A New Day for Wright in Wisconsin and for the Burnham Block in Milwaukee

(c) Mark Hertzberg 2017

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The board of directors of Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin (the only statewide Wright group in existence) voted unanimously last week to reorganize, spinning off ownership of the four American System-Built homes it owned in Milwaukee into a separate, self-standing organization. The reorganization was formalized today in a joint announcement. Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin is now rebranded as Wright in Wisconsin. George Hall remains president of the organization which is dedicated to preserving Wright’s legacy, education about Wright and promoting Wright tourism in Wisconsin. Mike Lilek, who has spearheaded the restoration of two of the four Burnham block homes, will be head of the new Frank Lloyd Wright’s Burnham Block, Inc.LR WiW Reorganization 001.jpgGeorge Hall, president of Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin, leads the group’s final board meeting prior to the vote to reorganize, Thursday August 3, 2017. 

LR WiW Reorganization 003.jpgHall, left, and Lilek sign documents formalizing the reorganization.

Hall commented, “With the recent creation of the Frank Lloyd Wright state trail, and the celebration of the 150th anniversary of his birth this year, Wright’s legacy has never been stronger in Wisconsin.”

Lilek, former Vice President of Facilities for the former organization, looks forward to the possibilities for growing the legacy of the American System-Built homes which represent Wright’s commitment to affordable housing. “This reorganization creates a group now singularly set on restoring the historic Burnham Block site and welcoming visitors to experience Wright’s broadest gesture to a wide American audience.”  . Constructed between 1915-1916, the Burnham Block site consists six homes that symbolize the challenge faced by Wright to create beautiful and affordable spaces. The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 and welcomes thousands of visitors each year from across the United States and more than 33 countries.

LR 2714 & Duplexes 4.10.15 001.jpgThe Burnham Block organization is the new owner of the first and third ASB duplexes from the left, as well as the 2714 W. Burnham Street single family home, right, and 1835 S. Layton next door to it). 2714 has been restored to house museum status and is open for tours. The duplex at far left, 2732-34 W. Burnham Street, is undergoing restoration.

LR 1835 S. Layton 4.10.15 003.jpgWright’s second single family American System-Built house on the block, at 1835 S. Layton, was significantly altered more than 50 years ago, and is less recognizable as a Wright design.

Along with expanded educational opportunities for adults, and publishing the quarterly newsletter, Wright in Wisconsin will continue to offer the annual Wright & Like Tour to provide the public with a rare opportunity to experience private homes and public buildings designed by Wright, his apprentices, and related architects. In the past, the tour was held in Milwaukee, Racine, Madison, Delavan Lake, Wausau, and central Wisconsin. In June of 2018, the tour will focus on the Spring Green area in collaboration with Taliesin Preservation.

LR 2016 W & L Hardy 001 .jpg

LR 2016 W & L Hardy 003 .jpgGuests wait to tour Wright’s Thomas P. Hardy House in Racine during the 2016 Wright & Like tour.

The changes for Wright in Wisconsin include a new website which will be dynamic and updated significantly more frequently than the current one. Screen Shot 2017-08-08 at 3.52.44 PM.pngThis is a screen shot of the new look for the Wright in Wisconsin website, which will launch in the near future. The redesigned website was made possible through a generous grant from SC Johnson. The URL will remain: www.wrightinwisconsin.org

The not-for-profit organization was created in 1991 with the assistance of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the State of Wisconsin Department of Tourism. Historic Wright sites across Wisconsin applauded the creation of a Frank Lloyd Wright Trail by the state legislature last year, including co-sponsorship of 38 legislators from both parties. Running from Racine to Spring Green, and including Wright’s birthplace of Richland Center, this route links together Wright buildings across Wisconsin, including Burnham Block.

LR FLW Heritage Trail Signs 003.jpg

“Wright in Wisconsin is committed to promoting the success of Burnham Block, as well as increasing attendance to all public Wright sites across the state,” said Andrew Gussert, Treasurer of Wright in Wisconsin.

This year marks the celebration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th birthday (1867-1959). Born in Richland Center, Frank Lloyd Wright is considered to be one of the most important architects of the century. With over fifty separate buildings, and a dozen sites open to the public, Wisconsin includes work from every decade of Wright’s body of work. The state served as the backyard laboratory for his architectural experimentation, making it a unique destination for those who want to understand Wright’s organic style of architecture.

