Can't make this year's Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy Conference in person? Then you're in luck! The online conference experience includes interactive live-streaming of the education sessions and Wright Spirit Award celebration, as well as two online-only events that delve into preservation advocacy for and restoration of Wright buildings in the Chicago area. Online attendees will have access to watch the Unity Temple restoration documentary on demand for a limited time. All other conference recordings will remain available to stream on demand for three months. AIA credit has been sought for online live-stream attendees of most events.
Online Conference Agenda
All times Central Daylight Time.
Monday, October 17
Silent auction bidding opens online
Saturday, October 22
8:30 – 9 a.m. Conservancy Annual Meeting
9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Education Sessions
8 – 9 p.m. Wright Spirit Awards program
10 p.m. Silent auction bidding closes online
Sunday, October 23
9 a.m. Unity Temple: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Modern Masterpiece documentary becomes available to stream on demand
10:30 – 11:45 a.m. Online Event: Restoring Wright’s World Heritage Sites: Unity Temple & Robie House
2:30 – 3:45 p.m. Online Event: Saving Wright in Chicago: Recent Case Studies (featuring video vignettes of Frederick & Grace Bagley House, Booth Cottage, Glasner House, and Kathryn & Lloyd Lewis House)
Wednesday, October 26
11 p.m. On-demand streaming ends for Unity Temple: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Modern Masterpiece
Sunday, January 22, 2023
Final day to stream event recordings
Online Conference Rates
Per viewing household:
Conservancy members: $175
Wright public site staff & volunteers: $75
To learn more & register follow the link here.
Frank Lloyd Wright, who drew so much inspiration from the wide open spaces of middle America, designed just two high-rise buildings. The second, completed late in his long career, was 1956’s Price Tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. The first opened six years before that, as an addition to one of his already-famous projects. That was the headquarters of S. C. Johnson & Son, better known as Johnson Wax, in Racine, Wisconsin. Seen at a distance, the Research Tower stands out as the signal feature of the complex, but it’s the earlier Administration Building that offered the world a glimpse of the future of work.
The Administration Building’s construction finished in 1939. Back then, says Vox’s Phil Edwards (himself an established Wright fan) in the video above, “offices were small and cramped, or private. This building had a spacious central room instead, meant to encourage the spread of ideas.” Such a concept may sound familiar — perhaps all too familiar — to anyone who’s ever worked in what we now call an “open-plan office.” But it was daring at the time, and it seems that no architect has ever implemented it quite as strikingly again. What other office makes you “feel like you’re underwater, that you’re in, maybe, a lily pond”?
Wright spoke of his intentions to create “as inspiring a place to work in as any cathedral ever was to worship in.” Today, amid the silent absence of typists on the ground floor and managers on the mezzanine, the Administration Building must feel holier than ever. The space exudes a magnificent loneliness, and opening a MacBook to log into Slack surely intensifies the loneliness rather than the magnificence. “In 1939, this was the future of work,” Edwards says. “These big corporate campuses, the Googles and Metas and Amazons: they owe a debt to this campus here.” But for the increasingly many living the remote-work life, even those twenty-first-century big-tech headquarters have begun to seem like temples from a passing era. More here.
Fargo, N.D. City Commissioners were presented with a couple of alternatives to save an historic house.
John and Sherri Stern own the house built in 1958 by Elizabeth Wright Ingraham, the granddaughter of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Even though the house is on the National Register of Historic Places, it was headed for a buyout and demolition to make room for a flood levee to protect the Belmont neighborhood and nearby water plant.
One of the alternative ideas is to build the flood wall in “front” of the house. It’s on the lower end of the plans which range from $1.1 million to nearly $5 million. John Stern addressed the commission saying, “Financially we’d be better off taking the money and running but I don’t think the community, the city, or the taxpayer would be better off.”
Commissioner John Strand thanked him for working to save a piece of history and said, “Send that message out that we embrace history, that we celebrate it and honor it when we can versus just demolishing history because it’s easy.” More here.
Pat Cannon, author of the new book Frank Lloyd Wright’s UNITY TEMPLE: A Good-Time Place Reborn, will be at Unity Temple October 27, 2022 at 7pm to talk about his experience researching and writing his original Unity Temple book, moving into the process for re-imagining the revised book post-restoration. Photographer James Caulfield and restoration architect Gunny Harboe, FAIA will be available for Q&A along with Pat. All will be onsite for a post-talk book signing and conversation. Advanced registration for this FREE event is requested.
Books will be available for sale onsite for $34.95 plus tax, no charge for signatures! If you cannot attend the event, books can be purchased online at the UTRF website here.