I always try to include as much as I can during my business trips, so they are productive, informative and fun.
Earlier in the week, I traveled to Chicago with several colleagues for Meredith Corporation's first-ever BrandFront presentation. During the event, Meredith unveiled its 2017 video content partnerships and programming initiatives to an audience of more than 250 key advertisers and marketers. In addition, I presented a video message focused on women entrepreneurs and American Makers across the country.
We started our trip with lunch at Vie Restaurant, known locally for its seasonal contemporary farm to table American cuisine. Vie is located in Western Springs, Illinois, a village suburb of Chicago. Here I am with part of the Vie team. http://www.vierestaurant.com
The group joining me for lunch included Bill Puentes of ACH Foods, MSL Shannon Sutton, Lisa Silvers from Meredith Corporate Sales, Catherine Brady of Maxus, Inga Sheehan of Maxus, MSL Daren Mazzucca, Darshi Shary of ACH Foods, MSL Elizabeth Graves, Julie Lee from Maxus, and Mike Shehorn of ACH Foods.
I love visiting old hardware stores – they always have so many interesting items. Following lunch, I stopped in Village True Value Hardware, a family owned business that has been open since 1954. http://ww3.truevalue.com/villagehdw/Home.aspx
The store was packed with all kinds of supplies, tools and housewares. I was searching for a good drain cleaner and was recommended a bottle of Liquid Fire Drain Opener from the Boyer Corporation in Illinois – and it works!
The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio is the oldest of Wright’s buildings open to the public.The structure has been restored by the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust to its appearance in 1909, when Wright last lived there with his family.
In contrast to the neighboring houses, Wright’s home is defined by bold geometric shapes – a substantial triangular gable set upon a rectangular base, polygonal window bays, and the curved wall of the wide porch.
The ginkgo tree in the courtyard was just a sapling when Wright bought the empty lot in 1889.
The site also includes Wright’s architectural studio, added to his home in 1898. It was here that Wright and a small but dedicated staff worked to design some of the most iconic structures of Wright’s career.
Substantial geometric urns are displayed at the entrance to the Studio.
The day after we visited, the urns were prepared for winter and planted with cedar, pine, Douglas fir, Ilex berry, red dogwood, magnolia leaves, and pine cones.
Adjacent to the studio entrance, a stone plaque announces “Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect.” The plaque features Wright’s first logo, with a cross and circle within a square – pure geometric forms found throughout Wright’s architecture, and repeated in elements such as the four urns atop the wall in front of the Studio.
The entrance hall to the studio presented a notable first impression of the building to arriving clients. The skylight, added in 1905, features a complex geometric design in a palette of gold and green iridescent glass. The design is exemplary of Wright’s ability to render the natural world abstractly.
Here is a diamond-paned leaded glass window – simple yet so elegant.
The plaster frieze in the entrance hall is a scale copy from the Ancient Greek altar of Pergamon. Commercially available via catalogue, the frieze was one of the many beautiful objects that Wright used to create an inspiring and nurturing environment for his family.
Built-in seating in the window bays of the living room eliminates the need for large furniture pieces in the room. This design innovation would become an important feature of Wright’s mature Prairie interiors, allowing Wright to create open and flexible living spaces.
The motto carved in the oak panel above the fireplace, “Truth is Life,” is a variation of Wright’s mother’s family motto. An extended family of Welsh immigrants who settled in Wisconsin in the 1840s, the Lloyd-Joneses raised Wright immersed in Welsh culture, literature, history, and religion, all of which helped shape Wright’s progressive world-view.
The dining room Wright added in 1895 is a warm and intimate space to gather with family and friends. The Wrights entertained frequently, and were joined at their table by clients, artists, authors and international visitors.
In place of the traditional chandelier above the table, Wright integrates innovative electric lighting within the ceiling, recessed and shielded behind rice paper and a decorative wood grille.
The passageway that leads off the study connects the home to Wright’s Studio, built in 1898. Wright’s philosophy of architecture was rooted in nature. The architect always sought to carefully integrate his buildings with their sites. Here at his home, the passageway was built around an existing willow tree that stood on the site, the branches of which extended through the building.
On the north and south walls of the master bedroom, murals featuring Native American figures were painted by Orlando Giannini. A muralist, illustrator, and glass maker, Giannini was one of the many talented craftspeople Wright engaged to help realize his design vision.
The horizontal board and batten wall treatment provide a clean, distinctly modern aesthetic for the bathroom.
This was Catherine Wright’s Day Room. Catherine was Wright’s first wife.
Located between the original kitchen and dining room, the pantry is a functional space filled from floor to ceiling with built-in cabinets and shelves.
It was here in the dramatic two-story drafting room that Wright and a small, but dedicated staff, worked to design many of the most important buildings of Wright’s Prairie years. Wright’s staff worked on tables and stools designed by the architect.
A brick-lined vault supplied safe storage for the firm’s plans and drawings, along with Wright’s Japanese print collection.
This copper urn, designed by Wright in the 1890s, was one of several decorative objects designed to harmonize with Wright’s magnificent interiors.
The frieze above the fireplace is a copy of the original that hung in its place. Designed by Wright for the Isidore Heller house (1896) in Chicago, it comprises a repeating panel depicting a classical maiden framed by Sullivanesque ornament. The frieze was sculpted by Richard Bock.
The octagonal library was used by Wright as a consultation room for clients. While the high windows frame views of the tree tops, and the skylight floods the room with natural light, the design of the room is intended to minimize distractions from the world outside.
Each year the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust celebrates the holiday season, decorating the Home and Studio as the Wright family originally did in the early 1900s. A substantial 12-foot tree is displayed in the Children’s Playroom.
Here I am with our editor-in-chief of Living, Elizabeth Graves, outside the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio. If you’re in the Chicago area next spring, consider joining the Wright Plus Architectural Housewalk Tour of living spaces designed by Wright and his contemporaries. See more information about the housewalk on their web site. http://flwright.org/wrightplus
Later that day, I attended the Chicago Brandfront, where we presented video content partnerships and cross-platform programming initiatives planned for 2017. Joining me in this photo are Lisa Burns, Marc Rothschild, Ken Lane, and Alexis Acker. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Meredith Corporation)
Here I am with President, National Media Group at Meredith Corporation, Jon Werther, and Director of Print Investement at Starcom USA Brenda White. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Meredith Corporation)
Elizabeth and I stopped for this quick snapshot. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Meredith Corporation)
And, here I am talking about our goals, initiatives and our passion for nurturing entrepreneurs and makers across the country. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Meredith Corporation)