Thoughtful Preservation of our World Heritage Sites

As stewards, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation preserves the cultural, built, and natural environments that comprise both the Taliesin and Taliesin West properties. By offering educational and cultural programming that provides a greater understanding of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture, ideas, and influence, we work to inspire others to live with purpose and beauty.

To this end, the careful and methodical historic preservation of Taliesin and Taliesin West is an ongoing endeavor by a team of specialized staff who take into account myriad considerations as they approach this important, and often urgent, work. From adaptive reuse to rehabilitation of at-risk structures, the preservation and restoration is not only focused on recreating these UNESCO World Heritage Sites as they appeared when Frank Lloyd Wright died over sixty years ago.

To restore, preserve, and rehabilitate Taliesin and Taliesin West honors Wright’s legacy, as he was continuously experimenting and improving these unique places. Careful to contextualize neither Taliesin nor Taliesin West as “house museums” in the strictest sense, the renovation and rehabilitation of our historic buildings and structures present questions about how to reimagine spaces for other uses such as offices or apartments, stabilize structures with respect for methods of Wright’s era, or even maintain authenticity with furniture, fabrics, or décor.

Preservation Master Plan

In October of 2016, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation gathered some of the nation’s leading experts in historic preservation at Taliesin West for a summit focused on values-based strategies for the restoration and conservation of the site, a National Historic Landmark.

A living document guides our long-term preservation initiatives at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, AZ: Our Preservation Masterplan. You can view an abridged PDF of this plan, or explore the full document here. At Taliesin in Spring Green, WI, a similar plan has been in development and is being finalized in summer 2022. Together, these richly detailed masterplans thoughtfully outline and prioritize the next several years’ preservation objectives at both our culturally-significant and historic sites.

Restoration of the Garden Room at Taliesin West including banco seating, upholstery, floor, and carpet to return the space to how it looked during Wright's lifetime.
Using existing stone wherever possible, the Hillside Theater Terrace’s stone floor was restored at Taliesin in 2021.
Repairing and waterproofing the stone masonry wall outside the dining room could only be done at Hillside at Taliesin following excavation.
In progress at Taliesin West: The canvas and acrylic panel ceiling of the Pavilion Theatre is replaced and restored.
The original dining room at Taliesin West, now used as a board room for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, undergoes structural repairs and restoration.
The Congress of the Birds, a Chinese painting on the wall of the Guest Bedroom at Taliesin, is painstakingly restored by a conservator before being protected behind Tru-Vue acrylic.
A 10 foot tall, 12 panel Chinese lacquer screen being photographed to create a temporary reproduction until the screen can be conserved.
The exterior wood beams of Wright’s Office undergo restoration at Taliesin West.
Volunteers assist with the construction of the UNESCO World Heritage plaque wall at Taliesin West.
A new concrete pad, new wood framing, and improved electrical and plumbing lines were installed below the Hillside Theatre stage at Taliesin.
Preservation team members repointing stone walls in the Hillside Theatre basement
Preservation team members repointing stone walls in the Hillside Theatre basement at Taliesin. "Pointing" refers to the insertion of mortar in the joints between masonry units which, in this case, is stone.
Installation of decomposed granite on the walkway of the Prow at Taliesin West improves the visitor experience.