Funding shortages, insufficient knowledge of materials and technology, and conflicting interests are often the hurdles that preservationists face in the fight to save 20th century modernist landmarks. In recent years we've lost Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital in Chicago and Neutra's Cyclorama at Gettysburg to demolition, and soon Paul Rudolph's Government Center in Goshen will likely meet the same sad fate. The Getty Foundation, however, is taking steps to protect other significant buildings of this period through its second annual Keeping it Modern grant initiative, totaling $1.75 million. The organization announced 14 international projects that will receive grant funding, including such buildings as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple, Walter Gropius’ residence ‘The Gropius House,’ and João Batista Vilanova Artigas and Carlos Cascaldi’s School of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of São Paulo (FAUUSP). “Last year’s launch of Keeping It Modern emphasized that modern architecture is a defining artistic form of the 20th century at considerable risk, often due to the cutting-edge building materials that characterized the movement,” said Deborah Marrow, director of the Getty Foundation. “This new round of Keeping It Modern grants includes some of the finest examples of modern architecture in the world. The grant projects address challenges for the field of architectural conservation and will have impact far beyond the individual buildings to be conserved.” Below, see the remaining projects.
Posts tagged with "Frank lloyd Wright":
The search for a new leader of Frank Lloyd Wright's School of Architecture concluded today, as the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation named Aaron Betsky the new dean in charge of Taliesin. Betsky previously served as director of the Cincinnati Art Museum, but stepped down from that position in January 2014. He was previously the director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute, and he directed the 11th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2008. He has authored numerous books on art and architecture and continues to blog for Architect. Split between campuses in Spring Green, Wisconsin and Scottsdale, Arizona, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture is in the middle of a fundraising campaign that could decide the future of the school's accreditation. Facing new rules from the Higher Learning Commission, officials from the institution said they must raise at least $2 million before the end of 2015, or the school will lose its standing once those new rules take effect in 2017. Betsky will "set the intellectual tone or the School," according to a press release, but he will also have to help tackle the school's financial challenges. "Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture broke the box and opened vistas toward a democratic landscape; he made organic architecture and built with, rather than on, the land before anybody talked about sustainable architecture," Betsky said in a statement. "I look forward to continuing the tradition of experimental architecture he did so much to define." The future of that tradition, however, remains uncertain. In December Sean Malone, president of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, said the school would remain committed to design education even if they are no longer able to award accredited degrees after 2017. With Betsky at the helm that mission appears intact; the Foundation said they will continue to award degrees at their Taliesin East and Taliesin West campuses either way, perhaps in partnership with accredited institutions. "We wanted a bold thinker and a talented leader," Malone said in a statement, "and we found both in Aaron." Betsky, who was born in Montana but grew up in the Netherlands, succeeds Victor Sidy, who returns to his private architectural practice. Betsky assumes the role of dean immediately.
The lengthy renovation of Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House—his first residence in Los Angeles—is finally over. On February 13 Mayor Eric Garcetti and other local luminaries will cut the ribbon on the landmark's re-opening. Built between 1919 and 1921, the house takes its name from the favorite flower of Wright's client, feisty oil heiress Aline Barnsdall. Its eclectic style combines elements of Mayan Revival, Early Modernism, and Wright's own Prairie Style, featuring tilted concrete walls, narrow, leaded art glass windows, bas-reliefs, and an expansive central courtyard. The centerpiece is the living room, with its theatrical fireplace, which was once fronted by a large, water-filled moat. The Hollyhock motif is repeated in details throughout. The house had already undergone renovations in 1944, 1974, and (due to earthquake damage) 2001. But over time the property had further deteriorated, and the $4.35 million renovation was begun in 2011, led by curator Jeffrey Herr, non-profit Project Restore, Griswold Conservation Associates, and the city's departments of Engineering and Cultural Affairs, among others. The bulk of funding for the restoration came from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment, the National Park Service's Save America's Treasures program, and the City of Los Angeles. "We were able to dig deeper into this than has ever been done before," said Herr, who noted the team brought the house as close as possible to its original form through "archaeological" explorations, investigating everything from paint and plaster layers to original drawings and blueprints. For instance, to bring plaster finishes from their "muddy" form back to their original glistening gold state, the team devised a formula of micah suspended in alcohol. "When you walk in, it’s pretty amazing the difference. I still haven’t gotten used to it, which is a good thing," said Herr. Among other things, the team restored many of the home's moldings, walls, floors, fixtures, doors, and fenestration. Heavy lifting included waterproofing the house, fixing drainage systems, restoring the roof, and performing crack repairs. The most rigorously restored rooms were the dining room, library, enclosed porch, garage, kitchen, and chauffeur's quarters. After the February 13 opening the house will be open for tours through the evening, into the next day—which happens to be Valentines Day for you romantic architecture geeks. Some trivia: Wright and Barnsdall originally planned an extensive, very unconventional complex for the site of Barnsdall park, including a movie house, school, artist housing and studios, and what one newspaper called "one of the most exquisite theaters the world has ever seen." Wright's distraction, and Barnsdall's unhappiness with the client and the plan, doomed the scheme.
