New Home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust

(via Blair Kamin’s Cityscapes)

This seems like good news: The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust will be moving to new offices in the Rookery in Downtown Chicago.

Currently housed on the second floor of Wright’s studio in Oak Park, some of the staff, including new president Celeste Adams, will be moving into Chicago’s Loop. The new offices will be located in the first floor, right off the central space re-modeled by Wright in 1907. The Rookery was itself briefly home to Wright’s offices. The offices will open in December and will be joined by a Wright gift shop in 2011.

The best news is that the move will open up new spaces for Wright fans to explore. The upper story of the Studio will be opened up, allowing visitors to experience the extent of the soaring space; the Preservation Trust also plans to offer free tours of a small portion of the Rookery, beyond the atrium that is currently open to the public (also the presence of the gift shop will make gawkers welcome — I’ve gotten nasty looks from Rookery security guards more than once).

The move will almost certainly raise the profile of Frank Lloyd Wright in downtown Chicago — look how busy the CAF store on Michigan Ave. is — and will surely raise the profile of the Rookery building to casual visitors to Chicago.

The Preservation Trust stressed that the move from Oak Park isn’t a sign of abandonment; Kamin quoted the board chairman, Jim Schiefelbein: “there’s no abandonment of Oak Park here. It’s our base. It’s our foundation. It’s where our roots are. We’re not leaving. You can’t do the things we want to do without moving some people around.”