Sean Malone to Leave in Early 2016

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is beginning the search for a new CEO. Sean Malone, in the position since 2012 will be leaving at the end of his current two-year contract.

Jeff Grip, vice chairman of the foundation and search committee chairman, listed among Malone's achievements during his tenure a mastery for fundraising and making people care about Taliesin West. The foundation's annual fundraising is about $1 million, almost triple the foundation's previous annual fundraising amount, Grip said.

"He's pretty unusual in the world of non-profit leadership," Grip said. "Given the restoration needs at both Taliesin and Taliesin West, I think that skill set is going to be front and center for the search committee."

Malone has made a number of dramatic changes to the organization: begining the move to independance for the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture (controvsial, but needed to retain accredidation), negotiating the deal to protect and secure the archives with partnership with Columbia University and the Museum of Modern Art. He also energized fundraising, tripling the amount raised.


A new Frank Lloyd Wright house has been discovered in Shorewood (as suburb of Milwaukee) Wisconsin. Built in 1917, its an example of one of the American System-Built Homes, a collaboration between Wright and builder Arthur Richards. Buyers could choose between seven standardized models and the Richards Company provided all of the needed pre-cut lumber and the approved contractors to built the house.

The house was discovered by Richard G. Johnson (you can read the full story here) and confirmed by Mark Lilek, Curator of American System-Built Home (and it's not confirmed, but confirmed -- seriously, read the full story).

The interior of the house has been unaltered and well-preserved. The exterior has had some alterations but it still recognizably Wright.

There's a nice gallery of photos at the above link.

Rent a Sullivan

I suspect that most of my readers cannot afford the $1 million + price of a Wright-designed house (if this suspicion is wrong, let me know -- I'll reconsider my lack of a donation button on this site) but if you can swing $2,275 a month, you can live in a Louis Sullivan building (technically, live behind a Sullivan-designed facade).

There's an apartment available in the former Karuse Music Store on Lincoln Ave. in Chicago.

The building was restored in 2007. About the facade, Blair Kamin wrote:

Sullivan gave it this oomph with a deeply recessed entry and, above, an explosion of ornament -- an oversize, key-shaped decoration, complete with the letter "K," which stood for the patron, William Krause. The balance of horizontals and verticals is every bit as effective as at Sullivan's old Carson Pirie Scott & Co. store at State and Madison Streets, but here it bursts beyond the building's frame, as if Sullivan, who late in his career was restricted to small-scale commissions such as small-town banks, could not contain himself.

The balance of horizontals and verticals is every bit as effective as at Sullivan’s old Carson Pirie Scott & Co. store at State and Madison Streets, but here it bursts beyond the building’s frame, as if Sullivan, who late in his career was restricted to small-scale commissions such as small-town banks, could not contain himself

Millard House (I) For Sale

The George Millard House in Highland Park, Illinois has returned to the real estate market (it has been listed off and on for four years) with a new price: $799,000.

The house sits on 2/3 of an acre, has four bedrooms and 68 original art glass windows. It was built for bookseller George Millard. Millard would move to Pasadena, California two years after the completion of the house, where his wife would commission another house from Wright, La Miniatura.

Here's the listing.

Tour Wright in SE Michigan

Lawrence Technoloical University --owner of Wright's Affleck House -- in Southfield, Michigan is hosting a birthday celebration for Frank Lloyd Wright that features tours of three Wright houses in the metro-Detroit area -- the Affleck House, Turkel House and Melvyn Smith House. The tour is June 7, begins at 11:30AM and costs $125 per person. transportation by luxury motorcoach is provided; the tour of each house are guided. It is limited to 150 participants. The tours are followed by hors d'euvres and birthday cake. A portion of the proceeds will go towards the restoration of the Affleck House.

All three houses are Usonian, though the Turkel House is a rare example of a two-story Usonian. The Turkel House --currently undergoing a thorough restoration -- is a private home and generally open for tours. The Smith House is owned by a foundation established by its original owners and is open occasionally. The Lawrence Tech-owned Affleck house is open for tours from April to November.

Henderson House for Sale

Historic American Buildings Survey,

Historic American Buildings Survey,

I think I've got a new favorite Frank Lloyd Wright house.

The Henderson House is on the market for $995,000.

Built in 1901, the house is an excellent example of all the best features of the Prairie Style. Across the street is Walter Burley Griffin's first house. The house has been restored in recent years.

Here is a page with photos of the interior of the house taken soon after construction was complete and some of the earliest surviving photos of the exterior.

