Glass box house floods in Illinois
September 17, 2008
Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s iconic glass box house in Plano, Ill., has flooded–again, according to a Sept. 16 Wall Street Journal article.
For the sixth time in 60 years, the Farnsworth House, one of the most famous examples of Modernist architecture, has been overtaken by a swollen Fox River. Record rainfall caused flood waters on Sunday to rise nearly two feet above the house’s limestone floors, entering the house.
Soon after the architect completed the house in 1951 , the owner, Dr. Edith Farnsworth complained that during the summers, the glass walls allowed the sun to turn the interior into a cooker. She sued the architect in part for cost overruns but also because she contended that the house was unlivable. She ultimately lost her petition to rescind the added expenses, but her gripes were aired widely and resulted in a small backlash against Modernist architecture.