Farnsworth House To Reopen in April
A Brilliant Future
By Magazine Editors | From Preservation | March/April 2009
In September, floodwaters infiltrated the Farnsworth House in Plano, Ill., and caused more than $500,000 in damage. Nearly all of the furniture inside was rescued, but water did damage the primavera wood panels that surround the core. Today, the painstaking task of restoring Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's 1951 Modernist masterpiece is under way. Site director Whitney French says restoration efforts will begin on the exterior. Workers will repaint steel beams to prevent corrosion and reseal the floor-to-ceiling windows.
The Farnsworth House will reopen in April, giving visitors a chance to monitor progress. "Even in its damaged state, it's breathtaking," says French. To make donations toward restoration work, or to contribute ideas about how best to preserve the site and guard against future flooding, visit Farnsworthhouse.org. The house is owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and operated by Landmarks Illinois.
For more photos, stories, and tips, subscribe to the print edition of Preservation magazine.