In August, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture found its accreditation in jeopardy, following a rules change by their regional accrediting board, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Now the institution needs to raise $2 million before the end of 2015, or it will lose its standing once the new rules take effect in 2017. The challenge lies in establishing the school as an entity fully independent of its parent company, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. HLC, apparently targeting for-profit universities, said it would no longer offer credit to schools that are part of institutions whose “missions extend beyond academics.” As part of a foundation that also advocates for preservation and engages in non-academic pursuits, the Frank Lloyd Wright school found itself in violation of these new rules. Now the plan is to spin off the school, which earned accreditation in 1992, into a financially independent entity. To do that, the school's administrators say they need to scrounge at least $1 million in cash and pledges by March 27, and then another $1 million by the end of 2015. If they meet that goal, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has agreed to make a one-time gift of $7 million. "This campaign is the only opportunity to save the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture as we know it," said Maura Grogan, chair of the school’s board of governors, in a press release. If they don't reach their fundraising goal, President Sean Malone told AN the school "would remain deeply dedicated to shaping architectural education," but would lose its ability to offer accredited degrees after 2017. They could still team up with accredited institutions to offer such credentials, but their standalone certifications would carry considerably less weight in the professional world. Malone said the rules change had the unintended effect of risking the school's standing due to its unique status as a financially dependent subsidiary of a larger foundation. "It was an imperfect storm," Malone said. “Right now we're very hopeful and focused on bringing in people who believe in this cause." The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture offers a professional M.Arch degree program with a focus on hands-on studio experience at its two campuses: Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin.
Frank Lloyd Wright, who founded the Taliesin Fellowship in 1932, can't be pleased about the latest news from the school. Architectural Record reported that in 2017 the Taliesin School of Architecture—which currently offers Masters of Architecture degrees at its campuses in Scottsdale, Arizona and Spring Green, Wisconsin—will lose its NAAB accreditation. According to Record, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a regional accrediting body, said it won't extend credit to schools that are part of institutions whose "missions extend beyond academics." That's exactly the case with the school and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. But the foundation was unwilling to turn the school into an independent body because of a variety of fundraising-related issues. The school earned accreditation in 1992. Taliesin, according to Sean Malone, president and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, will now "focus on programs that don’t require accreditation, including a post-professional program that has been in the works since last year." The school may also partner with an accredited institution in the future. Students at the school—which promotes "learning by doing"—concentrate their studies on classes, studios, trips, projects, and workshops. They live on each campus and round out their studies by building and living in experimental "desert shelters" at Taliesin West and in "prairie shelters" at Taliesin. Fall and Winter terms take place at the Arizona campus while Summer terms are held in Wisconsin. Taliesin West is currently making plans for a massive restoration by Harboe Architects.
The Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave captured the eye of American audiences last year, but it may have also had an unforeseen effect on historic preservation. It appears that the National Trust for Historic Preservation was watching as well. The Trust has issued its annual list of the 11 most endangered historic places in the United States, which featured the slave trading center where the film's protagonist, Solomon Northrup, was held and captured. For twenty-five years, the National Trust has launched campaigns to save historic structures and places in regions across the U.S.—many of which are vulnerable from years of neglect or the threat of demolition. "Only a handful of the 250 places named have been lost," the Trust said in a statement. Thus, the attention brought by the endangered list will likely help the chances of preserving these irreplaceable historic sites tied to the integrity of the nation.
Two Major IconsCincinnati, Ohio has two of the largest restoration projects: Union Terminal and Music Hall. Each of these projects are estimated to cost $280 million. Music Hall is a hub of arts—home to Cincinnati's Symphony and Pop Orchestras, Opera, Ballet, and the May Festival. While Union Terminal is one of the most significant Art Deco structures in the country. The full list includes Frank Lloyd Wright's Spring House, a church built in 1837, the threatened view of the Palisades, and other significant places in American history.
Full List of 2014 11 Most Endangered Historic Places
|Name||Location||Importance||Estimated Restoration Costs|
|Battle Mountain Sanitarium||Hot Springs, SD||Battle Mountain Sanitarium has provided medical care to veterans in the region for more than a century. If the VA moves ahead with its plan, it will remove the largest employer in the self-described “Veterans Town.”||$120,000|
|Bay Harbor’s East Island||Dade County, FL||Bay Harbor’s East Island is one of the largest concentrated collections of mid-century Miami Modern (MiMo) style architecture in the country designed by architects including Morris Lapidus, Henry Hohauser, and Charles McKirahan.||N/A|
|Chattanooga State Office Building||Chattanooga, TN||The Chattanooga State Office Building was constructed in 1950 in the Art Moderne style to serve as headquarters for the Interstate Life Insurance company with a "Mad Men" era workplace.||$8,490,000|
|Frank Lloyd Wright’s Spring House||Tallahassee, FL||Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and constructed in 1954, Spring House is the only built private residence designed by Wright in the state of Florida.||$170,000|
|Historic Wintersburg||Huntington Beach, CA||Wintersburg documents three generations of the Japanese American experience in the United States, from immigration in the late 19th century to the return from incarceration in internment camps following World War II.||$5,000,000|
|Mokuaikaua Church||Kailua Village in Kona, HI||Completed in 1837 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, Mokuaikaua Church represents the new, western-influenced architecture of early 19th century Hawaii.||N/A|
|Music Hall||Cincinatti, OH||Music Hall, designed by Samuel Hannaford, was built in 1878 with private money raised from what is believed to be the nation’s first matching-grant fund drive.||280,000,000|
|Palladium Building||St. Louis, MO||The Palladium is one of St. Louis’s last remaining buildings with a link to the city’s significant music history.||N/A|
|Shockoe Bottom||Richmond, VA||Shockoe Bottom was a center of the African slave trade between 1830 and 1865 -- over 350,000 slaves were traded there.||N/A|
|The Palisades||Englewood Cliffs, NJ||The Palisades has been cherished by the nation and residents of New York and New Jersey for generations.||N/A|
|Union Terminal||Cincinnati, OH||Union Terminal, an iconic symbol of Cincinnati and one of the most significant Art Deco structures in the country.||280,000,000|
|Federal Historic Tax Credit||*United States||Since being signed into law by President Reagan, the federal historic tax credit has attracted $109 billion to the rehabilitation of nearly 40,000 historic commercial buildings in the U.S., creating 2.4 million jobs and sparking downtown revitalization nationwide.||N/A|
It is well-known that Frank Lloyd Wright was an automobile enthusiast, both foreseeing the prominence that this form of personal mobility would occupy in American life and, indeed, laying much of the foundation of how architecture might be designed for and around the car. Less-known is the fact that in 1927 he designed a gas station for Buffalo, New York, which was never built—or never until very recently. Nearly 90 years after its design, the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum has constructed Wright's vision of where Americans might fill their tanks. As of today, Friday, June 27, visitors to the museum will be able to experience Wright's design first hand, a rather idealistic vision that imagines the gas station as a comfortable, enjoyable, even civilized destination. The two-story facility features an observation deck, copper roof, and gravity fed pumps. Buffalo Filling Station, as it is called, will remain on permanent view at the Pierce-Arrow, where it will join the museum's extensive collection of historic automobiles, bicycles, and transportation memorabilia. Wright did design one gas station that did get built—in Cloquet, Minnesota. That station proudly displays the sign, "The World's Only Frank Lloyd Wright Service Station."
Everything Loose Will Land Graham Foundation 4 West Burton Place, Chicago Through July 26 Everything Loose Will Land explores the intersection of art and architecture in Los Angeles during the 1970s. The show’s title refers to a Frank Lloyd Wright quote that if you “tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.” This freeness alludes to the fact that this dislodging did not lead to chaos but rather a multidisciplinary artistic community that redefined LA. The exhibition features one hundred and twenty drawings, photographs, media works, sculptures, prototypes, models, and ephemera. The presentations function as a kind of archive of architectural ideas that connect a variety of disciplines. Projects by Carl Andre, Ed Moses, Peter Alexander, Michael Asher, James Turrell, Maria Nordman, Robert Irwin, Frank Gehry, Richard Serra, Coy Howard, Craig Ellwood, Peter Pearce, Morphosis, Bruce Nauman, Craig Hodgetts, Jeff Raskin, Ed Ruscha, Noah Purifoy, Paolo Soleri, Ray Kappe, Denise Scott Brown, Archigram, L.A. Fine Arts Squad, Bernard Tschumi, Eleanor Antin, Peter Kamnitzer, Cesar Pelli, Andrew Holmes, Elizabeth Orr, and others are explored. Curated by Sylvia Lavin, Director of Critical Studies in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA, the show began its journey at the MAK Center for Architecture and then traveled to the Yale School of Architecture before arriving at the Graham Foundation.
Decades before the Americans With Disabilities Act, Frank Lloyd Wright designed an accessible home for a World War II veteran. Now Wright’s only home designed for a person with a disability will open to the public. Wright’s Kenneth & Phyllis Laurent House in Rockford, Illinois opens for tours on June 6, two days before what would have been its architect’s 147th birthday. When Phyllis Laurent in 1948 urged her husband, who used a wheelchair, to contact Wright about designing a home for him, the architect reportedly responded, “Dear Laurent: We are interested but don’t guarantee costs. Who knows what they are today - ?” The brick and cypress structure’s design is a celebrated example of Wright’s “Usonian” single-story homes. It features an overhang sheltering a carport and a “solar hemicycle” shape typical of the style. The State of Illinois bought the house in 2012 and added it to the National Register of Historic Places. Wright himself referred to it as a “little gem.” Several other Wright buildings have opened to the public lately, including the Emil Bach House in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood, the SC Johnson Research Tower in Racine, Wisconsin, and the architect's home studio in Oak Park, Illinois.
A recently restored Frank Lloyd Wright house on Chicago’s far North Side will be open for weekly tours this summer, starting May 7. The Emil Bach House, 7415 North Sheridan Road, is a Chicago Landmark and an entry on the National Register of Historic Places. As a vacation rental, the carefully crafted private dwelling invites Wright enthusiasts to stay a while. Its fortress-like street frontage conveys a verticality unusual to Wright’s work, offering deep, inset windows and brick columns on the lower floors instead of the more typically expansive Prairie-style planes that protrude from the upper bedroom level. Built in 1915 when its location set back from the eastern edge of Sheridan Road would have given it uninterrupted views of Lake Michigan, the house was first a private home for Bach, a brick company president whose brother had a Wright-designed house just a few blocks north. That building was demolished in the 1960s. The house was open to the public briefly during last year’s Open House Chicago, while it was still undergoing restoration work by Harboe Architects, but May 7 marks the start of the rehabilitated building’s weekly guided tours. Wright’s custom built-in furniture, which divides the common floor into intimate areas around a central fireplace, was replicated based on original plans. Previous owners had removed most of the wooden benches and even a dining table budding off the hearth that runs parallel to the bevy of front windows. To enter the building, visitors take eight turns along a rising, winding approach leading to a front door that actually faces toward the back yard—a somewhat forceful division of public and private space that is classic Wright. Natural light abounds throughout the upper floor, which houses two bedrooms, a guest room / study, and two bathrooms. Wright specified “sunshine yellow” paint for the walls—a detail that was restored along with built-in desks proportioned to Wright’s diminutive frame. Evanston-based Morgante Wilson Architects furnished the interiors with space modern furniture to update the vibe without corrupting its historical significance. Now a vacation rental, the Emil Bach house is managed by the owners of the Lang House—a 1919 bed-and-breakfast next door. Guided tours of Bach House will be offered on Wednesdays, May 7 through September 24. Tickets are $12 general public, $10 students/seniors/military, and free for members of the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust. Tickets and information are available at www.flwright.org and 312-994-4000. For rental information and further inquiries on the historic Emil Bach House, please visit www.emilbachhouse.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
