Professional Development for Teachers
Building for the Future, a professional development day for teachers, was conducted in collaboration with the Burnham Plan Centennial. Wright in Your Classroom, sponsored by Oak Park Elementary District 97 University 97, focused on integrating architecture and the work of Frank Lloyd Wright into the traditional curriculum. Frank Lloyd Wright and Other Greats: Integrating the Natural Landscape into Architecture and Design, a collaboration with the Chicago Botanic Garden, introduced teachers to landscape design and using natural forms in art-glass design.
More than 100,000 guests enjoyed the two historic sites during FY10. The newly formed Guest Relations department was launched in August 2009 to take on day-to-day management of tours at both the Home and Studio and the Robie House, and to ensure an exceptional experience for our guests. In an effort to enhance tour offerings and create unique experiences at our historic sites, self-guided tours, the Private Spaces In-depth Tour and After Hours were introduced at the Robie House. Robie House hours were also expanded to have the museum open to the public Thursday through Monday.
The Wright Plus 2010 housewalk, our 36th annual tour and largest fundraiser, held May 15, was once again a successful event by many measures. A sell-out crowd of nearly 3,000 visitors from around the nation and from many foreign countries enjoyed the mix of notable architecture, including two homes never before open for Wright Plus and the Frank W. Thomas House (Frank Lloyd Wright, 1901), which had not been open to the public for more than two decades. Dedicated efforts by staff and nearly 600 volunteers resulted in smooth operation of all aspects of the event. International and domestic media enthusiastically covered the housewalk and other weekend events.
Robie House Restoration
The restoration project made significant progress with all three bathrooms returned to their original appearance, complete with period fixtures, conservation of wood trim, doors, hardware and cabinetry, and installation of custom reproduction ceramic tile where it was missing.
In the guest bedroom, the original paint colors were custom mixed and installed, wood trim, doors, hardware and cabinetry were conserved, and light fixtures were returned to their original locations after conservation. All art-glass windows and associated hardware in these rooms were also conserved.
The Robie House Digital Restoration Web project was awarded the highest honor for excellence on the Internet, a Webby Award. The project is an immersive virtual tour of the Robie House main floor as Wright originally envisioned.