Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust by Jeffrey Bussean

Source: Historic American Buildings Survey, The Library of Congress. Posted at Wikimedia Commons.

As President of Bussean Enterprises in Worth, Illinois, I oversee maintenance and operation of several historic buildings such as the Patrick C. Haley Mansion in Joliet, the Grand Ballroom at Joliet Union Station, and the Chateau Bu-Sché in Alsip. I have longstanding interest in architecture and historical preservation, and was involved in preventing the demolition of an historic Joliet mansion through transportation to another location. I am currently a Member of the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the Chicago-area legacy of one of the world’s most noted 20th century architects. The Trust was founded as the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Foundation in 1974 with the mission of acquiring and preserving the Oak Park office where Wright pioneered his influential Prairie School.

Characterized by strong integration of structure with environment through use of spare architectural elements, such as horizontal lines, overhanging eaves, and windows arranged in horizontal orientation, the Prairie School contributed to Wright’s design legacy. Wright’s Oak Park home and studio serves as a classic example of this aesthetic, and was successfully renovated into an historic house museum by the Home and Studio Foundation in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation over the next 13 years. In 1997, the Home and Studio Foundation began a second major project in overseeing the renovation of Wright’s Robie House on the University of Chicago campus. The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust took its current name in 2000, reflecting the organization’s dual restoration and stewardship functions.

As funds have become available, the Trust’s team has actively restored the Robie House during the past 10 years. The Trust oversees a dedicated staff of 500 volunteers who lead more than 100,000 visitors annually on tours of the Oak Park home and studio, as well as the Robie House. In 2010 the Trust opened an office at the historic Rookery Building in downtown Chicago, which features one of Wright’s most striking interiors, a central light court. The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust provides valuable services in maintaining and promoting Chicago’s rich architectural legacy and I recommend supporting the group at gowright.org.

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