The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust has negligible talent for public affairs, for making a case, and selling it to any constituency. In a corollary to that failing, the organization seems fully confrontation-averse.

So here we are. The Trust bought an old house adjacent to its campus, spent a lot of time and, we suppose, a good bit of money commissioning notable architects to design a sleek and necessary new visitor center. They get pushback from neighbors opposed to any change and from a Historic Preservation Commission where the criteria for any vote is preserving what’s sitting there.

This began with the Trust dropping this hatched plan from 30,000 feet, hoping that a page one plaudit from the Tribune’s Blair Kamin would carry the day. Their strategy since has been to issue press releases which always say, “This will be the only comment the Trust will make on this subject.”

The last such release announced they were giving up on the current plan, would not push it forward to the village board, which actually gets to decide such things. And they implied they might come back around with another plan that presumably leaves every blade of grass intact.

If they come back around, they ought to be ready to get their nails dirty. Either engage in discussion with critics on the front end or be prepared to mount a defense on the back end. 

Or some combination.

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