Top: Hedrich Blessing, Chicago History Museum | Bottom: William Zbaren
Help Us Restore the Lower Terrace!
Seventy years of periodic flooding, freeze-and-thaw cycles, weathering and use have caused the travertine stone paving to deteriorate. Over 80% of the stone is now fractured beyond repair and must now be replaced – with thicker pieces that have been carefully-matched to the original.
Working with preservation architecture and engineering firm Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., the project has been designed to improve drainage and durability and includes:
- Removing all existing travertine and storing salvageable material for future work on the Upper Terrace
- Removing all travertine treads and landing from the upper stairs between the Lower & Upper terraces
- Removing the deteriorated gravel drainage layer and asphaltic covering
- Removing and preserving the precast concrete planks
- Preparing and coating the steel structure
- Reinstalling the precast concrete planks, anticipating a few replacements
- Installing a new drainage system including more drains, stone ballast, woven geotextile separation
- Installing new, thicker travertine with slightly wider joints to better accommodate movement and allow for maintenance
- Coating all exposed steel with high performance coating system to prevent corrosion and provide long term color and gloss retention
- Restoring all site disturbance from construction access
All donors of $50 or more will be recognized in our upcoming newsletters; donors of $100 or more will also be recognized on the Donor Wall in the Visitor Center. Premium Donors will receive these recognitions PLUS:
Stone Quarrier (Gifts of $500 or more): a frame-worthy 8×10” photograph of the Farnsworth House recognizing your gift;
Stone Cutter (Gifts of $1000 or more): the 8×10” photo and a copy of Broken Glass, a new historical novel about the Farnsworth House, autographed by the author, Alex Beam;
Apprentice Stonemason (Gifts of $2000 or more): the 8×10” photo, autographed copy of Broken Glass, and a 3×5” travertine paperweight engraved with the Farnsworth House logo and your name;
Journeyman Stonemason (Gifts of $5000 or more): the 8×10” photo, autographed copy of Broken Glass, 3×5” engraved travertine paperweight, and a private tour for up to 12 guests;
Master Mason (Gifts of $10,000 or more): all of the above plus a 90-minute private party on the completed lower terrace, for up to 50 guests (beer, wine, soft drinks and appetizers – subject to applicable Covid-19 regulations at the time of event)
ALL donors will receive written recognition of their gift for tax purposes.
Please help make this long-awaited restoration project a reality by clicking the link below. If you have questions, please contact Farnsworth House Executive Director Scott Mehaffey at 630-273-7055.