August 8, 2016
by Canadian Architect
Exterior of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Banff Park Pavilion. Courtesy of Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative (FLWRI) has announced that it has received the green light to proceed with the next phase of the Banff Pavilion rebuild.
The Initiative, whose mandate is to preserve Frank Lloyd Wright’s (FLW) legacy through the reconstruction/construction of various FLW structures, has officially formalized in light of Banff Town Council’s directive to conduct a feasibility study for the project – a move that effectively brings The Pavilion rebuild one step closer to reality.
In 1938 The Pavilion, which served multi-purposes, was demolished. Built on a flood-plain without mitigation measures, the integrity of the structure, originally erected in 1914, was compromised and, amidst much controversy, eventually torn down. Over the last 35 years, there have been a number of efforts to see it rebuilt. Only recently has Banff’s Town Council demonstrated a sincere willingness to move ahead.
Pencil drawing of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Banff Park Pavilion. Courtesy of Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative.
With intentions to repurpose the land where The Pavilion originally stood, the timing of The Initiative’s proposal is ideal. In a meeting on March 29th, Council was supportive of the proposal, expressing a desire to work the structure into its already-approved development plans.
With six out of seven council members in favour, the re-build is all but a done deal – trusting The Initiative fulfills The Town’s remaining requirements. One of these will be securing adequate funding, which is not a concern for Initiative Founder Michael Miner. Having previously secured capital for another project of its kind, Miner is confident the Banff Pavilion project will receive the huge community support once word of the rebuild reaches FLW supporters.
“Frank Lloyd Wright is one of the greatest creative geniuses of all time. There is no shortage of adoration for him, which is evident by the outpouring of interest we’ve already received” says Miner. Included in this list of project advocates are the architect’s grandson, Eric Lloyd Wright, as well as Taliesin Fellows Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer and Arnold Roy.
Interior of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Banff Park Pavilion. Courtesy of Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative.
The Pavilion is just one candidate in a list of rebuilds The Initiative plans on tackling. Being a relatively simple structure helped it top the list. Additionally, it epitomizes FLW’s famous Prairie School style and would also be ideally located. Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Banff is an enchanting tourist hub, perfect for such an attraction and the Initiative’s inaugural project.
For FLW enthusiasts, rebuilding the Pavilion would also rectify a historical wrong. Although there is still much debate as to why the structure came down, consensus amongst devotees is that The Pavilion, just one of two FLW structures ever built in Canada, should still stand.
Render of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Banff Park Pavilion. Courtesy of Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative.
“These buildings were demolished due to a lack of appreciation for their value. Genuine works of art should never be destroyed. Our hope is to amend some of these errors and, hopefully, prevent this from happening in the future” says Miner. “We are very pleased by the support Banff has shown thus far. Our goal now is to secure further funds and satisfy the Town’s remaining requests so as to bring The Pavilion rebuild one step closer to fruition.”
In light of Banff council’s vote The Initiative, which is a 501-3C non-profit, is now accepting donations at FLWRevivalInitiative.org.