Article: New visitor's center planned for Home & Studio

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pharding
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Post by pharding »

I don't have an issue with putting a smaller visitor center behind historically intact houses but it should not be connected them.
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Assuming that there isn't room behind the existing houses to build an entirely free-standing structure, I'd ask "Why not ?" If only for the convenience of
moving freely between all parts of a future complex, why not allow new construction to be connected to the existing buildings---if not more extensively
integrated with them, mostly out of sight of the street ?

S

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

Google fake trees make a 3D view of 925 back yard difficult, but it looks like there is enough room for construction. There is a structure behind Anna's house that extends behind the garage of the Forest Ave. neighbor.

I still say taking a long look at the building by Unity Temple would be a good idea; it would also have better parking. Just wait until that Miesian box is built. There will next be a push for ample parking, and won't that be lovely.

Since H&S has survived for over 30 years without the new building, it seems improbable that a more sympathetic solution cannot be found. And that may start by replacing the board of directors.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Assuming that we don't have access to the planning documents that the designers do, can we find a city plat that shows the locations of present structures, to aid in our perception of the possibilities ?

A visitor center at Unity Temple would be less convenient to the Home and Studio---but if parking is an issue, visitor parking would likely be more feasible near the church; shuttle vehicles would take visitors to the Home and Studio from there ?

S

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

From UT on Lake Street, one can walk up Kenilworth to Chicago, ~0.4 mile, or half way up, turn left at Elizabeth Court and walk by Gale, hang a right at Forest and pass Hills, Moore, Copeland, Beachy and Heurtley on the way to H&S. Not a difficult walk for most. A shuttle would take seconds. Finding a parking spot near H&S may take longer than the stroll.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Very nice stroll. I did it once, 40 years ago next month. (Seems I should be celebrating ... something.) So, what are the prospects for parking, near UT ? Could something be built, if not there already ?

S

pharding
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Post by pharding »

SDR wrote:Assuming that there isn't room behind the existing houses to build an entirely free-standing structure, I'd ask "Why not ?" If only for the convenience of
moving freely between all parts of a future complex, why not allow new construction to be connected to the existing buildings---if not more extensively
integrated with them, mostly out of sight of the street ?
S
There are a number of reasons why this is ill-advised. Issues include floor alignment, handicapped accessibility, building code fire separations between the wood frame house and noncombutible institutionall construction, plus other issues practicalty. Buildings that are glommed together disparate architectural components muddy up history and inevitably look like a pile of architecture. There is adequate space availble behind the buildings to build the visitor center without destroying 40 percent of the Anna Wright House and demolishing the other historic house.

As Outside In stated the Leadership and Board of the FLW Trust is oddly lacking in Preservation expertise. They are going for image while ignoring important national historic preservation standards. John Ronan is a fine architect but he is choosing to ignore and grossly violate these historic preservation standsards. Preserving the historic buildings and doing a slightly modified scheme are not mutually exclusive. In its present form his design has an architectural arrogance about it that competes with the home and studio. The issue is one of architectural appriaitenes. In the context of the Frank lloyd Wright Home and Studio and the Historic District his solution needs to be further tailored to the historic context. Without those refinements his solution is dreadful. The Frank Lloyd Trust is exhibiting a profound lack of understanding and appreciation for historic preservation and they are rubber stamping his design. The result is that the proposed visitors center is the "The King's New Clothes".
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

outside in
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Post by outside in »

I think Oak Park and everyone else concerned about this project deserves to see the Vinci/Hamp solution that retains the homes. Why bother asking 5 architects if you're only going to listen to one?

pharding
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Post by pharding »

I haven't seen it. I was told that it made physical connections to the two historic houses.
Paul Harding FAIA Restoration Architect for FLW's 1901 E. Arthur Davenport House, 1941 Lloyd Lewis House, 1952 Glore House | www.harding.com | LinkedIn

SDR
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Post by SDR »

More images of the Ronan scheme than I had previously seen:

https://www.dezeen.com/2019/06/20/frank ... s-chicago/

S

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

A completely separate structure behind the old houses would be the best solution. But if it was connected to the older buildings with an umbilicus simply to allow passage from one to another without having to brave the elements, I think that could be handled sensitively. Keep the new building low to the ground for ADA access, and grandfather the two old houses.

Paul, Google Maps shows a substantial structure behind Anna's house. What is that?

pharding
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Post by pharding »

Some variant of that scheme is eminently buildable that does not demolish the historic house and 40 percent of the Anna Wright House. Both of these historic houses were intact in 1905, the year of significance for the restoration of the home and studio. They both existed when FLW lived and worked in the home and studio.
Last edited by pharding on Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:22 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

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Is there any chance of viewing the Vinci/Hamp submission ? I suppose it was not published ...

S

pharding
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Post by pharding »

Typically the losing submissions would not be released until a much later point in time, if at all. John Ronan was selected. The best that we can hope to achieve is avoiding demolition of the historic house and 40 percent of the Anna Wright House. The FLW Trust is trying ram this through quickly as is. They do not have historic preservation expertise on the current board leadership. Obviously, they don't have an appreciation for historic preservation or have a desire to do the proper, responsible approach. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. Hopefully, they will come to their senses before this blossoms into a major preservation war in a very public manner that damages their credibility. They seem to think that they are all-powerful and preservation requirements and standards don't apply to them as they apply to the rest of the historic district. I personally believe that they are underestimating the opposition and the resourcefulness of the many professionals that oppose this.
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 »


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