Less than six weeks after voting to close the School of Architecture at Taliesin, the institution’s Board of Directors has decided to rescind its decision and instead fight to keep the school operating.
Reasons given for the change include that the school has received new funding and that leaders believe it is financially viable over the long run. Board members pointed to students voicing concerns.
They also indicated they want to preserve Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy. The famed architect founded the school, which was known as the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, in 1932. It was renamed in 2017.
The board appears headed for a showdown with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which owns land on which the school operates. A news release from a law firm representing the board pro bono, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, blamed the closure vote on the foundation, saying the foundation terminated the school’s lease, effective July 31, 2020. That left the board “no recourse” at the time, and the board still has the power to force the school to close unless the sides can negotiate an agreement, the release said.
Now the board is calling on the foundation to extend the school’s existing agreement.
“The Board has done the hard work of giving the School new life, and now it is up to the Foundation to give it the longevity it deserves,” said Jon Kelley, a partner at Kirkland, in a statement.