Alexandria Living Magazine features a conversation with the new executive director of two historic houses owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation – Woodlawn and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House, Shawn Halifax.
At first glance the two houses seem very different. Woodlawn is a 9,000 square foot brick mansion that was built between 1800 and 1805 as a gift for Martha Washington’s granddaughter, Eleanor “Nellie” Park Custis and her husband, Major Lawrence Lewis. It was built on a hill with views of the Potomac River and Mount Vernon in the distance. The house was designed by Dr. William Thornton, the same architect who designed the U.S. Capitol.
Pope-Leighey House is a 1,200 square foot home designed by the father of modern architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright. The house was commissioned as a middle-class residence by the Pope family in 1939 and was originally located in Falls Church, Virginia. In 1946, the Pope family sold the house to the Leighey family. It was purchased by the National Trust and relocated to Woodlawn property in 1965 in order to preserve the house from demolition. It was moved to its current location on the property in 1995 after the ground at the first spot proved unstable.
Halifax, who started his new position at Woodlawn Pope-Leighey in October, has been taking the past few months to absorb the history of the site and its role in the surrounding community. He intends to use his leadership experience from previous jobs to help revitalize the site in a way that takes its unique history and location into account.
On the surface, Woodlawn and Pope-Leighey House may seem like a challenge to interpret together but according to Halifax, the they are actually connected in powerful ways. “At Woodlawn and at Pope-Leighey you have the work of two of the most pre-eminent architects of their time that are now on the same property. Those two architects had very strong messages they were sending in their design and in their architecture.” Read the entire article here.
A new hotel at Navy Pier, the future DuSable Park just east of DuSable Lake Shore Drive, the dramatic St. Regis Tower and the wavy Aqua building, the austere Equitable Building next door to Tribune Tower, the vibrant GEMS World Academy, Chicago’s iconic Riverwalk. What do these all have in common? They were all designed by women or women-owned architecture firms according to Chicago PBS station WTTW. Architecture remains a male-dominated field, but women architects have made their mark upon Chicago and architectural history.
The distinction wouldn’t be noteworthy if the world of architecture were more equitable, but as of 2020, only 17 percent of registered architects were women, according to the American Institute of Architects. So the prominence of these projects in the heart of a city renowned for architecture is something to be celebrated.
Discover a few of them and their projects, from downtown skyscrapers to transit centers and schools. Here are a few women architects who have made their mark on Chicago and architecture.
Dirt magazine writes that although Lloyd Wright had a large shadow to emerge from as the eldest son of the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright, he still managed to pave his own way as one of California’s best-known architects. Not only did he head up Paramount Studio’s set design department in the mid-1900s — and create the Hollywood Bowl’s first orchestral shell — but he also is responsible for several notable early modern buildings throughout southern California, including the landmark Wayfarers Chapel in Palos Verdes.
Standing out as well is this unique decorative block residence — called one of the architect’s “strongest achievements” by UCLA historian Thomas Hines — which recently popped up on the market in Glendale, asking just under $3.3 million. The owner is Jeffrey Sanfilippo, CEO of Illinois-based John B. Sanfilippo & Son, a distributor of Fisher and Orchard Valley nuts, who purchased the place for $2.3 million back in 2016.
Originally commissioned and built in the 1920s for businessman James Derby and his family, he and his wife separated before the home was completed and only she and their children ever lived there. Aptly known as the "Derby House," the meticulously preserved dwelling is listed on both the Glendale Register of Historic Resources and National Register for Historic Places.
Aaron Leider and Elham Shaoulian of The Agency serve as the listing agents. See more photos here.
An exhibition honoring the work of visual artist, architect, craftsman, and environmentalist James Hubbell will soon be on view in the Los Angeles area at the Helms Bakery District. Titled In Harmony with Nature: The Architectural Work of James Hubbell, the event will showcase select creations by the California-based multidisciplinary artist.
On view from April 22 (Earth Day) to June 18, 2022, within the Helms Design Center, the show will celebrate Hubbell’s signature style of organic architecture, which includes handcrafted environments made from natural materials that provide shelter and inspiration for those who seek to live in harmony with nature. The likes of his self-made home, Ilan-Lael, his Pacific Rim Park and schools in Tijuana, his chapel at Sea Ranch as well as stunning doors, windows, stained glass, and other decorative building elements will be on full display.
Hubbell has a career spanning 60 years, in which he has designed and made buildings, artifacts, and fine art that draw inspiration from the shape of plants, movement of water, and the colors and materials found in organic life. In addition to his array of private and public works, he also designs architectural elements, such as carved wooden doors, stained glass windows, ethereal metal gates, molten glass light fixtures, mosaic sinks, showers and fountains, and more.
“Most important is my infatuation with nature,” said Hubbell. “There is also my love of the primitive and naive, gothic architecture, the arts and craft movement, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gaudí, and the pleasure of working with the material of stone, wood, cement, clay, metal, glass, and mosaics.” More here.