Striking the “Wright” balance

Posted in: Cultural Resources


DSC_0112_smallStakeholder involvement, design flexibility and collaboration are important components of a successful highway improvement project. This is especially true when your project has the potential to impact a National Historic Landmark. When it came time to update two bridges within Taliesin, the site of Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studio, the project team understood it was critical to involve stakeholders early in the design process and consider multiple design options.

The project team, consisting of engineers and historians, began consulting with stakeholders early in the design process, including the National Park Service, State Historic Preservation Office, Taliesin Preservation Inc., and the local historical society. Involving stakeholders early in the process allowed for collaboration and an understanding of the need to meet safety standards for this busy, two-lane highway while also minimizing impacts and changes to this rural historic landscape.

IMG_0016_smallTo identify an acceptable solution, our team completed an extensive evaluation of beam guard options utilized nationwide within other historic properties and National Parks. Once the options were narrowed down, the project team collaborated to minimize slope work, beam guard length and other impacts to the landscape. Detailed visualizations, showing multiple views of each location, provided stakeholders with a clear understanding of each option. This greatly helped the team reach consensus on the preferred treatment option. When the past meets the present, a little collaboration can go a long way.


Emily Pettis

About the Author

Emily Pettis enjoys different types of historic preservation projects and helping our clients. “I love the variety of projects I get to work on, from leading large urban surveys to evaluating historic rural landscapes,” she says. Emily specializes in developing balanced solutions that meet client needs while respecting historic resources for future generations.

Read more posts by Emily Pettis

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