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Brad Pitt, Kenny Chesney and the Fox River




Fox River flood water threaten Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House.

Farnsworth House site director Whitney French with actor Brad Pitt.

Recording artist Kenny Chesney's (in red) music video was staged at the Farnsworth House.


Click for Full Screen Slideshow


Not often do you see these well-known names (two celebrities and an Illinois waterway) in the same sentence—let alone in connection with Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House. But all three have made their appearance recently at the acclaimed modernist masterpiece in Plano, Illinois.

Floodwaters crested on Friday afternoon, August 24, just below the main floor of the house, which was constructed in 1951 on six-foot high piers along the banks of the Fox River. Following torrential rains during the previous week, the staff of Landmarks Illinois—which operates the historic site—implemented an emergency flood plan, raising the house’s furniture on crates and removing other valuable articles.  An August 30th Chicago Tribune article provides more information.

Just two weeks before, the steel-and-glass house had been the setting for a two-day television commercial featuring actor Brad Pitt. The rental fees from the Japanese blue jeans company shoot helped raised $60,000 for the house’s operating fund, according to Farnsworth House site director Whitney French. The commercial is not expected to air on American television. For more, see the Brad Pitt article at National Trust for Historic Preservation.

However, if you want to see the house on TV, check out the new country music video that began running in late summer—again bringing site-rental income to the house’s operating fund. The song, “Don’t Blink,” stars recording artist Kenny Chesney. In addition to cable television, the music video can be viewed at Country Music Television.

Finally, we would like to use this opportunity to invite potential Farnsworth House volunteers to e-mail Whitney French. If floods and celebrities don’t interest you, perhaps the opportunity to provide guided tours of this world-famous landmark will.







Landmarks Illinois
Suite 1315
53 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604 
tel. 312-922-1742 
fax 312-922-8112



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