Thomas Connors of InsideHook writes that for all of its vaunted status as an architectural capital, Chicago has never been shy about tearing down significant structures. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Midway Gardens bit the dust in 1929. Burnham and Root’s Masonic Temple (1892) came down a decade later. In the 1960s and ’70s — when one would think folks would have a better appreciation for great buildings of the past — things were tumbling left and right. The Cable Building, a Chicago School classic by Holabird & Roche, was razed in 1960; Henry Ives Cobb’s Federal Building, which was topped with a dome bigger than the U.S. Capitol’s, followed in 1965.
“I saw buildings coming down every few months or so,” says David Hanks, who was curator of American decorative arts at the Art Institute around that time. So did Richard Nickel, a passionate, camera-wielding preservationist who documented the destruction and pressed hard to keep the wrecking ball from swinging. The work of Louis Sullivan was Nickel’s special passion, and with Capturing Louis Sullivan: What Richard Nickel Saw, on view at the Driehaus Museum, 40 E Erie St, Chicago, IL, August 26 through February 19, Hanks offers a review of one man’s tireless and tiring campaign.
Comprising dozens of photographs and architectural fragments from various collections (including pieces Nickel salvaged himself), the exhibition is a compelling look at a lost Chicago and an engaging glimpse at a man who spent nearly two decades devoted to the work of Adler and Sullivan — and who died on April 13, 1972 at the age of 43. Tim Samuelson, now Cultural Historian Emeritus of the City of Chicago, had planned to meet Nickel that day at what remained of Adler and Sullivan’s recently razed Stock Exchange Building, but Nickel never appeared; his body was found 26 days later under collapsed beams in the basement. Read the complete article here.
The Gordon House is the only Frank Lloyd Wright design built in Oregon. The home, designed in 1957 based on a design for a modern home commissioned by Life magazine in 1938, was built in 1963 and originally located not in Silverton, but along the Willamette River near Wilsonville. When the original homeowners died in the late 1990s, new owners wanted to tear it down to make way for a McMansion. Public outcry to preserve the structure followed.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy became involved in attempts to preserve the historic house. The "Building Conservancy" is an organization devoted to advocating for Wright buildings, and finding sites for buildings that have been put on the market. In early 2001, the Building Conservancy obtained a three-month reprieve to dismantle the Gordon House, and move it to the Oregon Garden, about 21 miles southeast of its original location. The Conservancy accepted a proposal from the Oregon Garden Society, assisted by the City of Silverton, to take charge of moving and reinstalling the house. Dismantling began on March 9, 2001. The house was moved in four large pieces, with the upper floor, containing two bedrooms and one bath, moved as a single unit. Overall neglect required refurbishing of the structure's siding and roofing which was arranged by grants from the Architecture Foundation of Oregon and the Oregon Cultural Trust. A new foundation replicating the original was constructed. The house opened one year later as the only publicly accessible Frank Lloyd Wright home in the Pacific Northwest. More here.
Midland Center for the Arts has announced the first major gift to its $47 million capital campaign – a $5 million contribution from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation.
“The Trustees of the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation are pleased to support the Center’s renovation and plans to celebrate the original architectural vision of Alden B. Dow and improve the patron experience,” said Dr. Ruth Alden Doan, president and trustee of the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. “We are proud to embrace our community’s historic legacy of scientific discovery and innovation, which dates back to the groundbreaking work of my great-grandfather, Herbert H. Dow.”
The $5 million gift will reinvigorate Midland’s commitment to STEM education and discovery, while serving as an economic driver that will attract visitors to the community from within the State of Michigan and beyond.
“As our transformative journey begins, this leadership gift from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation represents a significant and meaningful step toward our goal of creating transcendent experiences for modern day explorers,” said Lisa Ungerleider, Midland Center for the Arts board chair. More here.
Recently, Lauri Novak attended a photography workshop at Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright’s home, in Spring Green, WI. The instructor was Andrew Pielage, an architectural and travel photographer who is on a mission to photograph all of Frank Lloyd Wright’s remaining designs.
"As a lifelong Wright fan, I was curious and interested in Andrew’s project. I have been following his work for a few years so having the chance to learn from him and learn more about his story was something I wanted to share. " Read Lauri's interview with Andrew Pielage and see some interesting photographs by clicking here.
See the iconic Pope-Leighey House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, in an exclusive light Sep. 08, 2022, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., 9000 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, Virginia 22309. Introducing Wright at Twilight! This garden party style program lets you see the beautiful architecture as the sun sets, bringing out the detailed work in the changing light.
Sit back with complimentary snacks and glass of wine, or bring your own picnic dinner. Play games in the yard, listen to 1930s-1950s music, and tour the house at your leisure as the sun slowly sets. Swing by for a lovely Night at Frank’s, at Pope-Leighey House!
Tickets are $35, with two drinks included in the price of your ticket. Snacks will be provided, but you are also welcome to bring a picnic dinner. Tables and chairs will be set up around the Pope-Leighey House for you to use. No food or drink will be allowed inside. When you arrive on site, please head directly to the Pope-Leighey House.
Most of the event will be held outside the house, please dress accordingly. Questions? Call 703-570-6919 or email firstname.lastname@example.org