About the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust
More than one hundred years ago, Frank Lloyd Wright sparked an architectural revolution with the opening of his studio in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois. Every year thousands of tourists visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park, and Wright’s Robie House on the University of Chicago campus. Both sites are National Historic Landmarks, managed by the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust as accredited museums. A third National Historic Landmark, The Rookery Building in downtown Chicago, is where the Trust opened its central office in December 2010. Tours of the Wright-designed lobby will be offered starting in spring 2011.The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust's mission is to engage, educate and inspire the public through architecture, design and the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright, and to preserve the Trust's historic sites and collections.
History of the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust
The Preservation Trust was established in 1974 as the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, to acquire and preserve Wright's Home and Studio in Oak Park as the birthplace of American residential architecture. In 1975, the Home and Studio became a co-stewardship property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Home and Studio Foundation embarked on its mission to restore and operate the building as a historic house museum. In 1976, the Home and Studio was declared a National Historic Landmark. The ensuing $3+ million restoration was completed in 1987, at which time it received the American Institute of Architects' prestigious National Honor Award.
In February 1997, the Home and Studio Foundation built upon its past success by assuming responsibility for the management and restoration of Wright's Robie House, located on the University of Chicago campus. At that time, Wright’s Robie House became one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 21 historic sites. In 2000, the Home and Studio Foundation changed its name to the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust to better reflect the dual stewardship of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio and Wright’s Robie House. The Preservation Trust is solely responsible for the Robie House restoration.
In late 2010, the Preservation Trust realized a long-standing dream to increase regional visibility and leverage Chicago audience participation by opening a central office at the landmark Rookery Building in downtown Chicago. The Rookery contains one of Wright's most dramatic interior compositions in its luminous central light court. The Trust's Rookery location bridges its two historic house museums and allows it to present an important link in the chain of works that Wright produced during his Oak Park years.
A dedicated group of more than 500 volunteers provides interpretive tours of both museum sites to 102,000 visitors from around the world each year. The Preservation Trust provides an array of inspiring public education programs, and operates a public access research center containing special collections on the early work of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School of architecture. Governed by a Board of Directors and managed by a staff of more than 50 employees, the Preservation Trust's operating income is derived from tours, merchandise proceeds, memberships, donations and grants from individuals, foundations, and corporations. Its financial responsibilities include fully funding the preservation and restoration of both of the Preservation Trust's historic sites.