The Martin House has some exciting news to share. Seven newly-fashioned "Tree of Life" windows have been installed in the house’s reception room, thanks to support from New York State. Altogether, there are now nine of these fabulously intricate windows lining the reception room, thus creating a visual feast of light and color. Previously, two of the windows were recreated, patiently awaiting the arrival of their counterparts. Now, the upgrade to the “original” window designs is simply breathtaking.
“Wright was an artist who knew how to make his spaces come alive by using light as a medium to add pattern, color, and movement,” said Martin House Curator Susana Tejada. “The experience of seeing all nine Tree of Life windows come together in the reception room is truly magical, especially as the light reflects onto the many jewel-like pieces of gold and iridescent glass.” See the photos here.
The Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park, Kirkwood, Missouri, is seeking anyone who knew Russell and Ruth Kraus or was involved in the building of the house.
“Our visitors love to learn about the audacious couple who worked with Frank Lloyd Wright to design such an interesting one-of-a-kind home,” said Executive Director Kathryn Feldt. “We want to learn as much as we can before we lose more people who had special connections to the Krauses.”
The organization is also looking for anyone who might own a piece of Russell Kraus’ artwork or stained glass.
Anyone with a connection is encouraged to contact Feldt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park is located at 120 N. Ballas Road in Kirkwood. While the house remains closed until March, many virtual programs continue to be featured through the organization’s social media pages on Facebook and Instagram. To learn more about the house, follow the link.
A Lake Forest Home was among 15 Illinois sites added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2021, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced Thursday.
The Abel E. and Mildred Fagen House at 1711 Devonshire Lane in Lake Forest was designed in 1948 by the prominent Chicago architecture firm Keck & Keck. The home is an example of the Modern movement in residential architecture influenced by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, according to the Illinois Historic Preservation Division.
The home's flat roof with overhanging eaves gives it a horizontal emphasis that reflects the area's flat landscape. The use of natural materials, such as wood, glass, and limestone and its lack of ornamental features allow it to blend with its surroundings. The inside features, such as a large dining room, stone fireplaces and a narrow hallway leading to the bedrooms were typical elements of Wright's work at the time, according to the preservation division. More here.
The Indigo Road Hospitality Group has assumed management of The Historic Park Inn Hotel in Mason City, Iowa, including the management of the onsite restaurant and bar. Details on a new restaurant concept and name are expected within the next few months.
“Adding The Historic Park Inn Hotel to our growing portfolio of boutique hotels is an absolute honor for us,” said Larry Spelts, president of lodging & lifestyle adventures at IRHG, in a statement. “The history behind the Historic Park Inn Hotel and Mason City is absolutely remarkable. We are humbled and grateful for the opportunity to preserve the integrity of this historic property and look forward to not only preserving its history but being part of it.”
Completed in 1910 and originally part of a larger property, which included the City National Bank and law offices, The Historic Park Inn Hotel is the last remaining hotel in the world designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, known for his role in what came to be the Prairie School movement of architecture.
The original property, which has undergone several major renovations over the years and a $20 million preservation and restoration project by local non-profit Wright on the Park, was restored to a working 27-room hotel and events center in 2011.
The hotel is close to the Dr. G.C. Stockman House, which Wright designed and built in 1908. Both properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and were designed in the Prairie School style.
Gabby Sloan and Brian Thompson were drawn to the star-shaped house in Grayslake because it stood on 30 acres of land overlooking a pond, woods and a prairie. Then, they discovered more about the house they bought for $2.3 million: It was designed by the son of legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Lloyd Wright did most of his work in Southern California from the 1920s through the 1960s, with his most famous projects being the original Hollywood Bowl and Wayfarers Chapel.
His designs are similar to his father's: a minimalist aesthetic featuring open floor plans, horizontal lines, large windows, overhanging eaves, and harmony between the interior and its outdoor surroundings.
In the early 1950s, Lloyd Wright was asked to come back to his native Illinois and design a home for Chicago industrialist Roy A. Kropp, president of Kropp Forge Co., which made parts for tanks and planes during World War II. Kropp and his wife, Irene, had bought 300 acres in Grayslake and wanted a signature house built on a hilltop.
