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AD Classics: Thorncrown Chapel / E. Fay Jones

Hidden in the middle of the forests surrounding Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains, Thorncrown Chapel rests amongst the oaks, pines and maples. The humble chapel, designed by Euine Fay Jones, is less than 35 years old – yet it’s on the U.S. Historic register, has been named one of the AIA’s top ten buildings of the 20th century, and has even been called the best American building since 1980.

© Randall Connaughton © Randall Connaughton © Randall Connaughton © Randall Connaughton

Frank Lloyd Wright House Saved

A rare house from Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian house period has been saved by the Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas. The dramatic rescue plan to disassemble and move the house to a site over 1,000 miles away is required due to frequent flooding of the home's existing site in Millstone, New Jersey. The Crystal Bridges Museum will rebuild and restore the house at a site on their 120-acre grounds.

Read on for more about this unusual preservation

Flashback: Towerhouse / Marlon Blackwell Architect

Courtesy of Marlon Blackwell Architect
Courtesy of Marlon Blackwell Architect

Architect: Marlon Blackwell Architect Project Location: 2570 Old Missouri Road, Arkansas, USA Project Year: 2000 Photographs: Timothy Hursley, Richard Johnson

Courtesy of Marlon Blackwell Architect Courtesy of Marlon Blackwell Architect Flashback: Towerhouse / Marlon Blackwell Architect Courtesy of Marlon Blackwell Architect

Video: Arkansas Mid Century Modern Architecture Short

This snapshot of a new documentary about mid-century modern architecture in Arkansas illuminates classic post-war designs. Simple, clean lines were often the elements that delineated the aesthetics of these buildings. While many lay in disrepair, they still exude an aura of a time when optimism was reflected in the country’s desire to build a new future. Some of the architectural icons that are featured include the University of Arkansas’s Fine Arts Center by state native Edward Durell Stone, the Tower Building in Little Rock, the Fulbright Library in Fayetteville, and the abandoned Hotel Mountainaire. Check out the short clip of what will air in November on AETN. Also, see the highlights of the current affairs and award winning architecture that is taking place within the state of Arkansas here.

AIA Arkansas 2011 Convention

Last week I had the honor to be an invited speaker to the 2011 AIA Arkansas Convention in Hot Springs, AR. The event featured a great group of speakers such as Hicks Stones (Stone Architecture), Rand Elliott (FAIA, Elliott + Associates Architects), Maitland Jones (Deborah Berke & Partners Architects), Steve Dumez (FAIA, Eskew + Dumez + Ripple), David Miller (FAIA, Miller/Hull Partnership), Matthew Kreilich (Julie Snow Architects, Inc.), Kevin Alter (Alter Studio) and Tim Hursley (Architecture photographer). During the convention I had the opportunity to meet a wide group of local architects, such as renowned architect Marlon Blackwell, Chris Baribeau from Modus Studio (recipient of the 2011 AIA Arkansas Emerging Professional Award), among other local architects. I had also the opportunity to visit the Anthony Chapelby Maurice Jennings + David McKee Architects (Maurice Jennings was partner of E. Fay Jones for 25 years), an incredible piece of architecture. Awards during the convention include local architect Charles Witsell, Jr (FAIA, founding partner and senior, Witsell, Evans & Rasco, Architects/Planners), recipient of the Fay Jones Gold Medal Award, and the Arkansas Chapter of the USGBC, recipient of the Award of Merit. The 2011 Design Awards, announced last Friday, are a good snapshot of the current state of architecture in the southern state. After the break, the list of the awarded projects. Some of them are already featured in AD, the rest will be here soon!