Frank Lloyd Wright Monument Time Lapse
This time lapse video can be viewed on Vimeo in HD.
A number of weeks ago, my co-workers with Smith Art Conservation and I flew to Chicago to restore the last of 3 original Frank Lloyd Wright monuments in Glencoe, Illinois. The monuments - originally constructed in 1915 - were built as part of a broader vision for the estate of Wright's attorney Sherman Booth. Each monument stands at the planned entrances to Ravine Bluffs, Booth's multi-acre estate, which was later parcelled into a high-end residential subdivision.
Within Ravine Bluffs, there are multiple examples of Wright's earliest works along with the only bridge he ever designed. Renowned for his attention to design, he is also known to have neglected sound construction practices and materials; many of the homes throughout the area have undergone massive renovations due to structural flaws and poor choice of original materials. Even the original bridge at Ravine Bluffs was closed in 1977 for safety concerns and completely rebuilt in 1985 after a major effort by the local community helped fund the massive undertaking.
This time lapse showcases 25 days of work over 3 consecutive summers, which consisted of paint & cement thermacoat removal, mold-making, concrete matching & pouring, structural reinforcement, and detailed shaping/ filling to accurately match the original, intended vision of the pieces. As seen in the historical photographs (below), these planter-monuments began showing serious signs of weathering within a only a few years of construction, and over the decades minor repair work attempted to minimize their deterioration. Standing in inclement weather for a hundred years, the pieces needed major structural reinforcement.
Music: "Time to Run" by Lord Huron
Historical Photographs: The City of Glencoe, Illinois