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Benefit – June 5, 2005

Leon Anderson

Laura Meyer and Frisky Brigham, Benefit Co-chairs.

The benefit this year will be a duo celebration of Wright's birth and the 50th anniversary of the completion of the Kraus House. FLW was born on June 8, 1867, in Richland Center, Wisconsin, and died in 1959, four years after the completion of the Kraus House. 

Russell Kraus, an artist, and his wife Ruth contacted FLW after reading in 1948 about the Usonian Pope House (now the Pope-Leighy House) being designed by Wright in Virginia. The architect agreed that the Krauses would have "their little house" and work was started in 1951 and completed in 1955.

Frisky Brigham and Laura Meyer, both FLWHEP board members, are chairing the birthday/ anniversary fund-raising party on June 5 on the grounds of Ebsworth Park from 2-5 p.m. Proceeds, as in recent years, will go to the rebuilding of the road.

The afternoon event includes a presentation by architectural historian Jane King Hession at 3 p.m., an exhibit of woodcuts and prints by renowned painter Werner Drewes, a return visit by the St. Louis Ragtimers, and a delicious repast by caterers Something Elegant.  The newest donations of pottery and sculpture will be on display and tours will be available.

Tickets start at $100 per person. Reservations may be made by sending a check to the FLWHEP to Frisky Brigham, 1723 Millstream, Chesterfield, MO 63017.  We hope you will join us for a double celebration acknowledging the birth of the architect 138 years ago and the completion 50 years ago of one of his best examples of a Usonian house, the Kraus House.

For more information call  822-8359 and leave a message; your call will be returned.


Jane King Hession


Jane King Hession Will Speak at Benefit

Architectural writer, curator and historian Jane King Hession will be the speaker for the benefit program on Sunday June 5, 2005 honoring the 50th anniversary of the Kraus House. She will speak at 3 p.m. under the tent at Ebsworth Park.

Jane has a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Minnesota and is a member of the board of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, editing the bulletin for the premier organization dedicated to saving Frank Lloyd Wright structures. She is the former president of the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians and co-author of the book Ralph Rapson: Sixty Years of Modern Architecture.

In 2000, she received the Independent Publishers Book Award, winner in architecture, for the Rapson book. She curated a show about John Howe, the FLW apprentice who worked on the plans for the Kraus House, called “John Howe in Minnesota: The Prairie School of Frank Lloyd Wright.” She is currently working on a book and exhibition entitled “Frank Lloyd Wright in New York: The Plaza Years, 1954-1959.”

Jane is a guide at the Pope-Leighey House in Virginia, which is the house that inspired Russell Kraus to contact Frank Lloyd Wright to design his house in Kirkwood, Missouri.


A Note from the Chairman

The board is working very hard to raise funds to match the Whitaker Challenge to make the road and parking more accessible.  Our benefit on June 5, chaired by Frisky Brigham and Laura Meyer, will help us raise the $200,000 needed to qualify for the $50,000 match.  We hope you will come to the party, renew your membership, and/or contribute to the road fund so we can take advantage of the generosity of our funding community.

The landscaping improvements will create parking for school buses and cars that will blend into the grounds and a road that will not wash away with each rainfall.  It is not easy to turn a residence into a public institution and keep its essence, but that is our goal.

Our organization also continues to work towards another goal -- learning more about Frank Lloyd Wright to better explain and interpret the Kraus House to our members and the public, including students of all ages.  Wright is the vehicle through which we perceive creativity, envision  philosophy, and understand history.

An example is the recent Arts & Crafts exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA) which included Wright as one of the chief proponents of that massive movement that swept across Europe and the United States in the mid-19th and  early 20th  centuries.  Included in the exhibit was a lamp from Wright's Prairie style Dana-Thomas House in Springfield, Illinois. You can see this exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum this Spring and Summer.

Wright, we know, was not just an egotist who insisted that home owners use the furniture he designed, but he was expressing an Arts & Crafts principle shared by other architects of the period that the inside must be integrated with the outside.

We now have a bit of the Arts & Crafts movement on the Kraus House shelves thanks to the generous contributions of art pottery from our members. Do come to see it and attend the June 5 benefit to learn more from Jane King Hession, noted architectural historian and expert on Frank Lloyd Wright.

Have a great summer!

