Annual Conference

Interpreting Wright

October 13 – 17, 2021

Buffalo, New York

Hyatt Regency Buffalo / Hotel and Conference Center

Interpreting Wright will be the Conservancy’s third Buffalo conference, and our first there in over a decade. After more than a year of virtual events, we are excited to gather safely in person – while also committed to offering an accessible virtual option. Education sessions will explore how Wright is interpreted for public audiences, with a special emphasis on visitor centers and public education programs as integral aspects of historic preservation. Toshiko Mori, architect of the acclaimed Greatbatch Pavilion at the Martin House estate, will deliver a keynote address. We’ll enjoy special visits to Wright’s most notable Prairie-period works in Western New York, including the Martin House, Graycliff (the Isabelle Martin House), the Boynton House and the Davidson House. Tours will include other landmarks of the region, from the Arts and Crafts-imbued Roycroft campus to the imposing towers of the Richardson Olmsted Campus. Evening events will allow us to reconnect with old friends, make new ones, and celebrate the recipients of the 2021 Wright Spirit Awards. We look forward to seeing you in Buffalo – or online!

Patrick Mahoney, AIA    |    Mary F. Roberts
2021 Conference Co-Chairs

Conference at a Glance

This is an outline of the preliminary conference schedule. Please see the agenda further below for additional details. All times EDT. All details subject to change. Events take place at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo except as noted otherwise.

Wednesday, October 13

9:00 a.m. Pre-Conference Tour: Larkin District, Heath House, Fontana Boathouse, Blue Sky Mausoleum & Frank Lloyd Wright Gas Station
6:00 p.m. Opening Dinner: Kleinhans Music Hall

Thursday, October 14

8:30 a.m. Conservancy Annual Meeting
9:00 a.m. Education Sessions
12:00 p.m. Conference Tours: Boynton House & other Rochester destinations
6:30 p.m. Leadership Circle Dinner: One M&T Plaza

Friday, October 15

9:00 a.m. Education Sessions
12:00 p.m. Conference Tours: Roycroft & Graycliff
6:30 p.m. Homeowners & Public Sites Dinner

Saturday, October 16

9:00 a.m. Education Sessions & Keynote Address
12:00 p.m. Conference Tours: Martin House estate, Davidson House, Richardson Olmsted Campus
6:30 p.m. Gala & Wright Spirit Awards

Sunday, October 17

9:00 a.m. Post-Conference Tour: Frank Lloyd Wright/Aaron Green San Francisco Office Reconstruction & Warner Theatre in Erie, Pennsylvania

Preliminary Conference Agenda

The schedule of conference events, with confirmed highlights, is below. All times given are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). The schedule remains under active development and will be updated as additional tour destinations are confirmed. All programs, tours and times are subject to change. Registrants will receive a final schedule prior to the conference.

Virtual conference experience:
All education sessions, the keynote, the Homeowners & Public Sites Dinner program, and the Gala & Wright Spirit Awards will be available to virtual conference attendees. Please check back soon for information about included tours & virtual ticket options.


Wednesday, October 13

9:00 a.m. EDT
Pre-Conference Tour
Begin your conference experience by touring a number of Wright-related sites around Buffalo. We’ll see the remnants of the Larkin Administration Building (Wright, 1903, demolished 1950) in the Larkin District and walk around the exterior of the Heath House (Wright, 1903). We’ll also tour several Wright designs realized posthumously, including the Blue Sky Mausoleum (2004), the Fontana Boathouse (2007), and the Frank Lloyd Wright Gas Station (2014) at the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum. Tickets $150. Lunch and transportation included.

6:00 p.m. EDT
Opening Dinner
Kleinhans Music Hall
Kick off the conference with a tour of the graceful Modernist home of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, designed by Eliel and Eero Saarinen and completed in 1940. Then enjoy a seated meal with open bar, included with general registration. Transportation to and from hotel provided.

Thursday, October 14

8:30 a.m. EDT
Annual Meeting
Hyatt Regency Buffalo
The Executive Director and Board President will provide an overview of the Conservancy’s work over the last year. The 2021 Thorpe Fellows will be introduced. A vote will be taken on the proposed slate of new Board members.

