Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple is an architectural masterpiece, embodying the bold elegance, visionary experimentation, and functional integrity that characterize modern architecture. One of the earliest public buildings in the United States to feature exposed concrete, and the last surviving building from Wright’s Prairie Period, Unity Temple is considered among the most innovative and imaginative structures of the 20th century. Wright described the building as “my contribution to modern architecture.”
In 1970, Unity Temple was designated a National Historic Landmark. In 2014, the US Department of the Interior authorized the nomination of Unity Temple, along with ten other Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, for listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This icon of modern architecture continues to serve its original design purpose as an inspiring house of worship, as well as a center for community gatherings and cultural events. Unity Temple is a destination for approximately 20,000 area residents and visitors each year.
Unity Temple Restoration Foundation (UTRF) was founded in 1973 by volunteers dedicated to restoring and preserving Unity Temple. Over time, the organization evolved to promote architecture awareness and education through programs and events, introducing diverse public audiences to Unity Temple and to the design principles that inspired this iconic masterpiece.
Arts and culture programming presented by UTRF has included performances, films, and art exhibitions that complement and showcase the building’s unique design features. Humanities-based lectures and presentations, such as the popular Break::The::Box series, have highlighted themes in keeping with Wright’s spirit of exploring creative nonconformity. UTRF has hosted visits by classrooms for experiential lessons in American history, architecture, and mathematics; and presented youth workshops and summer camps on building and design. UTRF has also served as a site for meetings and conferences.
UTRF looks forward to reopening Unity Temple to public audiences in early 2017, resuming a full schedule of tours and public programs when the restoration is complete.