Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Emil Bach House 7415 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago Posted by Hello

Emil Bach House is up for auction.

The Sun-Times reports today that the Emil Bach House at 7415 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago will be auctioned on March 8th by Inland Real Estate Auctions. The auction will be open-outcry with a minimium bid of $750,000.00. The seller will have a reserve and will be able to reject the top offer if it does not meet expectations.

One of the last of Wright's designs for a small urban house, this residence combines elements of the Prairie style with a compact plan well suited for its mid-block site. The house was designed for Emil Bach, who was co-owner of the Bach Brick Company and a great admirer of Wright's work. The house was designated a Chicago landmark in 1977.

Read the article in the Sun-Times

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Park Inn Restoration Project

Let March 8 be the date the Park Inn moves forward again

After a few days of ruffled egos and mounting frustrations, those concerned with the Park Inn restoration can sit back and catch their breath.While far from a done deal, we're hopeful that the Park Inn restoration project can get back on track.

The Park Inn, of course, represents a major chapter in the history of Mason City and the architectural world. It is the last hotel anywhere designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It is an extraordinarily important — dare we say invaluable? — piece of property.

Yet years of neglect had taken their toll; the building was a wreck. Plans were made for its restoration; the city sold the building to the private Mason City Foundation with the stipulation that it be renovated in five years.

But such projects are enormously complicated and expensive; this one is estimated at $10 million. What's more, the foundation changed leaders, and the new management — to its credit — spent time retooling the organization to improve efficiency.So the foundation came to the council asking for five more years.

In the meantime, the Chamber of Commerce — like the rest of us, eager to make sure the project is completed — went public in urging appointment of a project manager and formation of a plan it said would bolster public confidence.

Read more at GLOBE GAZETTE

Photograph from www.peterbeers.net

The Park Inn Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Wingspread, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
 Posted by Hello

Wright House, Wrong Roof

High-tech solutions for the architect's notoriously leaky design at Wingspread

In 1939 in Racine, Wisconsin, Herbert "Hib" Johnson threw a housewarming party at Wingspread, his new 14,000-square-foot residence designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

As dinner was being served in the great hall — a quintessential Wnght creation with sweeping curves and a soaring skylight-ringed ceiling suspended from the central chimney like a circus tent — a thunderstorm erupted, and water began dripping steadily into the room.

Johnson, CEO of the S.C. Johnson Wax Company, phoned Wnght in a rage. "I'm sitting here with some friends and distinguished guests," he fumed, "and the roof is leaking right on top of my head!"

"Well Hib " Wright replied, "why don't you move your chair?

Read the entire article at THIS OLD HOUSE

Friday, February 11, 2005

Wisconsin Historical Society Aquires Rare Photographs

The society is planning a daylong public showing Tuesday in the Governor's Conference Room at the State Capitol.

There are 32 photos in all, and they show the first Taliesin, Wright's Spring Green area home and studio, in the spring of 1912. Several of the more historically and architecturally significant photos will be scanned and made into blown-up prints for the exhibit. The tentative plan is also to have the photo album itself on exhibit, perhaps inside a glass case for security. The society hopes to have other Wright-related items on display as well.


Sunday, February 06, 2005

A lesson on symmetry from Frank Lloyd Wright

Early in the spring of 1958 I received a telephone call from Frank Lloyd Wright. He announced that he was in New Canaan, Conn., where I was then living, visiting the house he had designed for Joyce and John Rayward, and he invited me there for lunch.

We were strolling around the grounds when Wright suddenly announced that he would like to visit his old friend, Philip Johnson. A call was made. Johnson was in and would be delighted to have us come over right away.

At the Glass House, the afternoon settled down to ample Scotch, good-natured jibes and a discussion of the history of architecture. Using a large drawing pad, Wright gave an illustrated lecture, guiding us from bamboo to marble to steel. He talked on and on, pausing only to replenish his Scotch.

In the center of the living room was a statue on a pedestal. Still talking, Wright strolled over and pushed the statue to one side.

Johnson calmly pushed the statue back into position as soon as he could. In turn Wright pushed it back. This went on for about an hour.

By then Wright was discussing the failure of modern architects to use steel in a new and daring fashion. As he talked, he was sketching the perfect example: a detailed drawing of what looked suspiciously like Johnson's Seagram building.

Just then, in the middle of his illustrated tirade, he caught sight of Johnson returning the statue once again to dead center. Wright couldn't take it anymore:

"Philip!" he roared, "such symmetry is reserved only for God!"

Pedro E. Guerrero, Florence

The writer was Frank Lloyd Wright's photographer for nearly two decades (1940-1959). He worked from his home in New Canaan, Conn., where Johnson built his Glass House. Johnson died Jan. 25. He was 98.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

She was the only woman to put a museum on Fifth Avenue."

Everyone knows the name Frank Lloyd Wright, probably the 20th century's most famous architect, but most are unfamiliar with the name Hilla Rebay. A non-objective painter of some note, her true legacy lies in her visionary spirit; she was co-founder of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, successor to the Museum of Non-Objective Painting. In Wright's words, "She was the only woman to put a museum on Fifth Avenue."

Born Hildegard Anna Augusta Elizabeth Rebay von Ehrenwiesen to a titled family in Strasbourg, Alsace on May 31, 1890, Rebay began drawing portraits at five, and went on to study in Dusseldorf, Munich, Paris and Rome. She immigrated to the United States in 1927.

"Hilla Rebay-A Baroness in Westport" is the evocative title of the Westport Historical Society's exhibition dedicated to this remarkable woman and is on view from Feb. 6 thru May 15.

Curated by Joyce Thompson and sponsored by David and Joyce Thompson and the Aspetuck Land Trust, it will feature Rebay's paintings and pochoirs (prints reproduced from collages in her Examplaire Portfolio by a special printmaking process), and the artists she fostered and promoted-Vasily Kandinsky, Rudolf Bauer, Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, Ralph Scarlett, Ilya Bolotowsky, Alexander Calder and Victor Vasarely.

An unusual addition to the exhibition, on loan from Westonite Pat Heifitz, are prints of Wright's plans for turning Rebay's New York City town house into a temporary museum. Wright's idea was to build an annex where the town house stood and later, when the museum was built, incorporate the annex into the final structure. He drew the plans, gave them to Rebay but Guggenheim died before he was able to grant permission for the annex, so it was never built and the plans remained with her.

After Rebay's death at an estate sale held at her Westport home, Heifitz's teen-age son, Peter, excited to own drawings by THE Frank Lloyd Wright, purchased them for 50 cents. The drawings were authenticated by Allen Gelbin, a Westport architect and former student at Taliesin West, Wright's winter home, school, archival center and architectural offices for former Wright students. Copies were given to Taliesin West too, as they were unaware of their existence. The originals are stored in their achives. This is the first time the reproductions of these prints have been exhibited in public.

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