2015 FLWBC Conference Wrap-Up: Day 3
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It was an gray, overcast Autumn day in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but still a great afternoon to enjoy a tour of amazing architecture during the 2015 Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy Annual Conference. More after the jump... This was the last morning of sessions for the Conference, and another full slate of engaging discussions related to the topic of Frank Lloyd Wright and Wisconsin. The first presentation was a panel discussion on the historic preservation efforts...
It was an gray, overcast Autumn day in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but still a great afternoon to enjoy a tour of amazing architecture during the 2015 Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy Annual Conference. More after the jump...
This was the last morning of sessions for the Conference, and another full slate of engaging discussions related to the topic of Frank Lloyd Wright and Wisconsin.
The first presentation was a panel discussion on the historic preservation efforts concerning the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Robert Lamp House in Madison, WI. Author and historian, Jack Holzhueter, moderated the panel consisting of FLW in Wisconsin board member, Michale Bridgeman; Nan Fey, Lamp House Block Plan Committee chair; and Madison Alderman, Ledell Zellers. They explained the efforts and challenges that have gone into trying to protect the Lamp House block from being developed into oblivion. Their efforts have done much to help the house, but there is much more to do and public support is needed. PrairieMod will be sure to continue to cover the effort and let readers know what they can do to help the cause.
Next, author and journalist, Mark Hertzberg, presented his paper titled "Penwern: Frank Lloyd Wright on Delavan Lake." Mark has done extensive research at the behest of the current owners of the Fred B. Jones estate (aka "Penwern") and he has uncovered new info and dispelled the tremendous amount of rumors about the home, Jones, and the other Wright commissions on Delavan Lake.
Next, author and Wesleyan University professor, Joseph M. Siry presented "Frank Lloyd Wright's Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church: The Byzantine Tradition and Modern Architecture." Mr. Siry explained the history of the church commission and its connections to other famous Byzantine works, including the Hagia Sophia.
Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice, Tony Putnam, spoke on "The Architecture of Nature: Frank Lloyd Wright—A Future for Structure, Shelter, and Space." Mr. Putnam expounded on some of the the natural world sources of Wright's design, including shells, trees, and more. It was an insightful and moving talk from someone who knew and worked alongside Frank Lloyd Wright.
Finally, Anthony Kartsonas, architectural conservator and founder of Historic Surfaces, presented a really intriguing paper on his experiences working with analyzing and researching Wright's original finishes--specifically for the walls in his Prairie School buildings. Mr. Kartsonas revealed that scientific data shows that the color and treatment of the finishes is very different than many are used to: bright and opaque, sometimes with metallic flakes, or a few that use a layered encaustic method. It was an intriguing subject and one that I hope will have much more discussion around it.
With the morning sessions complete, it was time to board the buses for the afternoon tours. Our first stop was a surprise addition to the line-up: We would be the first tour group to see the 1917 Elizabeth Murphy House in Shorewood, WI. Mike Lilek identified the home as a Wright and documented it as part of his ASBH research. He presented a little info to us before we got a chance to see inside.
(Photo © 2015 Jim Irwin)
(Photo © 2015 Jim Irwin)
The house is really nice and retains quite a bit of its original trim and built-ins. Of additional interest, across the street from this ASBH house is an intriguing concrete block design by architect and one-time Frank Lloyd Wright associate, Russell Barr Williamson.
We left the ASBH and drove on to see the Frederick C. Bogk House. This home is a rare example of Wright's work that survives from 1916 and shares many design ques also found in Wright's Imperial Hotel, Midway Gardens, and other commissions from this period. It has been immaculately kept for decades by the current owners and their care and stewardship is apparent everywhere in the house.
We departed the Bogk House and headed for our next stop: The Joseph Mollica House, a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Erdman pre-fab design from 1958. The house is an excellent example of this experiment in pre-fab design by Wright and is one of the largest examples that was built.
Our final stop on the conference tours was the newly restored Albert Adelman House by Wright in 1948. The house was recently restored by The Kubala Washatko Architects, who also were commissioned to add a new pool and pool house addition off the rear of the original home.
I was able to see the house in 2011 when original owner Albert "Ollie" Adelman was still alive and spoke with us who visited. The home has gone through a remarkable transformation in that time and it's amazing to see it renewed and ready for the next century.
With the tours over, we arrived back at our hotel and got cleaned up and ready for the gala dinner and presentations of the Wright Spirit Awards. This years recipients were:
Eugene Szyczak in the private category, for his remarkable dedication to saving and preserving the Thomas Hardy House; SC Johnson in the Public Category for their decades of stewardship of their Wright-designed buildings; Joseph M. Siry in the Professional Category for his incredible thoroughness in research and authorship of publications on Wright's works; and Glenn and Mary Schnadt and Robert and Bonnie McCoy, both honored separately in the Special Honors category for their remarkable philanthropy and dedication to preservation in their respective communities.
With the presentations over and dinner complete, the 2015 Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy Conference came to a close. PrairieMod would like to extend our sincere thanks to everyone at the FLWBC for putting together such an amazing conference and letting us take part in it. The true joy of these conferences is being able to experience Wright's architecture with other passionate people. I was so glad to see many familiar faces and spend some time talking to them, as well as being able to meet new people who quickly became new friends.
If you missed this conference (or the past conferences) and want to experience some of the lectures, you can purchase conference videos on DVD here.
Be sure to mark your calendars for next year's conference on November 2 – 6, 2016, which will be held in San Francisco, CA. It's certain to be an experience you will not want to miss!
To stay up-to-date with news and events for future events and help the efforts to save Frank Lloyd Wright's built works, be sure to become a member of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy here.
All photos copyright PrairieMod, unless otherwise credited