Pardon our dust: Latest restoration update

A member of the restoration crew works on a scaffolding platform inside Unity Temple. (Photo by Dan Crimmins)

A member of the restoration crew works on a scaffolding platform inside Unity Temple. (Photo by Dan Crimmins)

A version of this content appeared in the September 2015 CONNECTIONS newsletter.  

“Unity Temple Restoration Foundation is forging ahead on many fronts as we meet the challenge of procuring another $11.5 million for the $23 million restoration of Unity Temple,” said Brad White, President of the UTRF board of directors. “We remain grateful to members of UTUUC who have made individual contributions amounting to a total of $1.5 million,” he added.

“The congregation’s philanthropic commitment and the gift from the Alphawood Foundation have launched the board and many others into a positive, energetic and all-encompassing fundraising campaign,” said Heather Hutchison, executive director of UTRF.

Hutchison shared the following progress:

• National recognition and a $200,000 grant from the Getty Foundation;

• Submission of a grant to the National Endowment for the Arts;

• A multitude of personal meetings with individuals and leaders of public and private family foundations in Chicagoland;

• Meetings with leaders of Chicago’s philanthropic community;

• Preparations for the Unity Temple World Heritage site visit; in 2014, the U.S. Department of the Interior authorized the nomination of Unity Temple for listing with nine other Frank Lloyd Wright sites as United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site.

There’s also been significant media attention about our restoration, including the following items:

• A comprehensive social media program, including a complete renovation of the UTRF Website, the UTRF Facebook Page and Twitter account; and management of a committee of both UTRF and UTUUC members for ongoing social media communications;

• An 18-20 minute documentary about the restoration with on-camera interviews and filming the progress of the restoration; several short clips on social media with members of UTUUC;

• “BIG FIX” article on the cover of the A&E Section of the Chicago Tribune on July 30; continued coverage in the Oak Park River Forest Wednesday Journal and the Oak Leaves;

• Online articles about the restoration in Architectural Digest, Chicago magazine, Curbed and others. (See “Unity Temple in the Media” in the right sidebar of this site for links to the articles. To see the videos mentioned above, click here.

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