Bartlesville, Oklahoma’s Price Tower, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1950s, is getting a new caretaker. The Price Tower Arts Center is transferring ownership of the 19-story building to Copper Tree, a new, locally based group, said Donna Keffer, executive director of the PTAC. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We are excited that the Copper Tree team is committed, first and foremost, to (1) the long term preservation of the Price Tower and (2) the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright,” she said in a statement. “Copper Tree will remain strongly focused on making sure that the arts will continue to be a major centerpiece of the Price Tower’s mission.”
Among the components in the building are an art museum, restaurant, inn, and office space.
Erected in 1956 as corporate headquarters for the H.C. Price Co., Wright referred to the 221-foot structure’s design as “the tree that escaped the crowded forest.” The only Wright-designed skyscraper, it is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The tower’s tree concept has four central shafts supporting cantilevered floors like a trunk. The outer walls are coated with “leaves” of copper.
Copper Tree plans to modernize the tower over the next 18 to 24 months, making improvements to the heating and air conditioning systems, elevators, windows, and elsewhere, Keffer said. During the makeover, the building will at times be temporarily closed to the public, she said, adding that the new owners said it’s “a small price to pay in order to have this historic treasure returned to the rich condition that it deserves.” More here.
Just a reminder! Don't miss seeing the second edition of John Lautner’s Pearlman Cabin & Walstrom Residence exhibition at Architekton, in Tempe, AZ in collaboration with the Organic Architecture + Design Archives, TSOA, and the John Lautner Foundation. This exhibition, featuring two unique residential works by Lautner, a renowned American architect and early apprentice of the Taliesin Fellowship, first opened to the public at TSOA's Arcosanti campus in the Fall of 2022, and has been re-located and re-organized by TSOA students at the offices of Architekton in Tempe, Arizona.
A closing event on March 31, 2023, will reflect on the two projects, the two exhibitions, the creative process, and potentials of future exhibitions as the collection of materials continue to travel and grow. Learn more here.
Rick Kogan of the Chicago Tribune writes that you can experience the city of Chicago through TV personality Geoffrey Baer, who has for many years provided what amounts to a series of television travelogues. Baer is a typically ebullient tour guide in his latest jaunt, “The Most Beautiful Places in Chicago,” premiering at 7 p.m. March 7 on WTTW-Ch. 11.
It is handsomely produced and there is a lot packed into its 50-some minutes, like most all of his previous two dozen-some shows, which had trips on the Chicago River (first in 1995), to the lakefront (2008), the Loop (2011) and most recently on the “L” (2020).
Many places in the show are familiar, such as The Rookery in the heart of the Loop, but that visit is enriched by the presence and knowledge of former Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin. Standing in the building’s glorious lobby, Kamin intelligently explains the history of the building and gives us his fine take on Chicago architects — in this case Daniel Burnham, John Root, and Frank Lloyd Wright — and their ability, then and now, to “elevate the pragmatic into the artistic.”
This program is embellished by a companion website that offers all manner of extras, such as photos, facts, video, and the ability for viewers to nominate their own “beautiful places.” Read the entire article here.
A Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice-designed modernist desert home located outside of Phoenix, Arizona on an acre lot has hit the market to the tune of $2.495 million.
Blaine Drake was among Frank Lloyd Wright’s first apprentices at Taliesin, Wisconsin, working in his office in the early 1930s. Drake founded his practice after WWII and worked mainly around the Phoenix area, designing around 200 residential projects during his career.
The Hawkins Residence located at 5111 N Saddlerock Lane was built in 1964 and retains much of its original character, judging from the photographs. A curved loggia hugs the property’s exterior leading into the house, whose floor plan remains unchanged from Drake’s original.
Rooms have floor-to-ceiling glass doors connecting them to the outdoors, shaded by the roof overhang, with views of Camelback Mountain beyond.
Walnut built-ins and a brick fireplace are original, while the kitchen features lime green countertops and matching fixtures. See more here.
Chicago's historic Fine Arts Building (410 S. Michigan Avenue) is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year with two new public exhibits, a self-guided walking tour of significant sites, and special programming that highlights the artists and companies that have made the building an artist haven since its founding in October 1898.
New historic exhibits Art Alone Endures and Staging Ground and self-guided walking tours of the Fine Arts Building are free and open to the public during regular building hours: Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Second Fridays open studios are free to attend on the second Friday of every month from 5-9 p.m., and include gallery openings, special performances and artistic demonstrations.
The Fine Arts Building is a home for art in all forms: from pioneers like Poetry magazine's founding publisher Harriet Monroe, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, sculptor Lorado Taft, and the Chicago Little Theatre, to the ongoing legacies of painters, musicians, booksellers, puppeteers, dancers, photographers and craftspeople who inhabit the building today, the Fine Arts Building is buzzing with more than a century of Chicago creativity and innovation. A Chicago Landmark since 1978, the building features original manually-operated elevators, Art Nouveau murals from the late 19th century, the recently renovated Studebaker Theater and Carriage Hall, a new multidisciplinary theatrical event space currently under construction.
"We've spent the last 7+ years renovating the Fine Arts Building and bringing it back to a more vibrant life, and are excited to welcome more people and community to this cherished historic home for the arts," says Erica Berger of Berger Realty Group, proprietor of the building.
Two new exhibits provide "windows into history"
As part of the 125th anniversary celebration, two free historic exhibits have opened on the Fine Arts Building's 5th Floor:
• Art Alone Endures explores how the founding of the Fine Arts Building in 1898 changed Chicago's arts community forever and served as a gathering place for prominent artists and social clubs in the early 20th century. This exhibit tells stories of the artists, musicians, craftspeople and influential societies, like the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association, that transformed the Studebaker Company's carriage assembly and showroom into Chicago's artistic and intellectual home.
A centerpiece of this exhibit is a 1/2" scale model of the Fine Arts Building, with model design and fabrication by Eleanor Kahn and lighting design by Eric Watkins. A visual representation of the stories along the gallery walls, the model imagines moments in the building's history between its founding and the 1920s, including an image from a Chicago Little Theatre production and Browne's Bookstore, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. More information here.
If you'd like to learn even more about Frank Lloyd Wright's special association with the Fine Arts Building, be sure to get a copy of the OA+D Journal devoted to the topic! Order your copy here.