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The City Museum in Saint Louis, MO is a fascinating place. 

The museum is sort of like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory except that it’s accessible to all. The 12 story, 600,000 square foot warehouse is a child’s dream, with a ten-story slide, rooftop Ferris wheel, taxidermy wing, and the biggest jungle gym ever created. For adults, it makes you want to be twelve years old again. If that doesn’t work for you, there are also several bars on the premises. 

This eccentric place is the vision of artist Bob Cassilly and is constantly being updated and transformed.

“City Museum makes you want to know,” says Cassilly. “The point is not to learn every fact, but to say, ‘Wow, that’s wonderful.’ And if it’s wonderful, it’s worth preserving.”  

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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has acquired a rare Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian house, known as the Bachman Wilson House in New Jersey. 

An excerpt from Modern’s Winter 2013 “Preservation Pulpit” article talks about saving this architectural treasure.

Another endangered Wright house also linked to the Guggenheim, is the Bachman Wilson House in New Jersey. It is one of Wright’s Usonian houses and was built while he was working in New York on the Guggenheim. Its owners, Sharon and Lawrence Tarantino, have been more than dutiful stewards, going above and beyond what is expected of any Wright homeowner. As architects with experience preserving modern buildings, including a few of Wright’s, they have greatly improved the house since taking possession in 1988. They painstakingly researched such details as the red pigment of the concrete floors, among other things, to restore it to Wright’s original vision. Yet, in spite of their obvious talents and their loving touch, they cannot protect the house from what ails it most—the threat of flooding from upstream overdevelopment that has drastically altered the hydrology at the site, causing the house to flood not once but on several occasions in the past five years. With the blessing of the conservancy they plan to move the house when the right buyer with the right site comes along.    

Details about the house can be found on the website www.bachmanwilsonhouse.com 

Photos by Lawrence Tarantino, AIA Tarantino Studio 

 

 

 

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