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Not The Wright Path For Proposed ComEd Towers

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Feb 19, 2015 01:03 AM
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by Eric last modified Feb 18, 2015

A recent article in the Chicago Tribune discusses how a proposed new transmission line of electrical towers by ComEd extending through Ogle, DeKalb, DuPage and Kane counties would negatively impact the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Muirhead Farmhouse. I asked Janet Halstead, Executive Director at the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy to provide PrairieMod readers with some info on what's being done by the preservation community to try and alter this disturbing development. Read more after the...




 

 

Chi-ugc-article-frank-lloyd-wright-farmhouse-tours-this-sunda-2014-04-30A recent article in the Chicago Tribune discusses how a proposed new transmission line of electrical towers by ComEd extending through Ogle, DeKalb, DuPage and Kane counties would negatively impact the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Muirhead Farmhouse. I asked Janet Halstead, Executive Director at the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy to provide PrairieMod readers with some info on what's being done by the preservation community to try and alter this disturbing development. Read more after the jump...

Janet provides the following information to help explain the collaborative action undertaken to try and affect the location of the proposed ComEd towers:

"The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Landmarks Illinois, the Kane County Preservation Commission and Preservation Partners of the Fox Valley have joined together with the Muirhead Farmhouse owners, Mike and Sarah Petersdorf, and urged the Illinois Commerce Commission to reaffirm its prior decision to place the GrandPrairie Gateway electrical transmission towers around the Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve (the route previously  approved by the ICC ) and to deny new requests by ComEd and the Kane County Forest Preserve to route the towers through the preserve and within 400 feet of the Muirhead house. The Conservancy’s letters pointed out:

The site selection, building orientation, relationship to the landscape and viewsheds were all extremely important in Wright’s designs and play a key role at the Muirhead Farmhouse and its site. The original proposed location of the towers, proposed by ComEd and previously approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission, was sensitive to the site of this building.  The proposed new placement would have a very negative impact: 160 foot towers looming in close proximity to the house would be a prominent and devastating first visual when entering the site. The towers would be seen from virtually every room of the home that faces south, including the bedrooms, living room and breezeway. This is totally in opposition to one of Wright’s cardinal principles  -- providing a strong bond with nature and bringing the outside in. The imposition of these towers basically guts Wright’s design vision for this house. It would not demolish the house but would demolish the site, which is an integral part of the design.  

The ICC will consider the matter on February 19, 2015. Each of the collaborating organizations brought their individual perspectives to play in crafting their comments. Landmarks Illinois pointed out that ComEd will submit a cultural impact survey to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA) as required and it anticipates a finding of “adverse impact on one of Kane County’s most historic properties.” Hopefully our combined efforts and the IHPA process will be enough to spare the Muirhead Farmhouse this disastrous proposed intrusion."

Thanks Janet for the detailed information on the combined efforts of all of the preservationist organizations trying to save the Muirhead Farmhouse from being encroached upon.

If you want to make your voice heard to help protect this important work of architecture, please contact any of the organizations linked above to find out how you can help support the cause!

Image credit: jackidell, Chicago Tribune Community Contributor


 

 

 
 
 

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