NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION NAMES SPRING HOUSE IN TALLAHASSEE, DESIGNED BY FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT, TO ITS 2014 LIST OF AMERICA’S 11 MOST ENDANGERED HISTORIC PLACES®

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named the Spring House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, to its 2014 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.  This annual list spotlights important examples of the nation’s architectural, cultural, and natural heritage that are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage. More than 250 sites have been on the list over its 27-year history, and in that time, only a handful of listed sites have been lost.

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and constructed in 1954, Spring House is the only built private residence designed by Wright in the state of Florida.  Spring House is also one of the few Wright properties still in the hands of the original family. Clifton Lewis and her husband, George, sought out Frank Lloyd Wright in 1950 to design a home for them. Members of the Lewis family lived in the house until 2010.

The novel hemicycle form of Spring House represents a late stage in Wright’s long, prolific career. Although there are approximately 400 intact houses attributed to Wright throughout the country, only a fraction were from his hemicycle series.  Spring House was recognized as a significant structure and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, when it was only 25 years old.

“Frank Lloyd Wright’s Spring House is an outstanding example of what is perhaps the least-known period of Wright’s long and storied career,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  “As one of the few remaining hemicycle homes designed by Wright in the world, and the only private residence in Florida designed by Wright, Spring House is a beautiful piece of architecture that strongly deserves to be saved.”

Despite its unique design and its association with America’s most famous architect, the house is deteriorating.  Exposure to hurricanes and wind storms has led to water intrusion, and the damage is visible throughout the interior of the house.  In addition, tall cypress columns have deteriorated at their bases, insect and woodpecker damage is apparent on the cypress siding, and electrical and plumbing systems need updating.

Members of the public are invited to learn more about what they can do to support these 11 historic places and hundreds of other endangered sites at www.PreservationNation.org/places

The 2014 list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places (in alphabetical order):

Battle Mountain Sanitarium –Hot Springs, South Dakota. Battle Mountain Sanitarium has provided medical care to veterans in the region for more than a century, and is one of the few properties owned by the Department of Veterans Affairs to be designated a National Historic Landmark. Today, the VA is moving forward with a proposal to abandon the facility.

Bay Harbor’s East Island – Miami-Dade County, Florida. Bay Harbor’s East Island’s collection of Miami Modern buildings are threatened with demolition by development proposals.

Chattanooga State Office Building – Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Chattanooga State Office Building, a midcentury landmark in the heart of downtown, is threatened with demolition by its new owner.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Spring House – Tallahassee, Florida. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and constructed in 1954, Spring House is the only built private residence designed by Wright in the state of Florida, and its novel “hemicycle” form of is one very few surviving homes that Wright designed in this style. Weather and the ravages of time have deteriorated the building.

Historic Wintersburg – Huntington Beach, California. Historic Wintersburg is a Japanese American pioneer property that tells the story of Japanese American immigrants in Southern California, and is now threatened by demolition.

Mokuaikaua Church – Kailua Village, Kona, Hawaii. Mokuaikaua Church, completed in 1837, is Hawaii’s first Christian Church and is at risk from both earthquake damage and natural wear and tear.

Music Hall – Cincinnati, Ohio. A National Historic Landmark, Music Hall has played a significant role in the cultural fabric of Cincinnati since it was built in 1878. Today, it is deteriorating and in need of extensive repairs.

The Palisades – Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Several generations have cherished the scenic Palisades cliffs along the Hudson River. The LG Corporation plans to build an office tower along the cliffs in New Jersey, forever altering the landscape.

Palladium Building – St. Louis, Missouri. The Palladium Building housed a nightclub in the 1940s that—although restricted to a whites-only clientele—played a prominent role in the development of African American music.  The Palladium now faces an uncertain future because it is not protected by local or national historic designations.

Shockoe Bottom – Richmond, Virginia. Once a center of slave trade in America, Shockoe Bottom was home to Solomon Northup’s jail in "12 Years a Slave” and contains numerous underground artifacts. The site is threatened by potential development of a minor league baseball stadium.

Union Terminal – Cincinnati, Ohio. Union Terminal, an iconic symbol of Cincinnati and a world-class example of Art Deco architecture, is suffering from deterioration and is in need of extensive repairs.

Watch Status:
Federal Historic Tax Credit – Nationwide. The Federal Historic Tax Credit, a proven tool to encourage preservation across the country, is currently threatened by tax reform on Capitol Hill.

Follow us on Twitter at @presnation and join the conversation using the hashtag #11MostAmerica’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places has identified more than 250 threatened one-of-a-kind historic treasures since 1988.  Whether these sites are urban districts or rural landscapes, Native American landmarks, or 20th-century sports arenas, entire communities or single buildings, the list spotlights historic places across America that are threatened by neglect, insufficient funds, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy.  The designation has been a powerful tool for raising awareness and rallying resources to save endangered sites from every region of the country. At times, that attention has garnered public support to quickly rescue a treasured landmark; while in other instances, it has been the impetus of a long battle to save an important piece of our history.

 

 

 

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The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.
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