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Wright Building Owners

Renovation Time is a High-Risk Time for your Historic Building

As we watched in horror when Notre Dame Cathedral’s spire and roof were engulfed in flames in April, the thought “this can’t be happening to Notre Dame!” passed through the minds of many. It was a sobering reminder that the worst can happen to a beloved structure. In November 2018 the Wright community we recently learned with sadness that wildfire decimated the Oboler Estate in Malibu, California. In response to…

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A HOMEOWNER’S AND SITE MANAGER’S RESOURCE FOR Preserving Usonian Houses

As a part of its mission to facilitate the preservation of Wright’s existing structures, the Conservancy continually researches best practices for the preservation and maintenance of those structures. We strive to make information on those practices available to the owners and stewards of Wright-designed structures. As a part of this process, last fall the Conservancy partnered with Emily Butler, a graduate student in the preservation studies program at Tulane University,…

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Sustainable Restoration Practices at the E. Arthur Davenport House

By Paul A. Harding, FAIA

The restoration of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed E. Arthur Davenport House, in River Forest, Illinois, demonstrates that historic preservation and sustainable design share the same goals and objectives. The techniques used to restore an architecturally significant building preserve a cultural resource for future generations while also providing the environmental benefits of conserving energy, reducing waste and supporting a healthier way of life. The Davenport House was the first Prairie School…

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Materials for Refinishing Tidewater Cypress on the Pope-Leighey House

By Pamela Kirschner

Photo by Audra Medve

Recent conservation work at the Pope-Leighey House, built for Loren and Charlotte Pope in 1939 and now owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has focused on the house’s cypress cladding. Tidewater cypress was a favorite material of Wright’s and it was specified for many of his Usonian houses. Tidewater cypress is a particularly durable species and has stood up well on these houses, which range from nearly 60 to…

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The Colors of Wright: Paint Analysis at the Robert G. Emmond House

By Lesley M. Gilmore, AIA

Photo by Leslie Schwartz

When John and Kathleen Leigh purchased the Robert G. Emmond House in La Grange, Illinois, in 1994, they did not envision the colorful transformation that would unfold. A kitchen remodeling in the late 1990s grew into a full-blown restoration, complete with replication of original finishes. Theirs is a story of discovery and dedication to the commitment and vision of detail-oriented owners as well as one that sheds light on Frank…

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