9:00 a.m. EDT
Education Sessions
Hyatt Regency Buffalo
The full schedule of presentations will be announced soon.

12:00 p.m. EDT
Conference Tours
After morning sessions, we’ll depart the hotel for Rochester, New York, where we will enjoy exclusive access to the rarely-toured Boynton House (Wright, 1908). Other Rochester tour destinations will be announced. Transportation and lunch included.

6:30 p.m. EDT
Leadership Circle Dinner
One M&T Plaza
Members of the Leadership, Clerestory and Visionary Circles are invited to an exclusive dinner at One M&T Plaza (Minoru Yamasaki, 1967), where we will enjoy the views from high atop this New Formalist landmark on the Buffalo skyline. This will be a standing event with buffet and bar. Tickets $50. No transportation provided; 8-minute walk from hotel. General conference registration is not required to attend this event.

Friday, October 15

9:00 a.m. EDT
Education Sessions
Hyatt Regency Buffalo
The full schedule of presentations will be announced soon.

12:00 p.m. EDT
Conference Tours
After morning sessions, we will depart the hotel for Roycroft, a preserved former artist colony that was a major center of the Arts & Crafts Movement beginning in 1895. Enjoy lunch in the Roycroft Inn (Elbert Hubbard, 1905) and tour other notable buildings on this National Historic Landmark campus. Then we’ll travel to Graycliff (Wright, 1926), the summer home of Isabelle R. Martin, perched dramatically on a bluff overlooking Lake Erie. We will tour the house and explore its 8.5 acres of gardens and grounds. Transportation and lunch included.

6:30 p.m. EDT
Homeowners & Public Sites Dinner
Hyatt Regency Buffalo
Wright homeowners and the staff of Wright public sites are invited to a dinner and program that will reflect on the challenges and celebrate the successes of the past year. Program details will be announced soon. Tickets $80. General conference registration is not required to attend this event. Supported by Ted and Debbie Muntz, owners of the Lovness Estate.

Saturday, October 16

9:00 a.m. EDT
Education Sessions & Keynote Address
Hyatt Regency Buffalo
A keynote address will be given by Toshiko Mori, architect of the acclaimed Greatbatch Pavilion at the Martin House estate. The full schedule of presentations will be announced soon. 

12:00 p.m. EDT
Conference Tours
After morning sessions, Saturday’s tours will highlight major Buffalo landmarks. We will have ample time to explore the buildings of the Darwin D. Martin House (Wright, 1903-1905), one of the most significant and extensive projects from the first half of Wright’s career, and its recently-restored historic Wright-designed landscape. Tours will also visit the Davidson House (Wright, 1908) and the Richardson Olmsted Campus (Henry Hobson Richardson, 1870). Transportation and lunch included.

6:30 p.m. EDT
Gala & Wright Spirit Awards
Hyatt Regency Buffalo
Celebrate the extraordinary achievements of the 2021 Wright Spirit Awards honorees at an elegant gala dinner with open bar, underwritten by Ron and Jan Scherubel. We’ll share highlights from the Conservancy’s silent auction and raffle; online bidding will close after the conclusion of the event. One ticket included with general registration. Additional tickets $175.

Sunday, October 17

9:00 a.m. EDT
Post-Conference Tour
Round out your conference experience with a visit to the newest Wright public site, the Frank Lloyd Wright/Aaron Green San Francisco Office Reconstruction (1951) inside the Hagen History Center in Erie, Pennsylvania. We’ll also tour the elaborate Art Deco-meets-French Renaissance auditorium of the Warner Theatre (Rapp & Rapp, 1931). Tickets $150. Lunch and transportation to and from the hotel is included. We anticipate that a bus will be able to stop at the Buffalo Niagara Airport by 4:00 p.m. but this will be confirmed.

