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Whitaker Foundation Announces Challenge Grant
The Whitaker Foundation has announced a $50,000 challenge grant
to the Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park. The grant will
be awarded after the organization raises $200,000 to improve the
road and provide parking space for visitors.
In order to prepare for a campaign to raise the matching funds for
this ambitious project, Tom Oslund, a noted landscape architect
based in Minneapolis, has been selected to develop a detailed plan
suggesting an accessible road and parking areas at the Ebsworth
The road and parking conditions, as well as the size of the house,
have determined the way FLWHEP serves the public. Tours are limited
to 10 people and the number of cars to as many as can fit on the
gravel parking area. Sometimes there is a massive moving of cars
if someone gets blocked in and needs to leave early. Tours are scheduled
two hours apart to make sure everyone leaves before the next group
arrives, preventing cars from meeting head-on on the one-way gravel
road. The house was closed for six weeks this winter because the
road is not even safe for walking when there is ice.
entrance road, 2004
Whitaker grant provides the opportunity to examine the proper way to deal with
the dilemma of maintaining a residential feeling at a public property. Input from
the membership and help in completing the project will be greatly appreciated.
Whitaker Foundation gave The Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park its first
significant grant in 2001 to save the Kraus House. Through that first gift, the
Whitaker Foundation, and its executive director Christie Gray, recognized the
value of the project and gave it credibility with the funding community. They
are once again offering FLWHEP a gift that will enrich the St. Louis community
and make the House and property more accessible to the public.
Selected to Guide Project
Tom Oslund, Principal and Design Director of
Oslund and Associates, Minneapolis, has been selected to guide the design process
of the road and parking facilities based on his extensive experience developing
site plans for major developments including corporate, college and private estates.
Oslund, a graduate of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design,
is recipient of numerous design awards including the Rome Prize Fellowship in
Landscape Architecture from the American Academy in Rome 1991-92. He has taught,
written and lectured extensively on landscape architecture.
Some of his
site planning and design major projects include the expansion of the Walker Art
Center Sculpture Garden in Minneapolis, the Minnesota Zoological Garden Master
Plan, and the Corporate Master Plan for General Mills in Minneapolis.
to right) FLWHEP vice-chairman Bob Hall, FLWHEP board member and architect Gene
Mackey and landscape architect Tom Oslund looking over the property.|
Note from the Chairman
I want to welcome Laura Meyer, a new board member,
and thank outgoing board members Roger Peterson and Mark Miller for their years
of service. Roger and Mark contributed greatly to the purchase and restoration
of the Kraus House.
Volunteers continue to do a great job as witnessed
by Ellen Post who led our group to Bartlesville; our docent
Carolyn Noll and Sue Geile; and our effective group of docents who through their
efforts make the house available to the public and adapt to the problems of the
road and parking on a continuous basis.
Heavy rain washes out the road
to the Kraus House. With the challenge grant from the Whitaker Foundation, we
have an opportunity to build a new permanent road that will be safer and create
parking space for visitors. Tom Oslund, landscape architect from Minneapolis,
has visited the site twice, and we look forward to his sensitive approach to the
house and land.
The annual FLW birthday party will kick off the Legacy
Fund created in honor of Ruth and Russell Kraus. For the first time, we have corporate
backing for this party thanks to board member Sarah Bakewell and Bakewell Realty
and John Wuest and Heartland Bank. I also want to thank Sally Pinckard and John
Whitney, who are serving as liaison chairmen, and their wonderful committee.
am grateful to Anabeth and John Weil and Jane and Warren Shapleigh for allowing
the FLWHEP to display their collections of Rookwood pottery from June 13 through
September 30. This exhibit will complement the exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum
of University City Pottery which is being shown this year as part of the national
Arts & Crafts conference at the museum June 17-20. The conference "Meet
Me at the Fair: Louisiana Purchase Exposition and the Arts and Crafts Movement
on Display" will include a lecture on Rookwood pottery; 150 of the attendees
will tour the Kraus House. The conference is open to the public.
all the support we have received from the membership. Come to the benefit, see
the Rookwood pottery exhibit, follow the progress of the road project and have
a great summer!
