Unity Temple is making headlines! Featured on the front page of Chicago Tribune’s A&E section is an in-depth look at the overall project and our continued fundraising efforts around restoring Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece. Grab a hardcopy if you can, and share the news!
Gunny Harboe, the restoration architect spearheading our Unity Temple project sits down with Chicago magazine to discuss his career, the Temple restoration and his work on other Frank Lloyd Wright buildings:
Unity Temple, Frank Lloyd Wright’s modern masterpiece, wrapped in fencing and scaffolding to prepare for the $23 million restoration!
Digging wells at the north façade of Unity Temple for the new heating and cooling system. Unity Temple will be air-conditioned for the first time in its history with an energy efficient geothermal system.
Scaffolding and protective covering around the skylight of Unity House. Art glass throughout Unity Temple will be restored.
Preparing for restoration of the concrete exterior of Unity Temple’s east façade.
The planters at Unity Temple’s west entrance are among the only exterior surfaces still visible from the street.
Samples of delaminated concrete that has been removed from the building during the chipping process.
Documentation of light fixtures prior to being restored.
History of 2014 mockups of plaster and paint. Design team explored different techniques to recreate the plaster and paint finish in the restoration project.
Unity Temple floor. Pews have been removed. Carpet has been removed exposing magensite flooring which will be restored.
Documentation of historic light fixtures to be restored.
Crack in the concrete that will be repaired during construction.
North facade of Unity Temple. The black screen has been added during the drilling of geothermal wells in the north lawn. The white screen is protecting the scaffolding. Once the geothermal wells are complete, the scaffold will continue on the north side.
Left side is an area where delaminated shotcrete has been removed and the top surface will be resurfaced with new concrete. The right side shows no signs of deterioration and will not be removed during restoration.
View from scaffold looking down to Unity Temple. Art glass and frame have been removed. Art glass will be packed and shipped to Los Angeles for restoration.
The restoration of Unity Temple is running smoothly! So far, all art glass pieces have been removed, carefully packaged and shipped to Judson Studios in Los Angeles for restoration. The photo below shows the art glass in protective shipping crates.
The art glass from the lay lights in the ceiling of Unity Temple have been removed – next up is replacing the skylights which are expected on site this fall.
Scaffolding is up inside Unity Temple! We’re preparing for the plaster and paint restoration on the walls and ceilings of the Temple interior.
Each piece of the Unity Temple interior must be removed for restoration, and our construction team is thoroughly documenting each item to ensure placement after restoration is accurate. Here is a look at part of the process with Project Management Advisors, Inc.
Scaffolding on the north façade of Unity Temple is going up! Soon, it will be wrapped up like the rest of the Temple for protection during restoration.
The interior restoration is well underway with all wood trim removed from Unity House and Unity Temple.
Each piece is documented before being shipped to Heritage Restoration
Delaminated areas of the exterior concrete facade have been removed and mesh reinforcement is being installed before new concrete is poured. The extra layer of reinforcement will help ensure longevity of the overall restoration.
Interior restoration progress is moving along! The scaffolding inside Unity Temple is fully installed for access to the ceiling and walls to begin repairing the paint and plaster
The bronze letters above our front entrance reading “For the Worship of God and the Service of Man” are currently being restored.
Each letter was carefully removed and all locations were marked on the surface to ensure the letters will be re-installed in their original locations.
The ongoing concrete restoration of Unity Temple continues with roofing material replacement
During the Unity House interior roofing and skylight restoration, a temporary enclosure is installed to protect against the elements
The last of the wood at the pulpit is being documented and packed up. Restoration will take place over the winter and woodwork will be re-installed next summer and fall.
Preparing to pour the UnityTemple Skylight Curb, they have been strengthened for the reinstallation of the Unity Temple Skylight.
All plaster on the Unity Temple ceilings have been removed. This has allowed for visual inspection and sounding of repairs that are needed to the Unity House concrete ceiling and roof. Once ceiling and roof repairs are complete, plaster will be placed back onto the ceiling.
Unity TempleRestoration Foundation
708.383.8873 :: 875 Lake Street :: Oak Park, Illinois 60301