Tagged: Frank Lloyd Wright

This Week

A weekly round-up of my favorite preservation related stories from around the web and in the newsClick on the title of each story to jump through to the original article/blog post.


SC Johnson Frank Lloyd Wright Research Tower – The Journal Times


SC Johnson Headquarters Research Tower. Image via SC Johnson

“SCJ is currently in the middle of an eight-year, $30 million restoration and conservation plan.  ‘Our family’s long partnership with Frank Lloyd Wright led to these architectural treasures that we’re honored to work in every day,’ company President and CEO Fisk.  Johnson said Friday via email. ‘The Research Tower represents the completion of the work that Wright began here in the mid-1930s with our Administration Building.  As we have made significant investments in these historic buildings and expanded our free public tour program, including the Tower was the natural next step.'”

Locally Owned Businesses Can Help Communities Thrive and Survive Climate Change – The Grist

“Cities where small, locally owned businesses account for a relatively large share of the economy have stronger social networks, more engaged citizens, and better success solving problems, according to several recently published studies.  And in the face of climate change, those are just the sort of traits that communities most need if they are to survive massive storms, adapt to changing conditions, find new ways of living more lightly on the planet, and, most important, nurture a vigorous citizenship that can drive major changes in policy.”

Never Altered Modern in Cali to be Demolished – Curbed Los Angeles


[Photograph courtesy of Los Angeles Modern Auctions; original photograph by Julius Shulman of the J. R. Davidson Kingsley residence, to be sold with the corresponding lot on Sunday, May 19, 2013]

“On Sunday, Los Angeles Modern Auctions is selling off the custom-built furniture from the Kingsley Residence in Pacific Palisades, designed by JR Davidson, the underrated architect who designed three houses for the Case Study House program (Numbers 1, 11, and 15). Why? Because the 1947 house has recently sold and the new owner is planning to demolish it very, very soon, according to the seller (members of the Kingsley family). Boo! Hiss! According to a LAMA press release, this is “One of the last remaining Davidson houses in its original form … The Kingsley residence was never altered in terms of the structure, and aside from minor updates by the architect in the 1950s, the interior of the home remained almost identical to the [Julius] Shulman photographs for over 60 years.”

Boom or Bust? Saving Rhode Island’s ‘Superman’ Building – NPR


“The iconic Industrial Trust Tower, knows as the “Superman building,” stands in downtown Providence, R.I. The art deco-style skyscraper, the tallest in the state, lost its last tenant when the bank’s lease expired in April.”

“In Rhode Island, the issue [shrinking revenues, lost jobs and general economic malaise]has come to a head around the future of the once-iconic Industrial Trust Tower, or, as it is known more affectionately, the Superman building — named for its resemblance to the building the Man of Steel leaped “in a single bound” in the . The building is empty for the first time in 85 years, and casts a shadow over a city struggling to reinvent its economy.”

Repurposing Streets with No Name – Rustwire

“In a number of cities, there are certain derelict streets that are nearly denuded of dwellings or businesses. Desolate and forlorn, these streets resemble something out of a post war apocalypse. Detroit may be the poster child du jour of such stark and sad emptiness, but there are many other examples across the Rust Belt and elsewhere. What to do with neglected streets has long been a source of planning discussion and conjecture.  In some instances entire abandoned neighborhoods have or are being converted to urban agriculture or community gardens.  However, this avid bicycle commuter has another suggestion for a few of these lowly streets without names – repurpose them to active transportation byways.”

This Week

A weekly round-up of my favorite preservation related stories from around the web and in the newsClick on the title of each story to jump through to the original article/blog post.


Shocking Demolition of Frank Lloyd Wright Design – Hyperallergic


“Hoffman Show Room in 1955 (photographed by Ezra Stoller, via steinerag.com”

The Frank Lloyd Wright designed Mercedes Showroom (ca. 1957) on Park Avenue was quietly demolished this week. The showroom, which had been vacated by Mercedes in 2012 at the end of their lease. “As Crain’s New York reported, on March 22 the new owners were called by the Landmarks Preservation Commission to convey the city’s consideration of designating the showroom a landmark. Just after this on March 28 is when the owners of the building, Midwood Investment & Management and Oestreicher Properties, reportedly contacted the Department of Buildings for a demolition permit, which was approved that day. As Matt Chaban with Crain’s wrote: ‘Ironically, it was the Landmarks Commission’s good intentions, and a disconnect between it and the Department of Buildings, that doomed the dealership.'”

