Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust Acquires Wright’s Home and Studio From National Trust for Historic Preservation

Transfer of Ownership Marks New Chapter in Site’s Preservation Success Story

The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust and National Trust for Historic Preservation announced today that the Preservation Trust has assumed ownership of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio from the National Trust.

This transfer of ownership marks a new chapter in the history of the legendary Oak Park, IL landmark.  For nearly four decades, the Chicago-based Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust operated the site in cooperation with the Washington, D.C.-based National Trust. As an innovative preservation strategy at the time of the original purchase nearly 40 years ago, the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust was given the option to acquire the property during the term of a lease with the National Trust.

From July 2011 to January 2012, the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, a privately funded non-profit organization, conducted a capital campaign to gather sufficient local donor support to finalize the purchase.  Now as owner, the Preservation Trust will initiate a public campaign to establish a Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Fund for the perpetual upkeep and maintenance of Wright’s Home and Studio.

“I grew up in Oak Park and was always aware of the importance that the Home and Studio played in this community,” Graham Rarity, Preservation Trust Campaign Chair and Board member, said. “I have discovered that so many others feel the same. This is an affirmation of our organization and our community.”

The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust was originally launched in 1974 as a local grassroots effort to purchase and restore Wright’s historic Oak Park Home and Studio.  The organization now operates three historic Wright-designed sites throughout the greater Chicago metropolitan area: Wright’s Home and Studio in Oak Park, Robie House on the University of Chicago campus in Hyde Park, and The Rookery in central downtown.  Since its inception, the Preservation Trust’s staff — along with preservation architects, historians and community volunteers, and with the assistance of the National Trust — have not only restored and maintained the world-renowned historic house museum and architectural laboratory, but have presented the complex to the public (more than 80,000 visitors annually) continuously through its extensive touring and education programs.

“The original spirit of our agreement with the National Trust was an acknowledgement that the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust would be capable of the financial and other responsibilities of independent ownership of this important cultural property.  On behalf of our Board, staff, volunteers and members at large, we are excited to assume this responsibility,” said Jim Schiefelbein, Chairman of the Preservation Trust Board.  “We’re also very grateful to our partners at the National Trust for their friendship and steadfast support these many years, and for their unwavering commitment to the historic preservation of significant properties throughout the United States.”

“The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio is a great American preservation success story,” said Stephanie Meeks, President of the National Trust.  “We were delighted to assist the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust when they needed it most. They have grown over the years into a strong internationally recognized preservation and education organization.  We remain allies in our shared dedication to preservation and are gratified by the enduring importance of the historic site.”

###

 

About the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust

The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust engages the public through architecture, design and the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright. The Preservation Trust presents three Wright-designed structures to the public, his Home and Studio in Oak Park, Illinois, the Robie House in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, and The Rookery lobby in Chicago’s Loop. www.GoWright.org             

About the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio

Frank Lloyd Wright’s extraordinary Home and Studio complex served as his architectural laboratory from 1889 to 1909, the years that launched his career. From the studio, Wright designed more than 150 structures, including such famous buildings as the Robie House, Larkin Building and Unity Temple. During this time, Wright developed a uniquely personal approach to residential design and imparted his principles to the architects who worked with him, ultimately fostering the Prairie School of architecture.

 

###


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