FARNSWORTH HOUSE – FLOOD MITIGATION PROJECT

farnsworth300Due to increased urbanization, storm water runoff and rising water levels in the nearby Fox River, Farnsworth House has been threatened by flooding beginning in 1954 when two feet of water inundated the interior of the house. In recent decades flood events have become more frequent and more severe, threatening the integrity of the house and its unique character.

The National Trust For Historic Preservation is investigating solutions to this recurring and pressing threat to the site. This website is a forum for all interested parties to review and comment upon the potential solutions.

The significance of Farnsworth House is expressed in its National Historic Landmark designation, which describes it as, “…one of the most famous examples of modernist domestic architecture and was unprecedented in its day. It is representative of mid-century modernism’s attempt to reduce architectonic expression to as few elements as possible while increasing the transparency of the enclosure, thus erasing all the usual boundaries between interior and exterior. The importance of the house lies in the absolute purity and consistency of its architectural idea. The house appears as a figure of Platonic perfection against a complementary ground of informal landscape. This Landscape is an integral aspect of Mies van der Rohe’s aesthetic conception.”

The house is owned by the Trust and was opened to the public in May 2004. Tours for the 2014 season are offered every Wednesday to Sunday from April through November.

The Farnsworth Project site excerpts a report by Robert Silman Associates which details the solutions under consideration.