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Endangered Historic U.S. Places 2009

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Endangered Historic U.S. Places 2009

| architecture, buildings | May 18, 2009

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Unity Temple, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for his own Unitarian congregation in Oak Park, Illinois, remains an icon of early modern architecture, with its geometric design, strong massing, characteristic detailing, and use of exposed concrete.

But despite ongoing maintenance of this National Historic Landmark, the 1909 building has suffered extensive damage from years of water infiltration. Its precarious state prompted the National Trust for Historic Preservation to name Unity Temple one of “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places” for 2009.
The annual list highlights architectural, cultural, and natural heritage sites at risk of destruction or irreparable damage. This year’s sites range from a single school building in Georgia to an entire mountain in New Mexico, from a 19th-century factory complex to such modern landmarks as Minoru Yamasaki’s 1966 Century Plaza Hotel.

Neglect, lack of funding, insensitive public policy, and natural forces — often working in combination — have put many of these buildings in jeopardy. Several of the listed sites are threatened with demolition to enable redevelopment.

Wright’s Hometown Masterwork

Reflecting on Unity Temple near the end of his life, Wright said, “That was my first expression of this eternal idea which is at the center and core of all true modern architecture. A sense of space, a new sense of space.”

Full article via Architecture Week

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After working at various design practices on a full-time and freelance basis, and starting his own design firm, David McFadden saw that there was a gap to be filled in the industry. In 1984, he created an expansive hub for architects and hiring firms to sync up, complete projects, and mutually benefit. That hub was Consulting For Architects Inc., which enabled architects to find meaningful design work, while freeing hiring firms from tedious hiring-firing cycles. This departure from the traditional, more rigid style of employer-employee relations was just what the industry needed - flexibility and adaption to modern work circumstances. David has successfully advised his clients through the trials and tribulations of four recessions – the early 80’s, the early 90’s, the early 2000’s, and the Great Recession of 2007.

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