LR WiW Reorganization 006.jpg

Contact information for the two organizations is below:

Wright In Wisconsin, Andrew Gussert, Treasurer Email: agussert@gmail.com

Wright in Wisconsin, P.O. Box 6339, Madison, WI 53716

Phone (608) 287-0339 ~ www.WrightInWisconsin.com

Frank Lloyd Wright Burnham Block, Inc., Mike Lilek, Telephone: (414) 368-0060Email:

mlilek@WrightInMilwaukee.org 

Website: www.wrightinmilwaukee.org

 

 

 

Newly Documented Wright ASBH in Madison

Photos and text (c) Mark Hertzberg 2015

A press event Tuesday October 6, 2015 sponsored by Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin announces the documentation of the house at 2107 West Lawn Avenue in Madison as another one of Wright’s American System-Built houses. This is the second discovery of a newly documented Wright ASBH home this year. The other is in Shorewood, a suburb of Milwaukee. The house is an ASBH Series AA model.

A press event introduces Frank Lloyd Wright's newly documented American System-Built House by Frank Lloyd Wright at 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison, Wisconsin, Tuesday October 6, 2015. The house was built in 1917 and has two non-Wright additions, one from 1924 and the other from 1927. (c) Mark Hertzberg

Linda McQuillen purchased the house in 1989. The entry is on the left side, as visitors approach the house. The porch to the left and the room to the right (built as an open porch, enclosed by a subsequent owner) are 1924 and 1927 non-Wright additions. The house was painstakingly documented by Madison-based Wright scholar Mary Jane Hamilton over two decades with assistance from many sources, including Mike Lilek. Lilek has overseen the restoration of Wright in Wisconsin’s ASBH properties on W. Burnham Street in Milwaukee and led the documentation of the Shorewood house with the assistance of other Wright scholars.

ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

Hamilton chats with Nathan McQuillen, who grew up in the house. Her meticulous documentation was displayed on four poster boards on easels. ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

Hamilton explains that only the right hand built-in hutch in the diminutive dining room is original. The room was originally the kitchen. The hutch at left is in place of an original door.

ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

The original hutch has doors with the same leaded-glass pentagon seen in many windows of the house.

ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

The dining room leads to the living room. The fireplace at the left side of the living room is not original.

ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

The sun room from one of the 1920s additions is now an office, south of the living room.

ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

A basement crawl space below the addition shows the original and added foundation walls.

ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

Part of the authentication of the house as ASBH comes from the joists being 24″ apart, as was customary in the ASBH homes, as opposed the conventional 16″ measurement.

ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

There are three bedrooms upstairs. Two are shown in their entirety, the third is depicted by the narrow broom closet.

ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

The entrance to the house, on the south side, away from the street, has one of Wright’s characteristic wood screens outside the door. The front door knob and lock are original to the house.

ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

The north (left) and east sides of the house. The fireplace is a recent addition. The street is to the left.ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

The east side, with its 1920s porch addition, off the master bedroom:

ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

This is a view of the house from the street. the door is on the left or south side:

ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

McQuillen is interviewed by journalist Doug Wahl of Madison’s Channel 3 television station.

ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

ASBH 2107 West Lawn Ave. Madison

Newly Discovered Wright Home Near Milwaukee

Story and photos (c) Mark Hertzberg

The 2100 block of Newton Avenue in Shorewood, Wis., will no longer be a quiet street, as word spreads of the documentation there of a previously unidentified house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The home at 2106 Newton may not look like a Wright home at first glance, but underneath the modern siding, and above the garage which was added in 1976, is one of Wright’s stucco American System-Built homes.

The documentation of Frank Lloyd Wright as the architect of the home at 2106 Newton Avenue, Shorewood, Wis., was announced Friday June 5, 2015. The home, which dates to 1917, is one of Wright's American System-Built homes. It has   /  (c) Mark Hertzberg

The documentation of Frank Lloyd Wright as the architect of the home at 2106 Newton Avenue, Shorewood, Wis., was announced Friday June 5, 2015. The home, which dates to 1917, is one of Wright's American System-Built homes. It has   /  (c) Mark Hertzberg

The documentation of Frank Lloyd Wright as the architect of the home at 2106 Newton Avenue, Shorewood, Wis., was announced Friday June 5, 2015. The home, which dates to 1917, is one of Wright's American System-Built homes. It has   /  (c) Mark Hertzberg

Many people think Wright designed homes only for wealthy clients, but he was keenly interested in affordable housing for the middle class. The American System-Built homes, designed as affordable housing, could be selected from a myriad of designs. The entrance to the house is on the right side (as one faces the house). The original open porch at the entrance was enclosed at an unknown date. It still has the original stucco finish and the leaded glass windows which apparently were the front windows of the house.

