John Thorpe AIA Passed Away

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pharding
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John Thorpe AIA Passed Away

Post by pharding »

The Frank Lloyd Wright world, and all of us who knew and worked with him on a personal level, professional level, and through the Conservancy have suffered a great loss yesterday. John Thorpe passed away yesterday afternoon. Throughout his lengthy career John did more for the preservation of Frank Lloyd Wright's Legacy and Buildings than any other Restoration Architect or person. He was incredibly self-less and altruistic in what he did for FLW's building homeowners and the legacy of Wright. He was an exceedingly warm, charming individual who was blessed with wisdom in dealing with all things Frank Lloyd Wright. He was one of the original committee formed to purchase and restore the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio. The restoration committee originally had no money so volunteers did the work, including John. His Heurtley House Restoration is the finest restoration of a FLW house. He has been on the the board of the FLWBC from its inception with minor stints to take a break. He donated a massive amount time to the organization. John was always the voice of reason in dealing with FLW challenges and issues. He was instrumental in many of the successes of the FLWBC over the last 30 years. He will be greatly missed by many of us. Rest in peace John. We appreciate all that you did and your inspiring personality.
Last edited by pharding on Tue Jan 26, 2016 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

Mark Hertzberg
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Post by Mark Hertzberg »

Thank you Paul for this tribute to John. He mentored and encouraged me when I began my Wright adventures.

Mark Hertzberg
Mark Hertzberg

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

That's very sad to hear. John Thorpe was a gentleman and a scholar, and will be missed.

outside in
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Location: chicago

Post by outside in »

John never stopped giving his time, energy, concern and intelligence to the Conservancy, the Home and Studio, and Oak Park. He always seemed to be the person that came up with the good idea; ideas that resulted in the preservation of numerous FLW buildings. I have always had a great deal of respect for him and his efforts.
Last edited by outside in on Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

SREcklund
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Post by SREcklund »

We should all hope to be even a percentage of the asset to the Wright community that John Thorpe was. He will be missed ...
Docent, Hollyhock House - Hollywood, CA
Humble student of the Master

"Youth is a circumstance you can't do anything about. The trick is to grow up without getting old." - Frank Lloyd Wright

Mark Hertzberg
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Post by Mark Hertzberg »

I have posted a tribute to John, with photos, to www.wrightinracine.com

Please feel free to share this message with others. I do not have email addresses for everyone who might be interested.

Mark Hertzberg
Mark Hertzberg

pharding
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Post by pharding »

A beautiful Chicago Tribune Obituary for John by Blair Kamin.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/obit ... story.html
John achieved greatness in what he accomplished for all of us.
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

DavidC
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Post by DavidC »


DRN
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Post by DRN »

I'm very glad to have had the opportunity to meet and chat with Mr. Thorpe at the recent FLWBC Conferences. Many thanks to dtc for introducing me to him.

Patryko
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Post by Patryko »

I am very thankful for everything John Thorpe taught me about historic preservation. He educated many through curriculum and training docents for the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, from which I benefited. I was able to bring this knowledge and information into my own home restoration. May John rest in peace. His ideas and contributions will live on.

dtc
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Post by dtc »

I remember clearly the Sunday morning at the Biltmore Hotel, sitting outside in the morning sun, of course with fully saturated clear blue skies.
Dianne, John and I were discussing the conference we just attended.
We enjoyed, very much, hearing what he had to say about the houses we toured, but especially T-west. John's take was very insightful.

After finishing our Bloody Mary's, the 3 of us shared a cab to the airport.
His insights continued...we will miss John, and the conferences will never be the same with out him.

pharding
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Post by pharding »

I still can't believe that we now live a world without John Thorpe physically being here. What a void that has created for those that knew him and the FLWBC and the FLW Trust. He was unbelievably generous with his time and expertise that was so incredibly helpful to the FLWBC and the FLW Trust. Not that you could replace what he accomplished and contributed, but just to attempt to do so would require the services of 3 people part time for each of those organizations. If one ever was confronted by a difficult preservation challenge, whether on an existential level for a FLW building or a technical challenge, he was the person to go to. He was always very wise in how he saw challenges and what would be an appropriate response or viewpoint. He was very perseverant when addressing a challenging issue, while exhibiting a calm, warm optimistic demeanor. He would patiently circle back multiple times if necessary until the appropriate outcome was achieved.

He was also astute at crafting compromises. When we were doing the design work for the Davenport kitchen, my wife and I worked well together, except for one impasse. Next to the refrigerator my wonderful wife felt strongly that we needed a peninsula cabinet. I felt just as strongly that it would just restrict the circulation too much in the kitchen. We needed to get it resolved, and neither Cheryl and I were inclined to give in. I consulted with John about possibly meeting with Cheryl and I so that he could convince Cheryl of my obviously superior architecturally correct view point. He met with both us and listened patiently to each of our viewpoints. His solution was that the peninsula was a good idea, and that it could be shorter in length than the wall cabinets. That Solomon like solution resulted in a kitchen that has worked beautifully. Cheryl got her peninsula and I was happy that the kitchen circulation wouldn't be choked down. That was John to a tee. Helping people do the right thing and reach consensus in a congenial, warm, caring manner. I was blessed to have been friends with him for 30 years and to have learned from his patient wisdom and kindness about both Wright restoration and most importantly life.
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

DavidC
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Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:22 pm
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Post by DavidC »


DavidC
Posts: 8121
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:22 pm
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Post by DavidC »


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