Willey House Stories Part 5: The Best of Clients
Steve Sikora, one of the owners of the Malcom Willey House, continues his exploration of the home and its influence on architecture and society. He writes that publicly Frank Lloyd Wright "cultivated a reputation for egocentricity or 'honest arrogance' as he preferred to call it, but privately, Wright had the best of intentions for his clients and those intentions are clearly translated into his highly personalized buildings. The Willey/Taliesin correspondence provides ample evidence of his patience and magnanimity for the young couple. Although hardly a prerequisite in business, I believe this architect and these particular clients developed a true and lasting friendship. The benefit to Wright was a significant, creative breakthrough late in life. The Willey’s reward, was fulfillment of their dreams, the opportunity to be among the first to experience mid-century patterns of living in their new home, an environment befitting their personalities, social status and aspirations, and as it turns out, those of a new generation." Read more.
Frank Lloyd Wright's Kindergarten Utopia
Sotheby’s will auction five art glass clerestory windows designed by Frank Lloyd Wright from the pivotal Avery Coonley Playhouse in Riverside, Illinois on May 24th in New York. From the collection of Thomas S. Monaghan – entrepreneur, philanthropist, and founder of Domino’s Pizza, who amassed one of the foremost private collections of Wright’s designs in the 20th century. Read more.
7 Things You Didn’t Know About Taliesin
Stefanie Waldek of Architectural Digest gives us a list of things about Taliesin that many people may not be aware of. Information about Frank Lloyd Wright and his famous home can still surprise us. Read more here.
Tour Mid Century-Modern Icons From Philip Johnson, Marcel Breuer, Frank Lloyd Wright, and More
From May 15-18, the Iconic Houses Network will hold its bi-annual international conference in New Canaan, Connecticut and the surrounding area. This year’s conference, titled “Modernism on the East Coast – Philip Johnson and the Harvard Five,” will highlight the work of the famous five Harvard architects: Philip Johnson, John M. Johansen, Marcel Breuer, Landis Gores, and Eliot Noyes. There will be a number of different events, but perhaps most exciting is the slew of tours of modernist icons such as Johnson’s Glass House, Frank Lloyd Wright‘s Usonia community, and so much more…
Full details of the extensive programming can be seen here.
Major Renovation Awaits Frank Lloyd Wright Masterpiece
The Robie House, completed in 1910, is said to be the most innovative and forward-thinking of all of Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie homes. So it should come as no surprise it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963 and was on the first National Register of Historic Places list compiled in 1966.
This year the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, which manages the Robie House, is in the midst of major interior restoration work in order to bring back the home's original 1910 Wright-envisioned glory, according to Karen Sweeney, preservation architect and facility director. It is expected to be complete in early spring 2019.
The highlight of the restoration project is the return of Wright's signature inglenook to the living room. Removed during a time when the Robie House was used for institutional purposes, including as a dormitory and administrative offices, the inglenook is a crucial component of the main floor's aesthetic. Its restoration brings back the Wright-envisioned low, narrow space that explodes into an expansive living room, illuminated by the tint of Wright's abstract art glass windows.
Other work being completed includes the restoration of plaster, restoring walls and ceilings to their original color, as well as restoring woodwork and floors. Light fixtures and selected art glass windows and doors are also being restored. Read more.
Fallingwater Receives Grant
Nearly $2 million in grants were awarded to 142 museums and county historical societies in the latest round announced by the Pennsylvania State Historical & Museum Commission. Wright's iconic Fallingwater in Fayette County was among the area historical landmarks to receive grants. The $50,000 grant to Fallingwater will support its general operations, the commission said. Read more.
Chicago’s 1893 White City Digitally Recreated for New Exhibit
Curbed Chicago reminds us that this weekend, Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry invites guests to “revel in the White City” with a temporary exhibit showcasing a virtual recreation of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.
Digitally reconstructed by UCLA’s Dr. Lisa Snyder and narrated by local historian Tim Samuelson, the exhibit will let visitors experience the revolutionary architecture, inventions, and cultural attractions that elevated Chicago to center place on the world stage 125 years ago.
There’s arguably no better place to learn about the Chicago’s bygone White City than Jackson Park’s Museum of Science and Industry. The grand structure was built as the exposition’s Palace of Fine Arts and, unlike the fair’s more fragile, plaster-clad buildings, it managed to withstand the test of time.
The 90-minute presentation is scheduled for Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20 with a time group entrance taking place at 1:00 p.m. on both days. Tickets cost $25 on top of basic museum admission. Read more.
Say "I Do" In Architectural Splendor
Thanks to L.A.’s (almost) always sunny skies and plethora of picturesque places, tying the knot there against a beautiful backdrop is possible with any budget. Curbed Los Angeles says there’s something for everyone, including sandy beaches, rolling vineyards, and architectural masterpieces—including Wayfarers Chapel, the all-glass church designed by Lloyd Wright.
If your idea of tying the knot involves panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and a Lloyd Wright-designed “glass sanctuary [that’s] nestled in a grove of towering by redwood trees,” this Swedenborgian Church—which welcomes couples of any faith — is The One. Plenty of indoor greenery, a rose garden, and perfectly landscaped greens complete your photo-worthy nuptials. Capacity: 100. Starting price: $1,500. Read more.
Preserving Fay Jones' Home in Real and Virtual Worlds
The daughters of architect E. Fay Jones gifted their childhood home to the University of Arkansas in 2015. Since then, the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design has been working to restore and preserve the house on Hillcrest Avenue in Fayetteville. Jones finished building the house in 1956 and lived there until his death in 2004. The architecture school is also working with the Tesseract Center for Immersive Environments and Game Design and the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies to create a 3D model of the home that can be shared and explored in a traveling kiosk, as well as a web application online. More here.
This weekly Wright Society update is brought to you by Eric O'Malley with Bryan and Lisa Kelly from PrairieMod. If you enjoy these free, curated updates—please forward our sign-up page and/or share on Social Media.
If you’d like to submit content to be featured here, please reach out by emailing us at mail[at]wrightsociety.com.