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.

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