“The Farnsworth House is a Modernist icon that Mies van der Rohe designed to be inseparable from its idyllic natural setting. Van der Rohe recognized that the site was in a flood plain, and that is why it was built on stilts, however ongoing development as well as recent and increasingly more severe storms within the Fox River watershed have created an serious, ongoing to threat the structure. In the last few days the high water mark reached within 18 inches of the finished floor of Farnsworth House but are receding for now. National Trust staff have implemented their standard flood response protocols, including turning off the power, lifting furniture, raising and protecting the curtains among other protocols and they will continue to monitor the situation. This comes just as the house had been returned to the original interior design created by Edith Farnsworth herself as a part of Edith Farnsworth Reconsidered exhibit focused on the extraordinary woman who commissioned the house. The pandemic has significantly delayed plans for public viewing of the installation within the Farnsworth House but people around the world can engage with this digitally on the Farnsworth House’s social media channels. “The lower deck of the house has been completely flooded and our conservators estimate $500,000 will be needed to repair to steel perimeter channels, interstitial concrete, waterproofing, drains and the travertine pavers. The National Trust has begun a project to repair the lower deck, but we can only continue if additional funding sustains these efforts.”To be clear, the initiative to repair the lower deck of the Farnsworth House was instigated prior to this week’s flooding events as part of a multi-year sequence of “projects that are crucial to the stewardship of the site and ensure it endures for future generations.” This so-called Lower Terrace Restoration Project, which underwent feasibility and investigative tests in 2019 and early this year, “will be a complex and expensive project which aligns with the National Trust’s other long-term plans for the site,” explained the organization, which welcomes over 11,000 visitors to the private weekend refuge-turned-museum annually. The National Trust acquired the Farnsworth House in 2003 after Peter Palumbo, the home’s previous longtime owner who purchased the retreat from Edith Farnsworth in 1972, put it on the market and its fate took a turn for ominous. As mentioned by Malone-France, visitors can still virtually tour and learn more about the Farnsworth House through the National Trust’s digital platforms; an array of historic sites managed by or affiliated with the National Trust are receiving special attention in May as part of Virtual Preservation Month.
Posts tagged with "National Trust for Historic Preservation":
Per statistics calculated by the American Alliance of Museums and shared by the Preservation Leadership Forum, museums, including historic cultural sites, are losing roughly $33 million per day due to coronavirus-related closures. This endangered sector supports 726,000 annual jobs and contributes $50 billion to the economy each year. On March 13, the National Trust announced its national staff would transition to remote working, and that tours and programming would be suspended at all nine stewardship sites that it owns and operates: the Glass House, the Farnsworth House, Lyndhurst, Villa Finale, the Woodrow Wilson House, the Gaylord Building, Shadows-on-the-Teche, Chesterwood, and Woodlawn Plantation/the Pope Leighey House. At the time, co-stewardship and contracted affiliate-operated historic sites had been left to decide whether or not to continue operating based on local safety restrictions and other factors, although all 27 historic sites in the National Trust's portfolio are now listed as being closed to visitors. In the meantime, visitors can remotely visit a slew of historic sites across the country, some rarely open to the public, as part of the National Trust’s inaugural Virtual Preservation Month. Kicking off with a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House in Virginia, a new virtual experience at a different National Trust Historic Site, designated National Treasure, or participating site with the Historic Artists' Homes and Studios program will be unveiled each day throughout the month of May.
Throughout the month of May, @SavingPlaces is bringing you the very best in preservation from coast to coast, offering 31 days of rich digital experiences at historic places to inspire, delight, and entertain you. Join us for Virtual #PreservationMonth. https://t.co/4IY7bft8n2— Saving Places (@SavingPlaces) May 5, 2020
"The giant glass walls of the living room felt suspended in space; I could sit warm by the fireplace and watch a snowstorm outside. Out or in, I had expanses for play. And when my sister wed, the house was entertainment space—scores of guests dined on the terrace as I ran to greet Philip Johnson, striding across the meadow, an Andy Warhol array of Marylin Monres dangling under his arm.”The picturesque vision of the Gores House still exists today, largely thanks to the family’s commitment to its preservation. In 2002, the site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. But it was long-deemed an architectural marvel well before that—in 1964, the Connecticut chapter of the American Institute of Architects gave Gores an Award of Merit for the project. Even though it was “planned and built more than a decade ago,” they said, “this house has become a classic example of the Wright tradition adapted to the environment of New England.”