Joanne Kohn, Chairman
The Frank Lloyd Wright House in
My appreciation for the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright
stems from several life experiences. I grew up in a real estate family; so houses
were always a big part of my life. Bill Bernoudy, a well-known St. Louis based
architect, was a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright and a good friend
of my parents. As a young woman, I enjoyed visiting his house and learning how
design and nature work together. Bill was the first person who described formal
garden areas as "outdoor rooms".
Later in life, when I took over
running the family real estate business, my interest and knowledge of architecture
increased. I also got involved in residential development and building and rehabbing
houses. Each project was done with a great deal of thought going into the environment
and landscape in which the house sat. Light and prevailing winds were a big part
of the overall designs as well as the topography.
Judi Bettendorf first
contacted me in 1994 about getting involved in the effort to save the Ruth and
Russell Kraus house. I did the appraisal for the project, which was the basis
for our negotiations with Mr. Kraus and St. Louis County.
I valued the
10.5 acres for its development potential and the house using Bernoudy homes as
comparable sales data. It all fit nicely and I think everyone left the negotiating
table feeling good.
I have continued my service on the board since that
time, under the dynamic leadership of Joanne Kohn, and recently assisted in the
effort to have a fund raiser for the newly formed "Legacy Fund"to support
the ongoing preservation of the house.
Jane Shapleigh has been tremendously involved in the St.
Louis community for years; so her interest in preserving the Kraus House is not
As Jane explains it, "Joanne Kohn, Chairman of the FLWHEP
board, told me about the house and invited me to be a board member. I was delighted
to join an effort to save the house. For me, seeing the house for the first time
with Joanne was a whole new experience of Frank Lloyd Wright's work...The Usonian
House. Previously I had seen only some of the grander houses. Anyone visiting
the Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park can relate personally to its simplicity
and style within the tradition of brick houses in St. Louis. It is an exclamation
mark important to the visual history of St. Louis."
in the arts and other community organizations has extended over four decades,
including being a
member of the St. Louis Art Museum Board of Trustees and
a member of the National Council for the School of Art at Washington University.
She has been member of the board of the FLWHEP since 1998, three years before
the purchase of the Kraus House.
She has collected art, particularly of
American artists of the late 19th and early 20th century, the period that parallels
Wright's work and includes the art pottery graciously loaned by her and her husband,
Warren, for this summer's Rookwood exhibit.
Jane has a keen sensibility
to modern architecture and has built a house designed by noted American architect,
Graham Gund. Her judgment about quality has informed her advice on how and why
to save and restore the Kraus House. Joanne Kohn remarked, "Her input has
been significant, and we are most grateful for her participation and the help
given by both Jane and Warren."
Frank Lloyd Wright's Birthday Party
Ruth and Russell Kraus Kicks off Legacy Fund
Bakewell Realty & Heartland Bank
Kraus, the original owner of the Kraus House and June 13 honoree|
FLWHEP will kick off the Ruth and Russell Kraus Legacy Fund and celebrate the
136th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright's birthday on Sunday, June 13. Members
and friends are invited to join in the celebration in Ebsworth Park from 2-6 p.m.
The Legacy Fund has been created to finance ongoing restoration of the
Kraus House and the development of its surrounding environs. The fund's focus
this year will be the expansion and improvement of the road and the addition of
Tickets for the event start at $100 and can be purchased
by calling 822-8359 8(FLW) and leaving your phone number or by responding to the
invitation members will receive in the mail. The fund-raiser will help match the
Whitaker Foundation's challenge grant of $50,000.
