Two one-week workshops for eighty school teachers on the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School in Mason City, Iowa.
This workshop focuses on Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School of architecture, led by co-directors Paula Mohr (architectural historian, Iowa State Historic Preservation Office) and Patricia Schultz (chair, Wright on the Park's Education Committee). The Historic Park Inn Hotel, the world's last remaining hotel designed by Wright, serves as workshop headquarters, for seminars as well as participants' lodging, and is itself the focus of a detailed tour on Monday. Architectural historian Richard Guy Wilson (University of Virginia) offers several sessions in the first few days, discussing the role of architecture in the study of history and culture, the origins of the Prairie School and Wright's early work, and the relationship between the Arts and Crafts movement and the Prairie School. Midweek in the Rock Crest and Rock Glen neighborhoods, participants tour the Stockman House, designed by Wright, alongside three houses by Prairie School architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony. Historian Paul Kruty (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) gives presentations on Griffin and Mahony and on the design for the neighborhood. Dennis Domer (American studies, University of Kansas) discusses Prairie School landscape design, and art historian Barbara Mooney (University of Iowa) places the Prairie School's work in the context of other Midwestern architecture of the time. The program's final day includes a Mason City walking tour aimed to "illustrate how the study of any community's architecture can serve as an effective tool for teaching art, history, and culture." A roundtable of participant presentations and concluding sessions on Wright's legacy and pedagogical strategies bring the workshop to a close.