Photo by Biff Henrich / IMG_INK, courtesy of Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House

Conference Sponsors

The Conservancy is grateful for the support of our conference sponsors. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

Major Partners

Kelly Jones
Safina Uberoi and Lukas Ruecker

Conference Partner

Ted and Deborah Muntz


Harboe Architects
SC Johnson
Tim Gibson representing Rotary District #6540
George Meyer


Architectural Resources Group
CYLA Design Associates, Inc. Landscape Architecture & Planning

Wright Spirit Awards

Underwritten by Ron and Jan Scherubel

Silent Auction

The Conservancy’s most popular annual fundraiser will take place online in conjunction with the conference. Bidding will open on October 12 and close the evening of October 16. The auction offers rare Wright memorabilia, artwork, collectibles, experiences at Wright sites, books, and more. All proceeds support our mission of preserving Wright’s remaining structures. The Silent Auction is open to everyone; attendance at the Annual Conference is not required.

Learn more about the silent auction

Conference Hotel

Conference attendees stay at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo / Hotel and Conference Center (Two Fountain Plaza) at the special group rate of $139 per night (plus tax). All education sessions, tour departures, the Homeowners & Public Sites Dinner and the Gala will take place at the Hyatt Regency.

The hotel has been closed due to the pandemic but is currently in the process of reopening. We are in regular communication with hotel ownership and management about their progress.

The hotel restaurant may not be operating normally by the time of the conference. For this reason, we are offering the option to add a full hot breakfast buffet to your conference registration at cost.

Bookings must be made online using the link below. Please do not call the hotel directly. Our special rate is available for several days before and after the conference. Be sure to adjust the booking tool to reflect only the dates you require. Rooms are limited and may sell out. Please do not make a hotel reservation until you have registered for the conference.

Reserve your hotel room online

Registration Information

In-Person General Registration

Includes opening dinner; education sessions; afternoon tours and lunches Thursday-Saturday; and gala dinner on Saturday. Capacity is strictly limited and events may sell out quickly. Register early to secure your spot. If availability remains, rates for in-person general registration will increase by $100 after September 5. In-person registrants will also enjoy virtual conference access. In-person attendees must read and agree to our COVID-19 general disclaimer and safety policies, as well as our other participation policies, which you can find below. We anticipate that AIA credits will be available only to in-person attendees; additional information will be made available at a later date. Online registration and payment via credit card is preferred. If you require assistance registering or have any questions, please email or call 312.663.5500.

Conservancy Members: $750 per person
Friend members receive member price for one; all other members receive member price for two.

Non-Members: $850 per person
Includes a Friend membership.


In-Person Add-Ons

Pre- and post-conference tours are open only to general registrants. Availability for all add-on events is limited.

Pre-Conference Tour: $150 per person

Leadership Circle Dinner: $50 per person
Open to members of the Leadership, Clerestory and Visionary Circles only. General conference registration not required.

Homeowners & Public Sites Dinner: $80 per person
Open to Wright homeowners and public site staff. General conference registration not required.

Additional ticket to Gala: $175

Post-Conference Tour: $150

Three-Day Breakfast Pass (October 14-16): $90
Five-Day Breakfast Pass (October 13-17): $150
The hotel restaurant may not be operating normally by the time of the conference. For this reason, we are offering the option to add a full hot breakfast buffet to your conference registration at cost.

Buy In-Person Tickets

Registration to attend the conference in person is now open

Virtual Registration

We are committed to providing an affordable and substantive virtual conference experience. Virtual attendees will have the ability to remotely livestream, participate in Q&A via chat, and later view recordings of all education sessions, the keynote, the Homeowners & Public Sites program, and the Gala and Wright Spirit Awards. Virtual tour offerings are in development.

Check back soon for virtual conference registration!
We will make an announcement when virtual registration becomes available, and it will remain open through the start of the conference.


John G. Thorpe Young Professionals and Students Fellowship

To save Wright, we must encourage the next generation of advocates. In memory of architect and preservationist John Thorpe, the Conservancy selects a small number of graduate students and young professionals in architecture and historic preservation to attend the conference at no cost. Any tax-deductible donation that you add to your conference registration will support the Thorpe Fellowship. Learn more and encourage deserving candidates to apply.

COVID Safety Protocol, Waiver & Participation Agreement

COVID-19 General Disclaimer & Safety Policies

The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy (FLWBC) is committed to the health and safety of event participants, staff and others with whom we will come in contact. This conference will follow current legal mandates, guidance and safety protocols for preventing the spread of COVID-19 at large gatherings issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and relevant state and local authorities. We reserve the right to determine and enforce additional reasonable health and safety requirements at our discretion, and we will abide by the requirements of all private and public venues visited during the event.

