Like most of the rest of the world, the Frank Lloyd Wright sites that are usually open to the public are closed due to the global pandemic. Now you can visit – virtually at least – Fallingwater, Hollyhock House, Unity Temple, the William E. Martin House, and several of the other private homes designed by the architect that have become much-loved landmarks and tourist destinations.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, in partnership with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Unity Temple Restoration Foundation, started the virtual visits in April. A new tour is available each Thursday.
The Virtual Experience Looks Good
Although it’s easy to bemoan the missing pieces of the experience – like most of the actual experience! – the virtual tours are accessible, inviting, high-quality productions, guided by those who know the structures best.
For example, the walk-through of Malcolm Willey House offers considerable insight into the building’s original design through the lens of its recent restoration. Like most of the tours, the guide’s knowledge combined with up-close-and-personal camera angles really do make it almost like being there.
At Hollyhock House, visitors are invited inside in the Living Room of the first of Wright’s projects in LA. The dramatic fireplace is a focal point of the tour, although the moat, which is part of a larger water feature, isn’t a feature of the virtual visit. Perhaps that will spur you to go see it for yourself…as soon as you can.
As the Foundation’s press release points out, Wright’s designs are intended to be viewed while living and breathing inside (and outside) the spaces, touching and feeling the materials that he chose so carefully. But it’s equally true that this is an ideal opportunity to visit – or revisit – these landmarks.
“It is precisely at this time, when so many are shut inside, that we need to experience beauty and inspiration. Wright’s works bring people together in harmony with the natural world, reminding us that we are all connected, even when we’re apart.” -- Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy Executive Director Barbara Gordon.
Virtual Tours, No Social Media Accounts Required
In an effort to introduce new audiences to the various buildings, each tour is unveiled on the social media channel of a different participating site. To catch up and see each new tour as it becomes available, you can follow the Twitter hashtag #WrightVirtualVisits or see visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's to see each tour, no social media logins required.
Which is your favorite of these virtual tours? Which have you toured in person? Discuss with other Model Landmarks fans on our Facebook page.