Thank you for publishing Deb Quantock McCarey’s most informative article about the Ten by Wright tour coming up on May 17 [2014 is All Wright with us, WJ Homes, Jan. 1]. As she mentioned, it will be the first of several events related to the 40th anniversary of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio Foundation in 1974. Those events will be sponsored by the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust. I hope your readers make the connection between the two organizations.
For 25 years, the Home & Studio Foundation planned and executed the restoration of the Home & Studio, set up the Oak Park Tour Center, trained hundreds of volunteers, and established tourism as an economic force in Oak Park. In fact, it was so successful that it could take on the restoration of Robie House in Hyde Park in 1997. Assuming more responsibilities required a more inclusive name, so the foundation became the simpler Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, which now manages five sites. I think it’s important for Oak Parkers to remember that “the Trust” has its roots here and always will. It is those roots that will be recognized next summer as part of the Trust’s Legacy Year activities. McCarey, with the able help of John Thorpe, an original board member, gave a good summary of how and why the Foundation/Trust was created.
I hope that Wednesday Journal will use this article as the inspiration to present to current Oak Parkers the history of a quintessentially Oak Park movement during the late 1960s and early 1970s, a movement to stabilize the community socially, economically, and historically.
The Oak Park we have today didn’t just happen. It took many community-minded volunteer activists to create the Oak Park Regional Housing Center, the Oak Park Development Center, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust. We can be proud of our three national historic districts and three national historic landmark buildings.
As the Legacy Year unfolds, I hope we can help the Trust to identify and to appropriately honor those individuals who 40 years ago stepped in to build a solid community foundation of historic preservation.
30-year-plus volunteer interpreter at the Home & Studio and Unity Temple