We knew this tiny 1913 Wright-designed home in Glencoe, Illinois, was a teardown target. When it sold the next spring, our worst fears were confirmed: plans were already underway to replace it with a much larger home.
The Conservancy took action and sounded the alarm via local and international media. We met with village leaders and rallied local preservation advocates. We nominated it to a statewide list of most endangered buildings and held challenging conversations with the new owner. As a last resort to avert an otherwise-unstoppable demolition, we issued a request for proposals to relocate the cottage. Fortunately, the Glencoe Historical Society will move the cottage to a new site this year, where it will be an educational resource for the community. The Conservancy’s emergency revolving fund paid part of the moving expenses to beat a six-month demolition delay.
Booth Cottage has a bright future because the Conservancy was prepared to act quickly and decisively. Unfortunately, 20% of Wright’s built works have already been lost, and over half of those remaining have no legal protection.
In this increasingly uncertain world, we don’t know what the next urgent threat will be—but we can’t face it without your support. If you are able, please make a special donation to the Conservancy’s summer fundraising appeal. Donations up to a total of $10,000 will be matched by a challenge grant from Conservancy Board member Marsha Shyer and her husband John, owners of the Brandes House.
Photo at top: Advocacy co-chair Ron Scherubel documents preparations for the move of Booth Cottage.
Posted on June 12, 2020