David Wright House -- In the News Again

The David & Gladys Wright House -- designed by Wright for his son in 1952 -- is a dramatic precursor to the Guggenheim Museum; it's one of Wright's most interesting, innovative works. Just a few years ago, it was saved from two bozos who planned to demolish it and replace it with two suburban houses. It was saved from destruction by Zach Rawling, who purchased it for more than two million dollars and has spent more money to restore the house to its 1952 appearance and he bought two neighboring houses, razed them, and is recreating the landscape around the house to Wrignt's original plan. His plan is to turn the house into a museum and educational site.

Some of the residents of the neighborhood feel that the plans for the house -- plans that include small scale cultural events and hosting for private affairs like weddings -- will be an intrusive commercialization of their neighborhood. AZCentral has an excellent article on the history of house, the restoration and the plans for its future use.

“They’re quiet people. They’re respectful people. They’re just people who love architecture,” she said. Plus, “There’s a significant buffer around that building.”

Unity Temple Restoration

Unity Temple, Historic American Building Survey, The Library of Congress,

Unity Temple, Historic American Building Survey, The Library of Congress,

This summer, Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple will undergo a $23 million restoration that will include both exterior and interior work and a significant upgrade to the building's heating a cooling system. During the work, tours will be suspended and the congregation will hold services in another location.

Exterior repairs include repairs to the concrete and skylights. Wright's system of downspouts was inadequate, allowing water damage to mar the concrete and a lack of expansion joints has caused cracking. In 1973 the concrete was carefully repaired and this work preserved the original appearance of the exterior, but the following decades has seen further damage -- the restoration master plan included extensive research to allow the new repairs to blend seamlessly into the 1973 surface. The building's skylights will also be repaired.

The interior of Unity Temple has not fared as well as the exterior. Wright put considerable thought into the textures and appearance of the interior surfaces and the effect of decorative plaster was an important aspect of his design. But a century of repairs -- including some surfaces covered with latex paint (yikes!) -- has altered much of Wright's intended affect. The restoration will remove the repaired surfaces and finished and restore the original appearance with recreated finishes. The art glass -- original and largely still in good condition -- will also be examined and repaired as needed.

Also included in the work is a new geothermal system. This will not only dramatically increase the building's energy efficiency (heating the building has been a significant expense for the congregation) but will, for the first time, allow the church to be cooled in the summer months. The system will also provide a means of humidity control that will help to preserve both the interior and exterior surfaces. The geothermal system will have no exterior equipment and will operate silently.

The restoration master plan has been in development for nearly 15 years, and is the work Harboe Architects. Gunny Harboe and his firm have extensive experience with major, historically important restoration projects (including S. R. Crown Hall on the campus of IIT and the Marquette Building and the Sullivan Center), and the firm has extensive experience with Frank Lloyd Wright sites (including the Robie House, Bach House, Emmons House).

During the restoration, tours of Unity Temple will be suspended, the final tour will be May 30, with plans to resume in 2017. The last Sunday service will be held June 7 and future services will be held at the United Lutheran Church.

You can donate to the restoration efforts here.

Unity Temple, Historic American Building Survey, The Library of Congress,

Unity Temple, Historic American Building Survey, The Library of Congress,

Unity Temple, Historic american Building Survey, The Library of congress.

Unity Temple, Historic american Building Survey, The Library of congress.

SC Johnson: Awesomer

Each year, SC Johnson creates a special, limited run exhibition of items from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation -- the fruits of a 2011 agreement. This year's "At Home with Frank Lloyd Wright" exhibit is built around 50 lithographs from the Wasmuth Portfolio along with artifacts from the Dana Thomas House and the Heath House (both houses were featured in the Wasmuth Portfollio).

SC Johnson also offers tours of its Wright-designed buildings -- including the Research Tower, which had been inaccessible for years but is now open for tours on a limited schedule.

Check Mark Hertzberg's site for photos, find more information here and schedule your tour (required) here.

Wisconsin -- Tuesday is My Birthday, Here's What You're Going to Do

Tueaday is also Election Day in Wisconsin -- so, you know, go vote.

In Wisconsin you can register up to and including election day (same-day registration -- it must be awesome, I'd never lose an election)

The races on the ballot are primarily local, but these are the important races. Some of Wednesday's newly-elected city councilmen/women may be future newly-elected state senators.

There is also a sprited contest for a state Supreme Court seat --about which I, of course, have an opinion: