As you may have guessed, I have a love of art, old buildings and specific design elements- such as tile and stained glass. My love of old buildings is a family interest and most likely a catalyst for my profession in Interior design. It all stems from a summer road trip with my family into Wisconsin to explore all of the Frank Lloyd Wright structures we could find…. but I digress.
Frank Lloyd Wright, the infamous Architect, designer and creative genius is a favorite of mine. I admire his work not just for the ingenuity and unique thinking for the era, but for the personality needed to take such leaps. Frank Lloyd Wright saw space and materials in ways that today are still being perfected. His structures tested the limits of what was ( and is) possible and these inventive designs are showing more than their share of stress and wear from the years.
The Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois is one of those structures.
With a flat roof, signature Wrightean cantilevers and a large open interior, the structure is cracked and crumbling and the exterior a new target for vandals. The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Unity Temple one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in 2009. There is a foundation established, the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation, that has an excellent website providing information on the restoration, fundraising and steps that have been made since the 2009 listing as an endangered site. Please donate to their efforts if you can. Historic architectural sites such as the Unity Temple are worth saving.
Watch this video for a glimpse of the site and a history that you may not have seen before. Also note the brass epitaph that was recently stolen by vandals is visible within the first seconds and again towards the end of the video.