Important work on the Alan I W Frank House started on June 22, 2011, as stonemasons began cleaning the building’s famous Kasota stone.
Designed and built as a “Total Work of Art” for Cecelia and Robert Frank in 1939-40 by Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius and his partner Marcel Breuer, the home and its original contents have been preserved to the present day, original and authentic. But seventy years, along with the harsh Pittsburgh climate, have taken their toll on some parts of the outside and some of the original fabrics. The stonework is the first phase of the long range plan.
Innovative, Proprietary Restoration Process
This phase will use an innovative honing process to remove 70 years of surface discoloration from the stone, restoring the warm brilliance of its original pink-sand beach color. The honing process developed by industrialist/innovator Alan I W Frank, owner of the House, will duplicate the original factory sand honed finish.
Renowned architectural advisors to the current project include Jay Turnbull, president of Page & Turnbull, an architectural firm specializing in historic preservation; and Joseph Godfryt, Principal, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. According to Mr. Turnbull, “The late 1930s, when this home was built, was a time of great creative blossoming in the country, especially with the influx of the best of the European architects like Gropius and Breuer. There’s no question this home is a great masterpiece. And it’s extraordinary, a great blessing in fact, that the house has come down to us virtually intact from the moment it was created. The work we’re starting today will help by preserving the weather envelope.” Joseph Godfryt added: “The fact that the building envelope components have provided such exemplary service since originally constructed in 1940 is truly a tribute to the excellence in their design and craftsmanship. Our firm is excited about our involvement with the superb restoration that is starting.” Photographed together from left to right are Jay Turnbull, Alan I W Frank and Joseph Godfryt.