The Grayslake home's exterior resembles a fallen star on a hill, with pointed eaves jutting at various angles atop the structure. The octagonal family room is lined with large picture windows that offer a panoramic view of the property. It has 5,950 square feet, five bedrooms, five baths and a five-car garage.
The walls are wood and brick, with large wooden columns anchoring the floor plan. Hallways leading to different parts of the home are paved with pink and beige limestone and feature rows of windows looking out to the pond and woods. There is a large brick fireplace, interior and exterior waterfalls, an outdoor pool, a greenhouse, and a tennis court.
Lloyd Wright completed the project in 1952, designing a home befitting the Prairie-style architecture of his father. It was one of only two buildings Lloyd Wright ever designed in Illinois, the other being the Good Shepherd Community Church in Park Ridge, which now is the Maine Township Town Hall. More here.
Jarrod Reedie of Architecture & Design informs all interested parties that the National Archives of Australia has a new exhibition, "Marion: The Other Griffin". This exhibit aims to celebrate the life and achievements of one of Australia’s most influential architects.
Marion Mahony Griffin has long been overshadowed by a number of famous collaborators including Frank Lloyd Wright and her husband, Walter Burley Griffin. The exhibition will display a number of Griffin’s designs, including the winning original plans for the design of Australia’s national capital, Canberra, submitted by the Griffin’s in 1912.
These historically significant watercolour drawings, held in the national archival collection, are rarely brought out for public display, ensuring their preservation for the enjoyment of future generations. Over a century old, these delicate yet extraordinary pieces of Australia’s memory will be on show for a limited time only, from 11 February to 8 May 2022.
“This landmark exhibition is an opportunity for the National Archives to once again display these iconic works. We are proud to tell the story of Marion Mahony Griffins legacy, in Canberra as well as nationally and internationally,” says National Archives of Australia Acting Director-General, Steven Fox.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of public programs, including guided tours, talks and children’s holiday programs. Details and bookings will be made available on National Archives’ website, naa.gov.au.
"Marion: the other Griffin" will be on display at National Archives of Australia, Kings Avenue, Canberra, from 11 February to 8 May 2022. Admission is free for the entire showing of the exhibit.
The state of 925 Chicago Ave., the 1888 Italianate home purchased by the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust for $340,000 in 2017, has been a source of interest since the Oak Park Historic Preservation Commission turned down the Trust’s request to demolish the house to make way for a new visitor center in 2019.
In a recent Substack story, Rachel Freundt, writing for Architecture and History of Chicagoland, posited that the Trust was “practicing demolition by neglect” by failing to maintain the home.
The article pointed to the home’s lack of heat, peeling paint, worn roof and clogged gutters as signs of neglect, and Freundt suggested that the Trust might be allowing the home to deteriorate in order to make its demolition necessary.
But, Frank Lloyd Trust CEO and President Celeste Adams says such claims are unfounded and that the organization listened to preservationists and Home and Studio neighbors who spoke out against the plan for a new 20,000-square-foot visitor center fronting Chicago Avenue. She also pointed out a letter to Home & Studio neighbors dated March 2, 2020, in which the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust confirmed its intention to save and refurbish the home.
Noel Weidner, chairman of the Oak Park Historic Preservation Commission, reiterated the stance of the advisory group in 2019, saying the demolition of the house goes against Oak Park’s historic district guidelines and ordinances.
He said the importance of 925 Chicago Ave. is in the context of the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District and immediate area, which helps visitors experience firsthand the “bold departure that Frank Lloyd Wright achieved with the Prairie Style.”
Adams says outside forces impacted the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust’s maintenance of the home, including the pandemic and the profound effect it has had on tourism. That created financial hardship for the Trust, which has made maintenance and restoration of the house at 925 Chicago Ave. difficult.
In September 2021, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust received an estimate for the first phase of work on exterior stabilization and refurbishment, which would include a new wood shingle roof, historically appropriate replacement windows, a reconstructed front porch and front walkway.
Once funding is obtained and the Oak Park Historic Preservation Commission has approved the work, Adams says that work will begin. She said the Trust’s architect, Karen Sweeney, as well as Arthur Vogt and Michael Fus, who are architects on the Trust’s board, will lead and oversee the project. When the project commences, engineers will join the team. Read more about this issue here.