It’s the beginning of a bad joke: Superman, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Andy Warhol walk into a bar…. The truth of their commonalities is more a consequence of history than humor. Wright’s 1939 Sturges House in Brentwood is up for auction and Jack Larson, the last owner of the residence, played cub reporter Jimmy Olsen on the TV series Adventures of Superman in the 1950s.Larson passed away in September and his partner James Bridges died in 1993, but in their heyday they supported budding artists in the Los Angeles art scene from the early 1960s through the 1980s. Their home was full of artworks from Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and David Hockney, which will also be auctioned off in February in support of the Bridges/Larson Foundation. The modest wood-sided home, perched dramatically on top of a Brentwood hill is estimated at $2.5–$3 million. Los Angeles Modern Auctions has teamed up with Sotheby’s International Realty on the February 21 auction. As if Wright, Hollywood, and art world pedigrees weren’t enough, the residence was supervised by quintessential L.A. architect John Lautner and it was his first project in the city. Distinguished by its economy, the 1,200-square-foot home considered a Southern California adaptation of Wright’s Usonian house. A cantilevered deck and expansive glass windows that overlook the view extend the small living spaces. Thomas S. Hines, in his book Architecture of the Sun, quotes a February 1939 letter that Wright sent Lautner along with some sketches. “It is one of the simplest things we’ve done and one of the best.”
Posts tagged with "Frank Lloyd Wright":
In collaboration with the Scottsdale, Arizona-based Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation (FLWF), the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture (FLWSA) has raised more than $2 million dollars from 317 contributors. To comply with new accreditation requirements, the school is in the process of becoming an independent subsidiary of the foundation. The funds are an important milestone on the FLWSA's journey towards financial stability. The FLWSA was founded by Wright in 1932 at Taliesin, his home in Spring Green, Wisconsin. The school, with a current enrollment of 19 students in its M.Arch program, is now dually located at Taliesin and Taliesin West, in Scottsdale. In 2011, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) changed its accreditation requirements, stipulating that it will no longer grant accreditation to schools which operate under umbrella institutions with "multifaceted missions." The FLWF, whose purpose is to "preserve Taliesin and Taliesin West for future generations, and enrich society through an understanding of Frank Lloyd Wright’s ideas, architecture, and design,” is helping the school on its mission. As part of the agreement, the foundation will loan the school classroom and residential facilities at Taliesin and Taliesin West. The FLWF will put $1.4 million over four years towards the operating costs of the school, in addition to a $7 million investment over the same period. FLWSA's dean, Aaron Betsky, outlined the direction the school will take: “We have been hard at work with the Foundation’s staff and Board to ensure the School’s future not just in financial and organizational terms, but also by improving its curriculum and by developing programs that continue Wright’s legacy in organic architecture and learning by doing in ways that answer to our needs for a more sustainable, open, and beautiful human-made environment.” Students will design and build desert shelters, as well as take newly added courses in digital fabrication, design, and theory. The school has a four year partnership with the mining towns of Miami and Globe, Arizona. Students will carry out community–based projects in those communities and in similar towns near Taliesin. To solidify accreditation, the foundation and the school board will prepare a "Change of Control" application for the HLC to review in June 2016. If the HLC approves, the foundation will file documents with state and federal agencies to legally recognize the school as an independent subsidiary of the foundation. If all goes smoothly, the process is expected to be complete by early 2017.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Bachman Wilson House, built in 1956 in Millstone, New Jersey, opened to the public on November 11th in Bentonville, Arkansas. The house was disassembled on the original site and transported to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, for preservation and public display. In 2013, when museum leaders visited the house, recent homeowners, Lawrence and Sharon Tarantino, proposed relocation. The Tarantinos’ land had been prone to flooding and therefore required numerous restorations to the home. To preserve the house properly, they knew relocation was necessary. The museum agreed, the structure was disassembled, and every component labeled. Two trucks transported the parts 1,235 miles to the Arkansas. The house is now situated near the museum’s south entrance, overlooking the woodlands and Crystal Spring. The reconstruction team also consisted of Scott Eccleston (Crystal Bridges’ Director of Operations), Ron Shelby (lead architect with Hight Jackson Associates), and Bill Faber (chief contractor with Bill Faber Construction). The team strove to reconstruct the house as close to the original as possible, reusing most of the mahogany, and recreating the concrete block walls and floors to Wright’s specifications. To further preserve the original structure, efficiencies were added to the re-construction. For example, a climate control system was installed to protect the mahogany, without having to change the interior floor design. Wright’s Bachman Wilson House is named after the original owners Abe and Gloria Wilson and Gloria’s brother Marvin Bachman, an apprentice to Wright. The house is an example of Wright’s middle-income family residences, in his “Usonian” period. Wright's Usonian Houses were normally small, single story, and consisted of native materials, flat roofs, and cantilevered overhangs–visually uniting the interior and exterior spaces. Tickets became available to the public on November 2nd, and, as of November 11th, the house became available to the public during Museum hours, for no cost. Because of the house’s limited space, tickets must be reserved in advance. Visitors have two options: General Admission, which is a self-guided tour, available each day except Tuesday, or Guided Tours, which are one-hour in length, offered any day except Tuesday or Friday. Regardless, anyone, with or without tickets can wander the surrounding grounds or hike the Crystal Springs and Tulip Tree Trails, which offer views of the house. Now that the Tarantino family, museum, and reconstruction team have successfully given Wright’s home a safe environment for preservation, generations to come can experience Wright's magnificent piece of work. For further information, or to reserve tickets, visit the Crystal Bridges' website.
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.
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.