The Gores House may resemble a landlocked version of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, which was built over 10 years earlier, but many have come to see it as a perfect combination of the international-style work done by Wright, Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, and Marcel Breuer. A single-story home with wood framing, the building stretches 130 feet long on a 4-acre landscape. It features a flat roof, floor-to-ceiling glass walls, and a stone base in places. In some ways, the Gores House even mimics the Glass House, which Gores worked on with Johnson, and was built around the same time in the late 1940s. This isn’t the first time this year that the National Trust has granted a conservation easement to a modernist New Canaan residence. In June, the “design intent” of Noyes II by Eliot Noyes was put under protection by the preservation organization.View this post on Instagram
Stephanie Meeks, the eighth president and first woman chief executive officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, announced this week that she will step down at the end of 2018, after more than eight years in office.
Jay Clemens, vice chair of the organization’s board of trustees, has been named to lead a nationwide search for Meeks’ successor, which will begin right away. Clemens will be joined by a search committee made up of four board members, working with Howe-Lewis, an executive search firm based in New York.
Founded in 1949, the National Trust is a privately funded, nonprofit organization that works to preserve and celebrate America’s historic places. Meeks began as CEO in July of 2010 and leaves at a time when preservation-oriented builders, planners, architects, and public officials are constantly threatened by lack of funds and the loss of local tax credits to encourage preservation. Many local governments have far more preservation projects seeking funds than they can afford to support.
In response, the Trust recently completed the largest fundraising campaign in its history, drawing $305 million to support its mission. Meeks also led an effort to reposition the Trust’s holdings of 27 historic sites and add a new one, Thornton Gardens in southern California. The organization’s annual list of Most Endangered Historic Places continues to draw attention to landmarks and districts that face an uncertain future.
“With integrity and vision, Stephanie has guided this organization and its essential and important work to higher ground,” said Trust chairman Timothy P. Whalen, in a statement. “Places that matter to all Americans in this country are more secure as a result of her determined and skillful leadership…Each of us on the board are grateful for and admire all that Stephanie has accomplished for preservation in the United States.”
Meeks “brought a fresh perspective to a valued, legacy organization, seeking to revitalize the National Trust for a new century,” said Robert Ivy, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the American Institute of Architects.
Besides overseeing the fundraising campaign, Meeks completed a five-year strategic plan for the organization, moved its headquarters to the Watergate complex in Washington, D. C., established a program called National Treasures to support preservation efforts, sought ways to assist America’s cities through its ReUrbanism initiative, and launched an African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. With Kevin Murphy, she co-authored a 2016 book published by Island Press, entitled The Past and Future City: How Historic Preservation is Reviving America’s Communities.Accouncement for the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, launched by the Trust under Stephanie Meeks's leadership (Courtesy National Trust for Historic Preservation)
Meeks could not be reached for comment in time for this article, but she noted in a message on the Trust’s website that she believed the completion of the fundraising campaign was an appropriate time to bring in new leadership. She noted that the campaign exceeded its goal by $105 million, including four gifts of $10 million or more and 26 greater than $1 million.
“It is against this backdrop of success that I have decided now is the right time to pass the baton to the next leader of the National Trust,” she wrote. “The end of a campaign is a natural inflection point for any organization, and I believe that the best time for a transition is now so that my successor can take the reins at this moment of strength and build toward an even stronger future.”
In a separate message, she thanked the many partners who have helped the Trust realize its goals.
“It has been a privilege to lead an incredible organization of talented and committed individuals dedicated to preserving and honoring the places that tell our full American story,” she said. “As I reflect on the results we have achieved together, I am deeply moved and grateful for the opportunity to contribute to an organization whose important work will continue to shape the cultural landscape of our nation.”
Meeks’ announcement set off speculation within preservation circles about who might take her place. In one government preservation office, there was talk that President Donald Trump’s daughter, Tiffany Trump, may be in line to take Meeks’ place. Others noted that the organization is not a federal agency and the President does not have the authority to appoint its top executive.