Chip off the Wright Block Woman's Research Uncovers Famous Findings, Reveals Priceless Blueprint

By Upshaw, Jennifer | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), September 30, 2001 | Go to article overview

Chip off the Wright Block Woman's Research Uncovers Famous Findings, Reveals Priceless Blueprint


Upshaw, Jennifer, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Jennifer Upshaw Daily Herald Correspondent

Diane Franzen has a personal interest in the building where she works.

Her mother-in-law's family used to live on the land where the Maine Township town hall now stands - a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright's son.

The land where the Maine Township board meeting room is used to be a barnyard. It had an outhouse frequented by Franzen's father- in-law.

"Whenever he would take a trip to the privy, he would announce to everyone that he was going to the town hall," Franzen recalled.

"When the town hall moved in, my mother-in-law said, 'Oh my goodness. It's too bad he's not alive to see this.' "

Considering the township administrative assistant's family history, it seemed all the more appropriate to assign her the task of researching the building's history.

Last week, Franzen presented her findings to township officials before unveiling the original blueprints drawn up by architect Frank Lloyd Wright Jr., the son of the world-famous architect from Oak Park.

Township officials in Park Ridge have put special emphasis on preserving the framed blueprint, which now hangs on a wall in the board meeting room at 1700 Ballard Road.

It was only recently that the blueprints bearing the architect's signature were discovered in the building.

What was even more exciting was the discovery that the younger Wright - he worked under the name of Lloyd Wright - was not in the habit of signing his work, making the township's prized blueprint even more unique.

The hope is the blueprint is just the beginning of a historical wall that will grow as township officials track down memorabilia commemorating the Wright structure, one of only four that Lloyd Wright built in the Midwest. …

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Chip off the Wright Block Woman's Research Uncovers Famous Findings, Reveals Priceless Blueprint
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