Help us restore the lower terrace!

Top: Hedrich Blessing, Chicago History Museum | Bottom: William Zbaren

What we need to successfully complete the project and where we are, represented by the 220 pieces of lower terrace travertine. 

Illustrations by Moana McAuliffe.

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.

All donors of $100 or more before December 31, 2020 will receive TWO custom-imprint Farnsworth House face masks and will be recognized on the Donor Wall in the Visitor Center, starting in July, 2021.

All Donors of $250 or more before December 31, 2020 will receive TWO custom-imprint Farnsworth House face masks and a copy of
Baldwin Kingrey: Midcentury Modern in Chicago 1947-1957 in our Edith Quote Grocery Tote – and will be recognized on the Donor Wall in the Visitor Center, starting in July, 2021.

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, 4×5” 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.

Donate Now

Donors as of 10/31/2020

Master Mason (Gifts of $10,000 or more) 
Nancy Jones Beard Foundation 
Apprentice Stonemason (Gifts of $2000 or more) 
Dirk Lohan 
Scott A. Mehaffey  

Stone Cutter (Gifts of $1000 or more) 
Diane K. Barrowman 
Thomas E. & Barbara C. Donnelley
James Goettsch and Nada Andric
Leon Hamui
Gordon & Carole Segal  

Stone Quarrier (Gifts of $500 or more) 
Kari Finseth 
David Hensler 
Tim and Patty King
Benjamin Kou
William T. Ruhl 
Craig Savage 
Evan Simmons
Meghan Wells and Casey Ching 

Other Contributors 
David and Stephanie Altman
Scott Anderson
Robert Ash 
Jim Bader 
Sharon Balog 
Mark and Kathleen Barthelt
Richard A. Beck 
Douglas L. Bekkedahl 
Tim and Nancy Bennett
Linda Bierig
Ed T. Breen 
Giovanni Cabrales 
Irene C. Calvo Almazan 
Teresa Carter 
Joseph J. Celentano 
Jorge Cid 
Debra and David Crowell
Mark Davis
Marshall S. Dirks 
Laurie J. Dittman 
Judie L. Fezekas 
Noemi Flores 
Dennis K. Frantzen 
Robert Freed 
Ross Freese 
James S. Fuller 
Grant Gallicho 
Douglas Gilbert & Melissa Bogusch
Mary E. Grimm 
Wallace J. Hamilton 
Franklin L. Hankins 
Kathy Harlan
Angeline M. Heim
Scott Herrick 
Eliot I. Hodges 
Jackie Horn        
Colleen M. Humer 
Brent Jespersen 
Glen W. Johnson and Eric C. Cohler
Richard Katz 
Roland R. Kehe
Lawson D. Kelly and Candace R. Wirt
Allan W. Klein 
William Kopelk
William L. Kundert 
Nada Kuzmanovic 
Scott and Lisa Langenburg 
Don Langford 
Paul R. Lentz 
Katja Linnig 
Robert F. Lipman 
Shibuleru – Lukas Scherrer 
Garrick  and Susan Maine
David Mangefrida
Christine Martinez
Joe McCallum
Cailen Messersmith
Alberto Minoccheri 
Robert Moore 
Adam Morris 
Elizabeth & Neil Nandi 
Leslie Newman
Erika Nygaard 
Gerald A. Paulson 
Mike Phelps
Evan Polaski
Gloria Reeg 
Stephen Rose 
Solomon J. Rosenbaum 
Thomas F. Rowlands 
Michelangelo Sabatino 
Maan A. Sacdalan 
Mike and Carol Schoenherr 
Steven l. Schonberger 
Bill and Chantal Shapiro
Teri Shaughnessy 
Patricia Siatka 
Kristi and Peter A. Sloniger/Conover 
Jack Smith 
Kevin D. Smith 
William M. Stevens 
Joanne Stohl 
Laureen Strohl 
Thomas H. Sullivan 
Theresa R. Sweezer 
Robert M. Taylor 
Marc Treib 
Masamichi Udagawa 
Carla Veneziale 
Richard W. Ward 
Robert & Ann Wells
Dennis Wermcrantz
Jon Wicks 
Victor Wolski   
Douglas Yuvan 
Suzanne Ziemnik 
Matthew Zivich