An unusually vertical Frank Lloyd Wright building in Wisconsin will open its doors to the public for the first time since its construction in 1950. The Research Tower in Racine, Wisconsin has housed SC Johnson for 32 years, anchoring its 153-foot tall mass with a distinctive “taproot” foundation. Its tree-like core and wrap-around windows will now be open to visitors, beginning on May 2. Tours will run on Fridays and Saturdays through September 27. SC Johnson’s Wright-designed corporate campus is a glimpse of what the architect’s ambitious urban planning vision might have looked like had it taken root beyond a few scattered examples such as the site of the 15-story Research Tower. That building, as well as the company's 1939 Administration Building, are now on the National Register of Historic Places. The Museum of Modern Art in New York is mounting an exhibition on Wright's radical approach to urbanism, which included seemingly contradictory bids for a sprawling “Broadacre City” and mile-high skyscrapers that pushed density to the brink of absurdity. The show is called Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal. Research Tower is not the only bit of Wright’s portfolio to see some sunshine lately. In December the architect’s first independent commission—the William Winslow House in River Forest, Illinois—went on the market. Weeks later the balcony over Wright's studio in Oak Park announced it would open for public tours for the first time in decades.
After almost eight decades of constant use, Taliesin West is ready for a makeover. The Scottsdale, Arizona site was Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home, studio, and architecture school. Today, the campus houses the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and is also a popular tourist destination, with over 100,000 visitors annually. Now, time, climate, and footsteps have taken their toll on the landmark. A combination of heavy use and the complex's desert environment have left Taliesin West in need of significant restoration, as well as accessibility, sustainability, and safety upgrades. As a first step towards remaking Taliesin West, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation has selected Chicago firm Harboe Architects to prepare a preservation master plan of the site. “[T. Gunny] Harboe and his firm rose to the top of a truly extraordinary field,” Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation CEO and President Sean Malone said. The selection committee—which included Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation staff leadership, its Preservation Committee, and a Preservation Oversight Committee made up of five outside experts—chose Harboe Architects from among more than forty contenders. “Harboe had such a remarkable understanding of Wright’s work and this particular project,” Malone said. Harboe will undertake a year-long study of Taliesin West, a National Historic Landmark site constructed between 1937 and 1959, to determine the scope of the restoration (including cost and timeline). Through research, multiple site visits, and a cultural and structural history of the location, the preservation team will answer two questions: what needs to be restored and why. “Why is a really exciting question,” Malone explained. “Part of the project is [defining a] preservation philosophy. Then once we make those decisions, that’s going to drive the decision about how.” Besides Harboe, the team also includes Michael Henry, of Watson and Henry Associates, and Dorothy Krotzer, of Building Conservation Associates. Harboe’s team faces particular challenges in preserving a site that was never meant to be static. “Taliesin West is more complicated than a lot of sites because change over time was an inherent part of the story,” Malone said. Unlike other Wright sites (except Taliesin, the architect’s Wisconsin home and studio), the Scottsdale campus was not built for one particular time. Instead, it was designed as a laboratory, a space within which ideas about architecture could develop and change. “It’s a living place. Its evolution is part of its history,” Malone said.