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“Wright This Way” Annual Spring Fundraiser
Historic Preservation Blog from - Frank Lloyd Wright House; House Museum; Historic Site Rescue
Contributed By: Molly Murphy
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“Wright This Way” Annual Spring Fundraiser
Opening a second decade of preservation, interpretation, and salvation!

“Wright This Way” Annual Spring Fundraiser to raise money to help complete the restoration and continue preservation of the Gordon House designed by Wright for Oregon in 1957.

“The Inside Story:  Saving the David and Gladys Wright House”, a discussion by Larry Woodin, President of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy.

Silverton, Oregon –  The Gordon House invites you to attend “Wright This Way”.  The annual spring fundraiser will be on Friday, April 12, 2013 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at SmithCFI, 620 NE 19th Avenue, Portland, Oregon.  Join us for wine and appetizers and get the inside story on the recent and dramatic saga about saving the distinctive David and Gladys Wright House in Phoenix, Arizona from Larry Woodin, architect and President of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy.

You can help continue the preservation of the only Frank Lloyd Wright building in Oregon.  $25 per ticket or invite your whole office or department and have a party for 12 for $250.  All proceeds benefit the Gordon House.  Students with school ID cards are free.  For more information and to make reservations call 503/874-6006 with a charge card or visit  Make early reservations and payment by Saturday, April 6, to get two extra raffle tickets.

Raffle, Book Signings, & Networking:

1. Two book signings:
Larry Woodin – The Gordon House: A Moving Experience
Jim Tice – Frank Lloyd Wright: Between Principles and Form

2. Wine and appetizers and an evening of informational download, shop-talk, and networking with colleagues and friends.

3. Participate in raffles for prizes including a great office chair donated by Steelcase.

4. See the exceptional play-by-play restoration of Wright’s 1909 Meyer May House in Grand Rapids, Michigan funded by Steelcase.

5. SmithCFI demonstration showrooms featuring the Steelcase Store with Details, Coalesse, and Turnstone workspace solutions for your home office or business.

Saving the Wright Legacy Site by Site:

The David and Gladys Wright House rescue is just the latest heroic story of
historic preservation.  The built legacy designed by Frank Lloyd Wright will be lost forever without the commitment of the Building Conservancy over the past 24 years.  The Gordon House is another example of their dedication.  In a remarkable career spanning over 70 years, Wright created over 1,000 designs, 500 of which were realized.  Sadly, nearly 20% of the executed works have been destroyed because of fire, neglect, or development.

Larry Woodin, EcoHome Foundation Director, currently presides over the Building Conservancy as President.  His position affords him a unique perspective to tell the real and incredible news from Phoenix, Arizona that is not uncommon in the efforts to prevent the loss of our most valuable architectural designs.  Woodin’s leadership, advocacy, and vigilance demonstrates the need and dedication to protect our past.

Our Event Sponsors:

SmithCFI provides innovative office furniture solutions to customers throughout Oregon and SW Washington for over 65 years.  Their passion about helping customers and design partners bring their project visions to like is well known.  Their consultative, team approach helps to clearly understand the customer’s objectives and successfully complete projects of any size.  SmithCFI has received Steelcase’s “Quality Achievement Award” recognizing outstanding achievement and the integration of quality management practices.  They are also certified as a Minority Business Enterprise by the National Minority Supplier Development Council.

Steelcase turns 100 this year!  We began in 1912 as, The Metal Office Furniture
Company, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  They received their first patent in 1914 for a steel wastebasket --  a major innovation at a time when straw wastebaskets were a serious office fire hazard.  That led to metal desks and today, their portfolio of solutions addresses the three core elements of an office environment:  interior architecture, furniture, and technology.

After Steelcase acquired the Meyer May House in 1985, extensive research was done to determine the original design.  Bit by bit, the evidence accumulated until Wright’s 1909 vision was revealed.  The restoration took two years and included demolition of a 1922 addition plus painstaking, expert attention to hundreds of exterior and interior details.  It’s the most completely restored of Wright’s homes.

Students will enhance their understanding of the preservation of Oregon’s historically significant architecture and specifically Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs at the event.  Students will also meet architecture, interior design, and related industry individuals as they prepare for their professional futures.

Oregon’s Gordon House Story:

The Gordon House was designed for the Gordon Farm located along the Willamette River with a view of Mt Hood beyond neighboring rolling farmland.  The Gordon House, saved from demolition and moved to Silverton, has welcomed over 100,000 visitors since opening to the public in 2002.  In 2004, the house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The house is the only Wright building in Oregon –  and the only one open to the public in the Pacific Northwest.  Although much has been accomplished to date, crucial restoration work still needs to be completed that will contribute dramatically to the visitor’s experience and appreciation of the Usonian house as the residence it once was and to assure the continued preservation of the house and public education.

Frank Lloyd Wright, considered by many to be the greatest American architect of the 20th century, designed the house for Conrad and Evelyn Gordon in 1957 to be built on their Oregon farm in Clackamas County.  Construction of the three-bedroom, three-bath home was finally completed in 1964.

Evelyn enjoyed her home for more than three decades, welcoming a variety
of Frank Lloyd Wright aficionados who made their way to the house from all over the world.  Mrs. Gordon passed away in 1997, and the house and the 22 acres that remained of their farm were put up for sale.  When it was sold in 2000, preservationists and architecture fans were not happy to learn that the new owners planned to demolish Oregon’s only Frank Lloyd Wright building to build a new home on the property.

After concerted efforts, the house was moved 24 miles to Silverton next door to The Oregon Garden in 2001.  The home was carefully reconstructed and opened to the public in March of 2002.  The house is a demonstration of significant innovations by Frank Lloyd Wright for his design of affordable houses for families of moderate means.

And the quest for excellence continues this time with energy sustainability in mind.  The mid-century modern Gordon House meets the 20th century with domestic hot water and heat source upgrades.  Sixty-eight incandescent electric lights are being replaced by florescent lamps.  Restoration and preservation continues with only with your help.

Keywords: Frank Lloyd Wright House; House Museum; Historic Site Rescue

Posted: March 16, 2013
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