful photos by clicking here.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is excited to announce the launch of the Taliesin Institute, a collection of programs to advance the principles of organic architecture, the core of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work. This new initiative is focused on providing education, outreach, and information to architecture and design students, new and established design professionals, and the broader public interested in learning about the history and future of organic architecture principles.
Those principles—which formed the core of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work—are more relevant today than ever before, and are not just represented in Wright’s own buildings and designs: they are far-reaching, and unrelated to any particular style of construction, geography, or material. More importantly, those principles are evolving to respond to changing needs of our world—climate change and sustainability, cultural and economic development, and new modes of living all cause us to rethink how Wright’s principles can help us to design, build, and live better now and in the future.
To lead these programs, the Foundation has engaged Jennifer Gray, Ph.D., a noted Wright scholar who recently was the Curator of Drawings and Archives at Columbia University’s Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library. Dr. Gray was responsible for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives, containing more than one million elements including Wright’s drawings, writings, and photography. Find out more details about the Taliesin Institute here.
Designboom shares the story of how Angi and Neomam Studios brought three unbuilt house deisgns by Frank Lloyd Wright to digital life. A pioneer in shaping America’s architectural history, Frank Lloyd Wright lives on through his buildings, influence, and collective imagination. Remarkably, more than half of his 1,171 architectural works never took a solid form and remain confined to paper.
"Wright’s plans are things of beauty, but it’s difficult to imagine what his unrealized sketches might have looked like in real life," explains Angi. That’s why the team decided to bring three of his unbuilt projects to life as digital renders: Mrs. David Devin house (Chicago, 1896); Cottage Studio for Ayn Rand (Connecticut, 1946); Lake Tahoe Lodge (Lake Tahoe, California, 1923). Read and see more here.