The event, sponsored
by Bakewell Realty Company and Heartland Bank, is co-chaired by Sarah Bakewell,
Bakewell and John Wuest, Vice-Chairman of Heartland, with the
assistance of Sally Pinckard of the FLWHEP and John Whitney of Bakewell.
Wuest, Vice-Chairman of Heartland Bank.|
us for an exciting afternoon, including at 3 p.m. a conversation with Russell
Kraus, who will be interviewed by Joanne Kohn, Chairman of the FLWHEP. The party
will include tours of the house, an exhibit of Rookwood Pottery loaned by Anabeth
and John Weil and Warren and Jane Shapleigh, delicious food by Something Elegant,
Mr. Wright's birthday cake, music by John Wuest and his group of talented musicians,
croquet on the grounds, and enjoyment of the park.
Parking is available
at St. Gerard Majella's Church, on the northeast corner of Dougherty Ferry Road.
Road with a shuttle bus to the House. Please enter lot from Dougherty
We look forward to many of you joining us on Sunday, June 13,
to celebrate Mr. WrightÕs birthday and to kick off the Ruth and Russell
Kraus Legacy Fund.
Rookwood Pottery Exhibit
Following the interest
in Teco art pottery last summer and wanting to fill the house again with beautiful
art, Rookwood art pottery will be displayed in the Kraus House, thanks to St.
Louis collectors John and Anabeth Weil and Jane and
Warren Shapleigh. The
exhibit opens June 13 at the FLW birthday party and closes September 30. Peter
Shank, chairman of the house collection, will once again curate the exhibit.
and John Weil with their Rookwood art pottery collection.|
was More than OK!
Eighteen members of the FLWHEP had a unique opportunity
-- to stay in a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building, the Price Tower in Bartlesville,
Oklahoma, the weekend of April 23-25.
The Price Tower, the only fully
developed Wright skyscraper, designed for oil pipeline magnate Harold Price, has
only recently been renovated to include sleeping rooms. The tower now includes
the inn, original offices and apartments on the top three floors, a museum with
Wright furniture, an art center focusing on the art of architecture and design,
and Copper, an acclaimed restaurant.
The group viewed more architecture
by Wright (the Price House in Bartlesville and the Richard Lloyd Jones House in
Tulsa), by Bruce Goff and others. The trip included seeing the Gilcrease and Philbrook
art museums in Tulsa, visiting
Woolaroc, the former ranch of Frank Phillips
of Phillips Oil abounding with wild animals and western art, walking on the Tall
Grass Prairie owned by The Nature Conservancy and watching bison and newly blossomed
It was a trip combining the best of nature and human
ingenuity... Mr. Wright would have enjoyed it! A special thank you to Ellen Post,
travel chairman for the FLWHEP, for organizing an excellent tour.
front of the Price House in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.|
Find a Home in Ebsworth Park
Ebsworth Park combines a wide expanse of grasslands
and woods ideal for attracting the bluebird, Missouri's state bird. So when Burt
and Carolyn Noll offered to buildÊand care for nesting houses to encourage
bluebirds, their offer was seen as a way to make the occasional sighting a regular
Burt built the houses following a pattern attractive to the
birds and placed them in the park in locations most likely to encourage nesting.
The bluebird (Sialis sialis) is a cavity-nesting bird that faces competition from
alien species, the starling and the English sparrow. Their population has benefited
greatly by artificial housing provided by many organized and dedicated "bluebirders"
such as Burt and Carolyn. Carolyn, one of FLWHEP's tour coordinators, tends
houses making sure wasps, hornets and other birds don't appropriate them.
after the four bluebird houses were erected, a bluebird pair set up housekeeping
in one of the four Noll creations. As of May 16, four blue eggs are waiting to
be hatched and hopefully four new birds will enjoy the habitat and will start
their own families in Ebsworth Park.
Thank you Burt and Carolyn for helping
to make the park hospitable to bluebirds and more interesting to visitors.
and Carolyn Noll|