Joanne Kohn, Chairman
The Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park


Barney Ebsworth

All of St. Louis and all lovers of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture everywhere are grateful to Barney Ebsworth whose gift of one million dollars was key to the purchase of the Kraus House and the 10.5 acres which surround it.  A St. Louis county park was created and is named in honor of his parents.  Barney now lives in Seattle and was contacted to learn about his initial interest in saving the Kraus House and property.

"First of all, I have always been interested in architecture and Frank Lloyd Wright.  Bill Bernoudy, a St. Louis architect, who had apprenticed under Mr. Wright, designed my house in 1952, approximately the same time as the Kraus House. It was made of the same wood, tidewater red cypress, and had similar design features as the Kraus House.

I had been looking for some way to honor the memory of my parents. My mother was born in St. Louis and father emigrated from England to St. Louis in 1923; so both of them lived their mature life in St. Louis.

I am very interested in helping children to get interested in art and architecture at an early age. I gave the mummy to the Saint Louis Art Museum as I felt it was an object that would draw children to the museum.  Saving the Kraus House was the only opportunity to secure an example of Frank Lloyd Wright work for St. Louisans to learn about and enjoy.

This is not a grand Prairie house like the Dana House, the Robie House, or Fallingwater.  It is a Usonian house, less grand in its conception, but fulfills FLW's belief that all people should live well and be surrounded by beauty."


Werner Drewes, Portrait of Sculptor Gerhard Marcks, woodcut, 1963.
Collection of Peter Shank.

Werner Drewes Exhibit

Werner Drewes, Portrait of Sculptor Gerhard Marcks, woodcut, 1963.
Collection of Peter Shank.

An exhibit of Werner Drewes (1899-1985) prints and woodcuts opens at the Frank Lloyd Wright birthday party on June 5. The 20 plus works will be on display through August 31.

We are thankful to the friends of the FLWHEP for loaning these works by the world renowned painter, printmaker and teacher. The exhibit, curated by board member Peter Shank, includes works lent by Peter and his brother Paul Shank, as well as Gary Tenenbaum, Jean Coleman, Kyrle and Ann Boldt, Arthur Osver and Ernestine Betsberg, and Frank and Faye Roth.

“We want to attract attention to artists who lived and worked in the St. Louis area,” said Peter Shank commenting on the exhibit.

Drewes spent almost 20 years (1946-65) as a faculty member in the School of Fine Arts at Washington University, serving as Professor of Design and Director of the First Year Program. During this time he worked with fellow faculty member Max Beckman. Washington University hosted two of his one-man shows: one upon his retirement in 1965 and a retrospective in 1979.

His works are in collections in the U.S. including the Saint Louis Art Museum, Guggenheim, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art and the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C. as well as in Paris, Jerusalem and Berlin, Bonn, Cologne, Dessau and Hamburg, Germany.

German-born Drewes was a student of the Bauhaus during the 1920s, bringing its concepts to the U.S. in his paintings, prints, and teaching. Reacting to the foreboding political climate of the 1930s, he left Germany for New York where he taught printmaking at the Brooklyn Museum and Columbia University. He was a founding member in the late 1930s of the American Abstract Artist group for the creation of “nonobjective art.”

Drewes’ career expanded well-beyond the usual retirement working more than 65 years of his some 86 years. He was honored by the Smithsonian for his 60 years as a printmaker.

Like Frank Lloyd Wright, Drewes’ long active career demonstrated his love of nature and his willingness to experiment.


Eugene Thalinger

Art collector and former gallery director Horty Shieber and her husband Bill have donated our second metal and wood piece designed by Eugene (Frederick Jean) Thalinger to the FLWHEP. The piece, titled “The Astronomers,” is on display in the second bedroom in the House.

Thalinger (1915-1965) attended the Washington University School of Art at the same time as Russell Kraus. His works include sculptures in wood, stone, clay, welded metal and soap. He was the son of artist E. Oscar Thalinger who was associated with the Saint Louis Art Museum for nearly 40 years.


Leon Anderson

One of six FLWHEP postcards photographed by Peter Tuteur

The Trio Foundation of St. Louis Helps Match
Road Grant from Whitaker Foundation

The FLWHEP has been granted a gift of $30,000 over a two year period from The Trio Foundation of St. Louis to apply to the required $200,000 match from the Whitaker Foundation for road improvements.  A gift from the Garvey Fund of $9,000 reported earlier also applies.  An additional $60,000 has been raised from corporate, individual and benefit donations.  We are now halfway toward fulfilling the Whitaker grant match requirement. 