The documentation of Frank Lloyd Wright as the architect of the home at 2106 Newton Avenue, Shorewood, Wis., was announced Friday June 5, 2015. The home, which dates to 1917, is one of Wright's American System-Built homes. It has   /  (c) Mark Hertzberg

The documentation of Frank Lloyd Wright as the architect of the home at 2106 Newton Avenue, Shorewood, Wis., was announced Friday June 5, 2015. The home, which dates to 1917, is one of Wright's American System-Built homes. It has   /  (c) Mark Hertzberg

The documentation of Frank Lloyd Wright as the architect of the home at 2106 Newton Avenue, Shorewood, Wis., was announced Friday June 5, 2015. The home, which dates to 1917, is one of Wright's American System-Built homes. It has   /  (c) Mark Hertzberg

The Newton Avenue house, built in 1917, joins six homes in the 2700 block of W. Burnham St. (two single-family homes and four duplexes) as examples of Wright’s American System-Built homes in the Milwaukee area. The two-bedroom Shorewood house is a Model A203. Four other Milwaukee American System-Built duplexes, the Arthur R. Munkwitz Duplex Apartments, were demolished in 1973 to widen a street.

The documentation of Frank Lloyd Wright as the architect of the home at 2106 Newton Avenue, Shorewood, Wis., was announced Friday June 5, 2015. The home, which dates to 1917, is one of Wright's American System-Built homes. It has   /  (c) Mark Hertzberg

The documentation of Frank Lloyd Wright as the architect of the home at 2106 Newton Avenue, Shorewood, Wis., was announced Friday June 5, 2015. The home, which dates to 1917, is one of Wright's American System-Built homes. It has   /  (c) Mark Hertzberg

The documentation of Frank Lloyd Wright as the architect of the home at 2106 Newton Avenue, Shorewood, Wis., was announced Friday June 5, 2015. The home, which dates to 1917, is one of Wright's American System-Built homes. It has   /  (c) Mark Hertzberg

The documentation of Frank Lloyd Wright as the architect of the home at 2106 Newton Avenue, Shorewood, Wis., was announced Friday June 5, 2015. The home, which dates to 1917, is one of Wright's American System-Built homes. It has   /  (c) Mark Hertzberg

The documentation of Frank Lloyd Wright as the architect of the home at 2106 Newton Avenue, Shorewood, Wis., was announced Friday June 5, 2015. The home, which dates to 1917, is one of Wright's American System-Built homes. It has   /  (c) Mark Hertzberg

The documentation of Frank Lloyd Wright as the architect of the home at 2106 Newton Avenue, Shorewood, Wis., was announced Friday June 5, 2015. The home, which dates to 1917, is one of Wright's American System-Built homes. It has   /  (c) Mark Hertzberg

The first person to tell owners Roger and Pat Wisialowski that they may be living in a Wright home was the late Richard Johnson of Evanston, Illinois. Johnson had a passion for searching for previously unknown Wright works. However, none of the ones he believed Wright designed were documented and authenticated as Wright’s, until Mike Lilek researched the little house on Newton Avenue over the last year and found proof that it is, indeed, a Wright home. Lilek is nationally recognized as an expert on the subject of Wright’s American System-Built homes.

The documentation of Frank Lloyd Wright as the architect of the home at 2106 Newton Avenue, Shorewood, Wis., was announced Friday June 5, 2015. The home, which dates to 1917, is one of Wright's American System-Built homes. It has   /  (c) Mark Hertzberg

Lilek, left, is interviewed by Jeff Rummage of the “Shorewood Now news site.

He has spearheaded the restoration of two of the Burnham Street houses for Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin. He extensively researched the Newton Avenue house and has presented his findings to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, the organization which oversees all things Wright and was the former home of Wright’s archive. He announced his findings June 5, 2015 at a press event in front of the house. He has been transparent about his research, and has posted a link to it:

www.wrightinwisconsin.org

Link toMary Louise Schumacher’s feature story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

http://www.jsonline.com/entertainment/sleuthing-reveals-shorewood-home-was-

designed-by-frank-lloyd-wright-b99513440z1-306231261.html