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
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
An August 30th
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.