About the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation 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 Preservation Trust as accredited museums. A third National Historic Landmark, The Rookery Building in downtown Chicago, is where the Preservation Trust opened its central offices in December 2010. Programs and tours for students, families and adults are offered at all three sites.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation 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 Preservation 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 2012, the Preservation Trust assumed ownership of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio from the National Trust. The transfer of ownership marked a new chapter in the history of this legendary landmark.
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. 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.
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 provide interpretive tours of these historic sites to more than 100,000 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, a travel program, memberships, donations and grants from individuals, foundations and corporations.