The total goal for the road, two parking areas and landscaping is $375,000. We are moving ahead to achieve this goal and putting in place a plan to fulfill the project.

Planning for the road started with a presentation in the fall by Tom Oslund, Minneapolis landscape architect.

A road committee, headed by board vice-chairman Bob Hall, was formed to evaluate the Oslund plan.

George Stock of Stock & Associates, Consulting Engineers, Inc., is now doing a topographical survey of the property and will design the road to manage drainage and suggest a surface that will blend with the natural surroundings.  The surface will correct the problem of small rocks washing away with every rainfall. Landscaping will enhance the construction of the road and parking areas.

Financial help is still needed. Contributions to the road fund may be sent to: FLWHEP, c/o 40 Upper Ladue Rd., St. Louis, MO 63124.


Leon Anderson

Monona Terrace Convention Center designed by FLW.

Going to the Source

The FLWHEP will sponsor its fourth trip September 16-18 with a flight leaving St Louis Friday morning.  Three days will be spent in Wisconsin where Frank Lloyd Wright was born, raised with his mother's Lloyd-Jones family, built his residence Taliesin (1911) in Spring Green (which developed into a farm and architectural school), and designed his first Usonian house and his famous Unitarian Meeting House (1947).

We will stay in Madison at the Hilton Monona Terrace Hotel next to the Monona Terrace Convention Center which was designed by Wright and built with some modifications more than 35 years after his death and opened in 1997. 

The tentative itinerary includes Wright’s designed Lamp House (1903), Jacobs I (1936, the first Usonian house built) and Jacobs II House (1948), the Gilmore House (1908, a Prairie style house also known as the airplane house), and the Van Tamelen House (1956). Also in Madison we will see the Bradley House designed by Wright’s mentor Louis Sullivan.

In the Lake Delavan area we will visit the Wright-designed Ross House (1902), Jones House (1900), Gate Lodge and Barn both 1901, and the Johnson House (1903) and have lunch at the Lake Lawn Lodge. The return flight to St. Louis will be Sunday afternoon.

A special guide will give us access to the inside of these houses. If you are interested in joining the trip, please call Ellen Post, travel chairman, at 314-862-6699.



Leon Anderson

Living room of the Rosenbaum House in Florence, Alabama.

Rosenbaum House – Visiting Another FLW Usonian Home
Agnes Garino and Karen Halla, FLWHEP Docents

On separate occasions within the past year, we each had the opportunity to visit another Wright-designed Usonian home recently opened to the public: the Rosenbaum House in Florence, Alabama. The city of Florence purchased the original 1940 home with its large 1948 addition on two beautiful acres and FLW-designed furnishings in 1999.

The Rosenbaum house is the only FLW structure in Alabama. John Sargeant, author of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian Houses describes the Rosenbaum house as the “purest example of the Usonian.”
The House is exquisite in so many ways. It is based on a two-by-four foot grid, with full-length windows and doors (similar to the Kraus House wall of doors) with copper screens. Like the Kraus House, the materials are cypress (in this case Southern, instead of tidewater), glass and brick.

The house built on several levels has many similar features to the Kraus House such as mitered windows, skylights, recessed lighting, radiant heating (which has not worked for years), and fireplaces (in this house four).

The second Usonian home designed by Wright after the Jacobs I in Madison, WI (see fall 2004 “Wright Focus), it was built for the Rosenbaums, the only owners. Like Mr. Kraus, Stanley Rosenbaum wrote to Wright and asked him to design their house. Mr. Rosenbaum, a college professor, who also worked for his family movie theater, died in the 1980s. Mrs. Rosenbaum continued to live in the home until the late 1990s when Florence purchased the home. The restoration work funded by local taxpayers included repair of brick, wood, roof and furnishings.

Furniture was designed by Wright and others. When the Rosenbaums first moved into their house Mrs. Rosenbaum, so disliked the Wright designed dining chairs she gave them to her maid and bought eight Eames chairs to use in their place. Furnishings, including pottery, books, glasses, Mrs. Rosenbaums’s kitchen cookware, numerous cookbooks, and even family games and puzzles, are throughout the house.

