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Unity Temple, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Modern Masterpiece: An Endangered Treasure

Unity Temple, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Modern Masterpiece: An Endangered Treasure

unity_temple_DSCF1685On Tuesday, April 28, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1909 masterpiece, Unity Temple, to its list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. For Unity Temple, this is a significant, though not necessarily joyful, honor. This is a critical time for Unity Temple–a critical crossroads—and to have such a prestigious organization as the National Trust acknowledge Unity Temple’s urgent needs is immensely meaningful. In the year that we celebrate the centennial of the building’s dedication, we may also rejoice that Unity Temple has, in fact, stood the test of time—-albeit with a great deal of love and money—-and still stands here today, unlike so many historic structures that have not been so lucky and are now simply memories: Sullivan’s Schiller Theatre, New York’s Penn Station, the Larkin Building…there are too many to name.

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Pilgrim Church to Finish Wright Building

Pilgrim Church to Finish Wright Building

In one of the most exciting developments ever in the world of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, the Pilgrim Congregational church of Redding, California has announced that it intends to complete construction of Wright’s original design.

As featured in “Sacred Spaces”, the church’s poignant story is that of a fledgling Northern California congregation who, due to lack of funds, was able only to construct a small portion of Wright’s original grand design back in the early 1960s. Built by the church members themselves, the building’s realized section represents only about 20% of the proposed structure.

Redding-Church-Model
Seen in the model above, the completed sanctuary will dwarf the existing section, which is highlighted in yellow.

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Florida Southern College to Receive ”Save America’s Treasures“ Grant

Florida Southern College to Receive ”Save America’s Treasures“ Grant

LAKELAND, Fla. – Florida Southern College has been awarded a $350,000 Save America’s Treasures grant to restore the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, the centerpiece of the College’s Frank Lloyd Wright campus.

APC_2

Florida Southern received the only Save America’s Treasures grant in Florida and one of just 40 nationwide. The federal program preserves, conserves, and rescues “the nation’s most significant cultural and heritage resources,” a news release from the Save America’s Treasures program says.

Florida Southern College is home to 12 Wright-designed structures, making it the largest single-site collection of his work in the world. In Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, restoration work to be funded by the grant will include:

  • Repairing and replacing deteriorating “textile” blocks used to construct the building.
  • Replacing rusted portions of the steel tower atop the chapel.
  • Replacing the main roof areas of the building.
  • Removing and replacing 1960s duct work with hidden ducts.
  • Replacing doors and windows in keeping with the original design.

The work, which is expected to begin this summer and take eight to 12 months to complete, is being overseen by preservation architect Jeff Baker of Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker Architects in Albany, N.Y.

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