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Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin theater to be restored

Frank Lloyd Wright's 600-acre home, called Taliesin, seen in Spring Green in 2004.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s 600-acre home, called Taliesin, seen in Spring Green in 2004. A theater inside the house is scheduled to undergo an $867,000 renovation. (AP File Photo/ Morry Gash)

SPRING GREEN, Wis. (AP) — A theater at Frank Lloyd Wright’s 800-acre Taliesin estate in Wisconsin will undergo an $867,000, two-year restoration.

A $320,000 Save America’s Treasures grant from the National Park Service, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Taliesin Preservation will be paying for the restoration of the 120-year-old Hillside Theatre, The Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Public performances are held at the theater from May to early October.

“There’s all kinds of uses for that theater. It’s just elemental to our living,” said Minerva Montooth, a longtime resident of Taliesin and the director of social events there.

The project is meant to keep storm-water runoff from further damaging the building’s foundation and exterior sandstone walls. It will also improve the building’s heating and electrical systems, its entry foyer, audience space and  performance area. The building’s basement will get a green room, bathrooms and storage space.

The restoration work will maintain the footprint and cane marks Wright left in the grout at the entryway to the foyer.

The project will allow for more events to be held on the property and bring in more people, said Ryan Hewson, the preservation manager of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which owns Taliesin.

“This helps us with our next projects because we’re able to bring more people here,” Hewson said. “We can springboard from that and they can experience this the way it’s supposed to be experienced instead of just coming here for a tour. We want people to come every summer and visit us multiple times.”

Work on the project will begin next year.

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