A 60-year-old Arizona home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright has become the subject of one of the hottest preservation battles in the country. (Well, that along with our own dust-up over the fate of the iconic former Prentice Women's Hospital.)
The unusual David and Gladys Wright House — Wright designed the Phoenix residence for one of his sons — was purchased earlier this year by a custom home builder who sought to demolish the structure, subdivide its two-acre site and build a pair of houses there. The National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Arizona chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the Chicago-based Frank Lloyd Wright Building conservancy have sounded the alarm.
Watch the video above and it is easy to see why. Completed in 1952, the Wright Home is made from concrete block. A spiral ramp not unlike the one in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Guggenheim Museum in New York City leads to the home's second floor.
The west suburban town of Maywood often gets viewed through the narrow lenses of crime and — as the Chicago Sun-Times reported a month ago — shocking municipal mismanagement.
All that tends to overshadow one of the village's best assets: It's architecture. The 140-year-old town located on the west edge of the Des Plaines River has some insanely overlooked high-quality examples of pre-World War II building design, ranging from neat Craftsman bungalows to stately Prairie School homes that can complete with those found in nearby Oak Park and River Forest.
Which brings me today's video, The Historic Homes of Maywood, sent by Tom Kus, chairman of the Maywood Historic Preservation Commission. It's a well-done piece that does right by the town — and those there who are working to preserve and enhance Maywood's buildings. My favorite is the Cluever House at 12:57 in the video, designed by architect John Van Bergen.
"It kind of gives you a nice overview of the community from an architectural and historic perspective," Kus said of the video.
Check it out and enjoy.
A day before sitting behind the drumkit for two of Bruce Springsteen's sold-out concerts at Wrigley Field last weekend, E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg entertained a small audience at Oak Park's Unity Temple.
"Besides being my generation's biggest Beatles fan, I happen to be a true Frank Lloyd Wright nerd — I mean 'aficionado,'" Weinberg told a group of about 150 people assembled in the auditorium of the Wright-designed church at 875 Lake St. last Thursday.
Weinberg's lecture was part of the "Break the Box" series of distinguished speakers, sponsored by the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation.
The New Jersey native said he has been a devotee of the architect since childhood, when a relative allowed him to visit the Wright-designed Guggenheim Museum in New York while the modernist masterpiece was still under construction. As a teenager, he'd search out Prairie School architecture with his high school buddy and future film producer (and fellow Wright devotee), Joel Silver.
Weinberg said traveling with the E Street Band allowed him to visit Wright homes in buildings across the country.