Wright pavilion project moving ahead


The team behind a push to build a replica of an iconic Frank Lloyd Wright pavilion in Banff National Park says it’s moving along in its work to meet conditions set by the Town of Banff.

Evie Eshpeter, director and founder of the Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative, said the group awarded a bid to a team of professors from Toronto’s Ryerson University to update Wright’s original drawings of the Banff Pavilion to help with that work.

She said they’ve been working hard to meet requirements of the Town of Banff and, in order to do this, had to get experts to fulfill areas in the terms of reference that the group could not.

“For example, we have been asked to do site evaluations of the Town’s three proposed locations, as well as a cost analysis. These are just two of many criteria to be completed by Ryerson,” she said.

“These also require Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1911 drawings to be updated, so that we may have a more realistic understanding of the budget and scope of the project.”

Banff council has voted to support, in principle, the Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative, but directed the group to conduct a feasibility study and cost analysis to help the municipality better understand the implications of proceeding with the project.

Specifically, council asked that the study include an overview of the scope of work required to build the structure, evaluation of site location alternatives, environmental assessment requirements and estimates of building design and construction costs.

It’s also to include any infrastructure improvements needed to service the building, long-term operation and maintenance costs, funding sources, program options and an assessment of the economic impact of the project on the community.

The estimated price tag to build a replica of the pavilion at the Banff recreation grounds, which was built in 1913 and demolished in the late 1930s, is between $6 million and $8 million.

Over the course of Wright’s life, he designed and built more than 500 structures, many of which have become icons of design, including The Guggenheim Museum in New York and Fallingwater in Pennsylvania.

The Banff Pavilion is one of two Wright buildings in Canada. The other is a private cottage in Ontario, which still stands.


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