Like the Kraus house, there is no basement, no attic, no garage, but a carport with a storage closet or tool house. The original 1940 L-shaped 1540 square foot house cost $12,000. The 1948 addition resulted in a T-shaped house. In the addition, there is a dormitory for the Rosenbaum’s four sons containing bunk beds, a playroom and a fireplace.

In the original house there is a living room with a long wall of shelves (similar to the Kraus house) which line the entry way. The opposite wall is lined with floor to ceiling window/doors. There is a 100 square foot study off the living room. The front of the house faces the Tennessee River now hidden by trees.

Alvin, one of the Rosenbaum’s sons and former architecture student at Taliesin, authored Usonia: Frank Lloyd Wright's Design for America, 1993, published by The Preservation Press. The younger Rosenbaum said in his “Introduction” to the book that the “sensation of living in a Usonian house was that of living in the country without being part of it, of living close to the ground, but in comfort, not in the rough.”

By the time the city purchased the home, it had deteriorated significantly, requiring restoration costing $700,000; major work included brick, cypress, and roof repair. The exterior included a Japanese garden which also required significant renovation.
Furniture was reupholstered, carpeting taken up, and substantial cleaning of the wood was required. The house also suffered from termite and water damage. The house was not centrally air conditioned until purchased by the city. The restoration took two years from the time the city took control.

Located in the Muscle Shoals area of Alabama which claims the home of Helen Keller and other historic homes and museums, Florence is slightly off-the-beaten path. You can find Florence, in the northwest corner of the state just south of the Tennessee border, between I-55 and I-65. There are a number of beautiful routes to this small city of 36,000 population.

The house, at 601 Riverview Drive, is open Mon.-Sat. from 10-4 for guided tours, admission charged. For more information:, or 256-740-8899. Reservations are not required, except for groups.

Leon Anderson

The new
FLWHEP gift shop

THE SHOP Reopens

THE SHOP at the Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park reopened Sunday, March 13. In addition to various products such as note cards, puzzles and books bearing Frank Lloyd Wright designs, a new line of Kraus House postcards has been added. There are six different postcards ($.75 each or six for $4.00), all featuring an assortment of interior and exterior views of the House.

Coming soon: Kraus House T-shirts, which are designed by Peter Shank, St. Louis artist and FLWHEP Board member. In the near future, the FLWHEP Web site ( will make available on-line ordering from THE SHOP.

If you are interested in purchasing any of the shop items at this time, please call the Kraus House (314-822-8359) and leave a message. Your call will be returned and a shopping time will be arranged or items will be shipped directly to you.

Postcards and Prints Now Available

THE SHOP at The Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park is pleased to offer photographic prints of the Kraus House. Peter Tuteur, a St. Louis physician and photographer, who took photographs for the new postcards, is also offering 16” by 20” unframed prints of these four interior and two exterior views of the House.

The photographs were created with print negatives from Fuji professional color film images which were then digitized and printed on watercolor paper using a Giclee process.  

The printing of each of the six images is limited to 10 signed prints. A print sells for $650 or a boxed set (one each of six images) for $3,500. One of the interior photos is framed and on display in the Tool House/THE SHOP.

Besides serving as the Director of Pulmonary Function at Washington University School of Medicine, Dr. Tuteur is a professional photographer whose work has been shown in St. Louis, Chicago and Breckenridge, Colorado. His photographs of the Kraus House have been printed in “Saint Louis Homes and Lifestyles” and “Missouri Life” magazines.

If you are interested in viewing or purchasing these beautiful photographs, please call the FLWHEP at 822-8359 to leave a message. A time to view the photographs will be arranged.


to assist our docents sell products following tours. Training provided.
Limited time commitment.
Want more information:
Karen Halla at 822-8359.
A fun way to volunteer
at the FLWHEP!

Leon Anderson
The Pappas House

Theodore Pappas

Theodore Pappas, owner of the only other Frank Lloyd Wright designed house in the St. Louis area, located on Masonridge Rd. in Town & Country, died in December. He was 83. Mr. Pappas and his wife Bette had a “Usonian Automatic” house (1955) designed by Wright. In four years, Mr. and Mrs. Pappas built the house together with the help of day laborers. The house including the roof is constructed with concrete blocks or as described by Wright “stones.” The wood in the house is Philippine mahogany. The Pappas’ have lived in the house since it was completed in 1964 where Mrs. Pappas continues to reside.