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Frank Lloyd Wright School Could Remain Open

Thursday, March 12, 2020

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Officials at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesin have reportedly reversed the decision to close the school and are now exploring ways to keep it open.

According to reports, the board announced the decision last Thursday, though the position of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is unclear.

What Happened

Officials announced in late January that the school, which encompasses Wright properties in Wisconsin and Arizona, would close in June.

Wright started the school nearly 90 years ago in 1932.

Lar, CC-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Officials at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesin have reportedly reversed the decision to close the school and are now exploring ways to keep it open.

The school’s governing board said in a statement at the time that the decision was made after it couldn’t come to an agreement with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to keep the school operating. Official negotiations were not disclosed.

According to the Associated Press, the Foundation said in its own statement that the school did not have a sustainable business model. The boards of both organizations had come up with a proposal to keep the school going through the end of July 2021.

Had a proposal been adopted, the foundation would have donated use of Taliesin and Taliesin West to the school; however, the school’s board didn’t unanimously approve the plan. The decision left the foundation’s board “disappointed.”

The school currently has 30 students and will remain open for the rest of the spring semester. Officials at the time said they were working on an agreement with Arizona State University’s design school to allow credits for those students to transfer.

What Now

The reversal decision was prompted by letters from students and a petition that has amassed 10,000 signatures.

According to USA Today, school President Aaron Betsky said that the decision to try and remain open comes as the school has secured other funding sources, which were unspecified.

While the Foundation has said that they would be willing to negotiate with the school, it noted that no formal proposal has come forward.

"The Foundation has no proposal from the School other than what it reads in the media. We therefore have nothing to respond to," Jeff Goodman, the foundation's spokesman, said.

"All he had to say was 'Okay, how do we move forward,'" Betsky said. "We made it clear to them that we wanted to move to mediation. We hope that they work with us."


Tagged categories: Business matters; Coatings education; Frank Lloyd Wright; Good Technical Practice; NA; North America

Comment from John Gillis, (3/12/2020, 7:50 AM)

As a former Taliesin fellow, I was pleased to hear of the closing of the school. The current school has completely abandoned Wright's principles of architecture, so it is best that it go away. My suspicion is that Wright would be appalled by what is now considered "design" by the school's leaders.

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