The Spiral Jetty of Architecture?


Hang it all. Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois has flooded – again. Tropical Storm Lowell and Hurricane Ike are behind rains pummeling the Midwest.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has the story. Support the Trust’s house rescue efforts here.

Landmarks Illinois says the house is closed for tours for the rest of the year. You can help them here.

The Chicago ex-urbs around the Farnsworth, fields when it was built, are now very built-up, without enough land left for rainwater to seep into the earth. Combine that with climate change and- in the 60 years since the Farnsworth House was built, it has suffered 7 one hundred year floods.

Is it becoming the Spiral Jetty of architecture?

Update 2 pm Monday: Whitney French, the Historic Site Director writes,

The water has receded to a height of about 4 and a half feet with the expectation that the majority of the site will be drained by late Wednesday or early Thursday. We are working to get restorationists into the house (via boat) to assess the damage and advise on next steps. The furniture was spared with the exception of the wardrobe. The core took a bit of a hit, but we are optimistic that the appropriate drying technique can spare us some heartache.

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