Cleveland Celebrates Superman, Its Hometown Hero – NPR


“Panels from Action Comics No. 1, the first Superman comic, adorn the site of illustrator Joe Shuster’s former apartment building, long since demolished.” Image via NPR

Cleveland is known for a lot of things: its rust belt city status, losing Lebron to the Miami Heat, Harvey Pekar, the Indians, Rock and Roll… Superman? Not so much. But, as it turns out,  Superman’s creators Jerry Siegal and Joe Shuster are Cleveland’s native sons. As we approach the 75th anniversary of the “Man of  Steel,” Cleveland is looking to promote Superman’s roots. ‘There’s only one Cleveland, there’s only one Superman. And why is it that we don’t embrace our legacy, our past, our history?’ asks Mike Olszewski, who heads the Siegel and Shuster Society.” Check out this fun article to hear how Cleveland plans to commemorate its super hero heritage.

The Problem With Calling Cities ‘Post-Industrial’ – Atlantic Cities

“Former heavy manufacturing hubs around the Great Lakes like Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cleveland, and Milwaukee often get roped together under the heading of “post-industrial” (when, that is, we’re not otherwise identifying them by their prevalence of rust). The term poses at least two problems, though: Industry still exists in many of these places, and the very notion of defining them by their relationship to the past can hamstring us from planning more thoughtfully for their future.”

The Return: What Happens When You Revisit a Memorable Place? – Preservation Nation Blog

“I recently spotted this great piece about re-reading books that we loved. Author Guy Gavriel Kay says, ‘There’s an anxiety I feel when picking up a book I loved when young, preparing to read it again. I think it has to do with how we define ourselves, in part, by what we’ve loved. Books (not only books, of course) that reach deeply into us at twelve or seventeen or twenty-two shape the person we see ourselves as being.’ Substitute ‘book’ with ‘historic places,’ and his words still resonate.”  How do you feel about historic and/or significant places when you revisit them as an adult? Are there any places too sacred to your childhood to mar with an adult’s critical eye?

This Week

A weekly round-up of my favorite preservation related stories from around the web and in the newsClick on the title of each story to jump through to the original article/blog post.

Louis Sullivan: The Struggle for American Architecture – Preservation in Mississippi

First, watch the trailer for this documentary about Louis Sullivan. Second, watch the documentary.  The cinematography shows Sullivan’s beautiful and abundant details to their best advantage – it’s just a gorgeous film! And it tells the fascinating story about an uncompromising artist and the impact he made on American architecture. He may not be as famous as Frank Lloyd Wright, but Wright may never have achieved the greatness he attained without Sullivan pioneering the way.

National Register Bulletin 38 vs National Register Bulletin 36 – Tom King

Tom King, telling it as he sees it (as usual).  “I said I did not believe that Congress enacted the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) in order to provide opportunities for quasi-academic specialists to engage in pedantic debates about words use in technical publications. NHPA was enacted, I think, to ensure within reason that government would respect the cultural values citizens ascribe to their surroundings. In the 1980s, seeing such values becoming subordinated to the narrow interests of archaeologists and architectural historians, Pat Parker and I proposed, and with the support of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and ultimately NPS, wrote what became NRB 38. A few years later, another arm of the NPS cultural resource program (an organism with many arms but no brain) issued Preservation Brief 36 about the care and feeding of cultural landscapes. Unsurprisingly, nobody in NPS tried to coordinate anything about the two publications, which created a fruitful field in which to grow pickable nits and splittable hairs. So now we are back again to a situation in which specialists can expend their often well-remunerated time expounding on technical irrelevancies, while the public and its representatives nod off or grope for understanding.”

Ciudad Perdida: The Urbanism of the Lost City – Time Tells

Ciudad Perdida

Ciudad Perdida. Image via Time Tells

When we think of  cities and urbanism, we tend to think of well-defined skylines, roads, railways, shipyards etc. “The modern city was about effortless transportation and commerce, about erasing barriers to speed, whether vertical or horizontal. The skyscraper and the highway, massive and modern.”  But in this blog post, Vince Michael shows us 6th century urbanism in Columbia.

R is for Railing – Preservation in Pink


Image via PiP

In this post PiP gives us a rundown of historical railings, some common problems and a few common solutions. Railings might not be something we notice about an historic structure, but they can be a defining feature. Inappropriate changes or replacements can dramatically alter the appearance of a structure. Make sure to read the comment from Mary Landis about the Merchant’s House Museum in New York City, which recently discovered its iron fence was panted green in the 19th century!

This Week

A weekly round-up of my favorite preservation related stories from around the web and in the newsClick on the title of each story to jump through to the original article/blog post.

Legendary Hollywood Stars At Home – Architectural Digest

Arthur Miller Marilyn Monroe

Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe. Image via AD

AD revisits the residences of stars from Tinseltown’s golden age, including Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and Jayne Mansfield.”

Bernice Abbott, Photographer of New York City – The Reconstructionists


Henry Street, Manhattan. Image via Brain Pickings

“Long before photography became “the people’s art,” Berenice Abbott (July 17, 1898 – December 9, 1991) took a large-format camera to the streets to forge a new dialogue between the urban landscape and its inhabitants through her stark black-and-white photographs.”

Frank Lloyd Wright House Could Move From NJ to Italy – Time

“As any weather watcher can tell you, it’s been a rough couple years for New Jersey. Tropical storm Irene, Hurricane Sandy and the winter storm known as Nemo have all passed through the state; and each time the Millstone River floods it means extensive repairs to the house. The Tarantinos, who are both architects, are determined to preserve the so-called Bachman Wilson House — which means moving it to higher ground.”


William Bor’s Route 66 Miniatures – Route 66 News


Gay Parita station in Paris Springs, Mo. Image via Route 66 News

Dutch artist  Willem Bor builds detailed replicas of Route 66 landmarks in miniature. Recently delivered four new models to the US museums.  Three models will be displayed in the Route 66 Museum in Lebanon, Mo. The fourth model will be on display in the Pontiac Oakland Automobile Museum in Pontiac, Ill.

Truman’s White House Renovation –  Preservation in Mississippi


Image via Preservation in Mississippi

“It’s become popular Hollywood sport to show the destruction of the White House in almost ever disaster movie. But check out these real life photographs from the National Archives of the gutted building during the Truman renovation in 1950. Be warned, when I say ‘gutted,’ I mean gutted. These pictures make you question  all that about ‘this president sat here and walked these floors.'”

P is for Place – Preservation in Pink

“Not every place is a historic resource, but every place can be significant in someone’s life. And great places, loved places make for strong communities and a better quality of life.”

This Week

A weekly round-up of my favorite preservation related stories from around the web and in the newsClick on the title of each story to jump through to the original article/blog post.


$9 Million in Tax Credits Awarded to 7 Cincinnati Area Projects – Urban Cincy


Eden Park Pump Station Brewery. Rendering via UrbanCincy

Seven Cincinnati-area developments have been awarded nearly $9 million in tax credits from the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) through the state’s historic preservation program. Thanks to the allotted credits, Eden Park’s 118-year-old pump station (one of my favorite Cincinnati structures) may soon see new life as a micro-brewery!


Phoenix Mayor ‘Gets’ Modern Architecture- Hello Beautiful!

Frank Lloyd Wright David and Gladys Wright house Phoenix Arizona 1952

Threatened FLW House in Phoenix. Image via Hello Beautiful!

An interesting comparison between mayoral reactions to threatened architectural treasures in Phoenix and Chicago.  Phoenix’s mayor worked to save its Frank Lloyd Wright house, while Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel came out to support the demolition of Prentice Women’s Hospital.

Philadelphia Preservation Suffers from a  “Culture of Despair” – Plan Philly

“I think the preservation needs of this city are huge. The city’s official preservation apparatus is in real trouble, and has been that way for a while. This is especially apparent to outsiders. Architectural historians marvel that buildings by nationally famous architects, like Napoleon Le Brun or Samuel Sloan, are constantly on the chopping block. But even ordinary visitors who know little or nothing about architectural history are astounded to learn that buildings like the Church of the Assumption on Spring Garden Street are in imminent danger, or that the 18th-century housing stock can come down with some regularity.

There is a real culture of despair, or resignation, when it comes to preservation in this town. It’s not that people don’t care; it’s either that they assume that the system is working, or have given up on it ever doing so.

Philadelphia has become a real can’t-do kind of place, unwilling or unable to think creatively about preservation and adaptive reuse.”

Historic Houses Struggling to Attract Visitors – The Washington Post

That historic house museums are struggling for revenue and relevance in the digital age isn’t a shock to anyone anymore. In this article, the Washington Post explores some possible solutions for adapting to a new age.