B&B plan could save valuable properties

Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to Ald. Will Burns (4th).

Dear Alderman Burns:

The people of Hyde Park-Kenwood are very aware of architectural issues and have a special interest in Frank Lloyd Wright houses. The Robie House is the “crown jewel” of Hyde Park architecture, and the Heller House is also well known. Unfortunately, it has been for sale for more than a year and although it is in excellent condition and available at an appropriate price, no one has bought it.

Most of Hyde Park was not aware of the Pritzker proposal for the other two FLW houses (Blossom and McArthur) in the neighborhood or that the matter was being brought up in your last ward meeting. Those two houses are in bad shape (I have seen them) and if major work is not done soon, they might be lost to decay. That would be inexcusable. The Pritzker proposal seems generous and eminently feasible. B&Bs are quiet enterprises in general. Any FLW B&B will be pricey and will attract upscale clients, many of them with architectural interests. These two houses, restored and functioning as B&Bs, would make a splendid addition to Hyde Park/Kenwood – and might be the only way to save these exceptional architectural treasures.

Taking all this into consideration, I hope you will reconsider your recent decision to reject the Pritzker proposal and bring the question before a larger quorum where it can be discussed extensively before a final decision is made.
Vreni Naess