Individuals who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or who have significant concerns about their risk of exposure to COVID-19, are strongly urged to consider attending this event virtually rather than in person.

The conditions for holding a safe conference are constantly changing. We may need to alter the itinerary of the conference at any time based on new information, public health guidance or requirements, or the ability of specific venues to participate.

By registering for and participating in this event, you agree to the following:

  • You acknowledge that your participation in this event is entirely voluntary, and that you are aware of the possibly significant risks, both apparent and hidden, that may present themselves at public gatherings.
  • You acknowledge the ongoing and evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and voluntarily assume any and all risk you incur by attending this event.
  • You agree to follow rules set forth by the FLWBC, bus operators, private homes, hotels and public venues, and to abide by instructions at all times regarding COVID-19 safety protocols.
  • You understand that protocols and guidance are constantly evolving and the Conservancy may elect to enforce physical distancing and the wearing of non-vented face coverings that cover both mouth and nose (when not eating or drinking) at any time during the event. The exact degree of precautionary measures needed may not be known far in advance, but all participants will be expected to comply.
  • You understand that for certain events, such as visits to private homes, properly wearing a non-vented mask will be mandatory.
  • Refusal to comply with clearly-communicated health and safety instructions will result in your removal from the event, with no refund, and may affect your eligibility to participate in future FLWBC events.
  • You are not to attend the event, and understand that the FLWBC may not be able to refund your registration, if, within 14 days of the start of the event, you have tested positive for COVID-19; have shown any COVID-19 symptoms and not received a subsequent negative test result; or have had close contact with a person who has tested positive for, or shown symptoms of, COVID-19.
  • If you have traveled internationally within 14 days prior to the start of the event, you must show proof of a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken 3-5 days after entering the United States. This requirement for international travelers applies regardless of vaccination status.
  • Upon check-in, all registrants will need to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, or a negative result from a COVID-19 test administered no more than three days prior to the start of the event. Documents will be reviewed but not retained by the Conservancy. Original documents are not required; paper or digital copies are acceptable, provided that they are clearly legible and include the registrant’s name. Failure to present either of these required documents will result in being turned away, with no refund of registration fees or incurred travel expenses. Participants should keep these documents handy at all times during the event, as venues may require them for entry.


Cancellation Policy

The Conservancy reserves the right to cancel this event at any time if we feel that it cannot be held safely, for any reason including but not limited to current COVID-19 health metrics and guidance. In this case, the Conservancy would refund participants the cost of their registration, including any add-on events, but will not be responsible for any other costs incurred as a result of our decision to cancel the event.

Registrants may cancel through August 30 for a full refund, or between August 31 and September 13 for a 50% refund. Cancellations after September 13 will not receive a refund. Email or call 312.663.5500 to cancel your registration.

Attendees may wish to consider purchasing travel insurance, which may reimburse certain costs in the event that the event is cancelled or you are unable to participate. The Conservancy does not recommend any specific insurer or insurance product, and is not able to provide guidance.


Photography and Video Recordings

By attending this event, you may be included in photography and video recordings that may be used for the Conservancy’s educational or marketing purposes. Photography by participants is generally allowed, but might be prohibited at the request of specific venues.


Physical Condition Considerations

Conference tour attendees must be capable of walking through tight spaces and up staircases without handrails with no assistance. Private residences featured on our tours are not subject to ADA requirements. If you anticipate having difficulty accessing or moving about tour sites, please consider registering to attend virtually.


Liability Waiver

By registering for the conference you consent to the following: “In consideration of my admission to the properties toured through the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy (FLWBC), I agree to waive, release, hold harmless and indemnify FLWBC and the owners, operators, members, officers, directors, trustees, agents, successors and assigns, of the FLWBC and each and every house, site and entity included in the conference, including any announced changes, from any and all claims, injuries, causes of action, de­mands, costs, liability and/or harm of any kind that I may have or may acquire against each of them as a result of my participation in this event.”