Conservancy Events

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Past Events

Dinner at Auldbrass

Auldbrass Plantation, Yemassee, South Carolina

March 10, 2018

A visit to Auldbrass Plantation in Yemassee, South Carolina, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1939, provides a singular Wright experience like no other. Beautifully restored by its owner, movie producer Joel Silver, the multi-building estate is very rarely open to the public. On March 10, 2018, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy will host a private tour of the grounds followed by a gourmet dinner inside the main house. In the spirit of the South, chef Robert Volz will create a dinner featuring local ingredients paired with the world’s most sought-after bourbon, Pappy Van Winkle. “Pappy Van Winkle doesn’t advertise; they not only sell out each year but connoisseurs and collectors have been known to spend the night in front of their liquor store for the opportunity to purchase a bottle. This meal is being carefully thought out to showcase local Southern ingredients and to showcase this rare and exquisite bourbon,” says Volz.

Seating is strictly limited to 20 people and this event is expected to sell out. Tickets are $1,700 per person ($1,450 is tax deductible) with all proceeds benefiting the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy. Register online now.

Photo by Anthony Peres

Photo by Anthony Peres

Photo by Anthony Peres

Dinner at Auldbrass
Photo by Zachary Matthews

Out and About Wright: Modernism in Central Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa

May 4-6, 2018

Mason City’s trove of prairie-style architecture gets much attention in the Wright community, but the Conservancy’s first Out and About tour in Iowa will focus on Wright’s seldom-seen Usonians and a number of modern architectural treasures in the state’s central and south-central regions. The work of prominent local architects will be seen alongside Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony, John Howe, Louis Sullivan, Eliel and Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, Mies van der Rohe and more.

Saturday, May 5

Depart by bus from the Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel before 9 a.m. for a tour of Des Moines’ most famous architectural treasure, the Des Moines Art Center (Eliel Saarinen, I.M. Pei, Richard Meier, 1942-84), before driving to Oskaloosa and Wright’s Jack Lamberson House (1948), winner of the 2016 Wright Spirit Award for its recent restoration, as well as two neighboring midcentury modern houses by local architects. The tour also includes two exceptional Wright apprentice works, the Bryant and Marjorie Denniston House (John Howe, 1958) and B.J. Ricker House (Marion Mahony and Walter Burley Griffin, 1911; on the market, tour subject to sale), and a reception with wine and hors d’oeuvres inside Merchants National Bank (1913), a Louis Sullivan-designed jewel box. We will return to the hotel at approx. 7 p.m. Box lunch is provided and dinner is on your own.

Add-on Events

Friday, May 4 (private event for Leadership, Clerestory and Visionary Circle and Board members)

Depart from the Savery Hotel at 4:30 p.m. to experience two very different historic Des Moines mansions. The evening begins with an  exclusive tour of the Butler House (Kraetsch and Kraetsch, 1935), which was widely published and hailed as “the world’s most modern house.” In the late 1980s it was converted to offices but still stands as one of the few great monuments of the 1930s Streamline Moderne style. Afterward we walk to the adjacent Rollins Mansion, a restored Tudor-style house built in 1925 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, for a roaming tour and sit-down dinner.

Sunday, May 6

Depart from the Savery Hotel before 9 a.m. to tour Wright’s Paul and Ida Trier House (1956), the midcentury modern architecture of Eero Saarinen, Harry Weese, Mies van der Rohe and more at Drake University, and an additional private house to be announced. After a sit-down lunch in a converted 1937 Streamline Moderne fire station, we’ll lead a walking tour (1+ mile) of downtown Des Moines’ modern architectural highlights by Mies, Gordon Bunshaft, David Chipperfield, Renzo Piano and more. We will return to the hotel at approx. 3 p.m. The Savery Hotel runs a free shuttle for guests returning to Des Moines Airport (10-15 minutes from hotel); the tour bus will not stop at the airport.


All tours depart from and return to the Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel (410 Locust St., Des Moines). Built in 1918 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the hotel recently underwent a complete renovation. Our attendees stay at the special rate of $119/night. Book by April 12 online or call 800.514.4706 and mention the Frank Lloyd Wright group.

Paul and Ida Trier House (Wright, 1956)
Photo by Patrick J. Mahoney

B.J. Ricker House (Marion Mahony, Walter Burley Griffin, 1911)

Bryant and Marjorie Denniston House (John Howe, 1958)
Photo by Bill Olexy

Des Moines Art Center (Eliel Saarinen, I.M. Pei, Richard Meier)

Merchants National Bank (Louis Sullivan, 1913)

Butler House (Kraetsch and Kraetsch, 1937)
Photo by John Clouse

Oreon Scott Chapel at Drake University (Eero Saarinen, 1955)
Photo by John Clouse

Dr. Sidney Smith House (Steffen Stoltz, 1962)

Des Moines Social Club (converted 1937 Streamline Moderne fire station)

Rollins Mansion (1925)

AEG Building (Gordon Bunshaft/SOM, 1965)

The Great Living Creative Spirit: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Legacy in Japan


November 11-22, 2018

The Great Living Creative Spirit: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Legacy in Japan, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy’s first major tour of Japan, will take place Nov. 11-22, 2018.

The main tour, which runs from Nov. 11-20 and is limited to 27 attendees, will cover a broad portion of Japan, beginning in Tokyo and ending with the art-filled islands of Naoshima, Teshima and Inujima near Okayama in western Japan. The latter visits underscore that the Conservancy’s specially curated itinerary will focus on modern architecture over more traditional sites, and stand apart from other Wright-themed tours in Japan. Alongside Wright’s extant buildings and fragments in the country, attendees will view the modern work of Arata Endo, Antonin Raymond, Le Corbusier, Tadao Ando, Kenzo Tange, Toyo Ito, Kengo Kuma and more. The tour is curated and led by Tokyo-based Wright experts KiSMet Productions. Its principals, Karen Severns and Koichi Mori, are active documenters of Japan’s architectural heritage, having curated exhibitions, coordinated dozens of seminars and specialty tours, and directed the film Magnificent Obsession: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buildings and Legacy in Japan.

An optional three-night extension tour of Kyoto, limited to 12, runs from Nov. 20-22 and features traditional palaces, temples and shrines.

Read the full trip itinerary, costs and details to carefully consider before registering (pdf).

All reservations have been filled for this tour. Email us at preservation {at} to be added to the wait list.

Wright's reconstructed Imperial Hotel lobby at The Museum Meiji-Mura
Photo by Koichi Mori

Yamamura House (Wright, 1918) in Ashiya, Japan.
Photo courtesy of Yodogawa Steel Works, Ltd.

Tearoom at Wright's Myonichikan
Photo by Koichi Mori

Old Imperial Bar at the Imperial Hotel

Koshien Hotel by Arata Endo
Photo by Koichi Mori

St. Mary's Cathedral by Kenzo Tange

Meguro St. Anselm's Church by Antonin Raymond

New Karuizawa Studio by Antonin Raymond
Photo by Koichi Mori

Chichu Art Museum by Tadao Ando on Naoshima Island

Naoshima Island museum by Tadao Ando

Museum on Naoshima Island

Teshima Museum by Pritzker Prize winner Ryue Nishizawa

Korakuen Garden in Okayama
Photo by Koichi Mori

The Gion district in Kyoto