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Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House: Drying out

October 7, 2008 | 11:30 am


The 1951 Farnsworth House in Plano, Ill., a classic of Modernist residential architecture by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, was badly flooded last month and is just now beginning to dry out. A new blog -- operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation (which bought the Farnsworth House at auction for $7.5 million five years ago) and Landmarks Illinois -- is chronicling the cleanup effort.

Whitney French, site manager for the house, reports:

I’m pleased to announce that we are opening the Farnsworth House for special tours through October 2008. Every Wednesday at 1 p.m., I will lead a tour of the house for a $100 donation. I’ll show you first-hand damage; recount the hours just before the flood; explain the effort currently underway with contractors, conservators, and our board of directors; as well as be the first to reveal the stunning views of the interior seen for the first time without the teak wardrobe.

What Whitney won't be able to do, sadly, is to promise that the house won't flood again. It has been inundated six times in the last six decades.

--Christopher Hawthorne

File photo credit: Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois