Getty Foundation funds grant for historical preservation of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture at FSC
LAKELAND, Fla. (July 26, 2006) — Florida Southern College has received a Campus Heritage Grant of $195,000 from the Getty Foundation, a program of the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles, to develop a Historic Preservation Master Plan for the buildings, structures and landscapes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built on campus between 1939 and 1958. Florida Southern is home to the largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright structures in the world.
“Preservation planning is an essential step in the preservation process,” said Joan Weinstein, interim director of the Getty Foundation. “We are pleased to provide support to Florida Southern College in their study and stewardship of this important national resource.”
Once completed, the Historic Preservation Master Plan will contain information on the history and evolution of the campus, a survey of campus conditions, recommendations for repairs and improvements, and guidelines for the care and conservation of the site as a whole.
“Florida Southern acknowledges our responsibility as stewards of our extraordinary collection of Frank Lloyd Wright structures. This generous grant from the Getty Foundation underscores the cultural significance and international importance of our campus, while it allows the college to develop a formalized internal review for preserving our Frank Lloyd Wright structures,” said college president Anne B. Kerr. “This juncture marks a pivotal moment for Florida Southern. The Historic Preservation Master Plan will provide conservation guidelines for essential restoration and conservation projects.”
The Getty grant is the latest example of Kerr’s commitment to securing funding for the preservation of the college’s collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. This past May, FSC received $1.6 million from a Florida Legislative budget appropriation to restore the Wright-designed “esplanades,” or covered walkways linking Wright’s buildings, as well as a $350,000 matching grant from the Division of Historical Preservation to restore the Wright-designed Water Dome. M. Clayton Hollis, a 1980 graduate of Florida Southern and Vice Chairman of the college’s Board of Trustees, and his family provided the $350,000 in matching funds for the Water Dome project.
The Getty grant will allow Florida Southern to hire Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker (MCWB) Architects as consultants for the yearlong project. With more than 40 years of experience in studying and conserving historic sites, MCWB brings impressive expertise and vision to the study, restoration and adaptive reuse of significant historic structures. The firm has completed similar projects at Salve Regina University in Newport, RI, and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, and currently is developing the master plan for the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. MCWB’s philosophy is that sound recommendations for treatments, repairs, and improvements can be developed only after an appreciation of current conditions are known.
As part of the grant, architects and historians from the project team will work with FSC professors and select students in the college’s Honors Program to develop in-depth studies on each building for the historical research phase of the project, the result of which will be a Web site publishing this historical documentation. MCWB will then conduct a survey, code analysis and systems analysis of each building and landscape. Once the college’s Frank Lloyd Wright campus is examined in its full historical perspective, MCWB will make recommendations that respect the historic integrity of the resource while meeting the demands and conveniences of modern-day uses.
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Additional information is available on the Getty Web site at www.getty.edu.