Congratulations, You Did It!

Your generosity has helped us restore the lower terrace.

This project would not be possible without your support and we are extremely grateful for donors like YOU!

Seventy years of periodic flooding, freeze-and-thaw cycles, weathering  and use have caused the travertine stone paving to deteriorate. Over 80% of the stone is now fractured beyond repair and must now be replaced – with thicker pieces that have been carefully-matched to the original.

Working with preservation architecture and engineering firm Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., the project has been designed to improve drainage and durability and includes:

  • Removing all existing travertine and storing salvageable material for future work on the Upper Terrace
  • Removing all travertine treads and landing from the upper stairs between the Lower & Upper terraces
  • Removing the deteriorated gravel drainage layer and asphaltic covering
  • Removing and preserving the precast concrete planks
  • Preparing and coating the steel structure
  • Reinstalling the precast concrete planks, anticipating a few replacements
  • Installing a new drainage system including more drains, stone ballast, woven geotextile separation
  • Installing new, thicker travertine with slightly wider joints to better accommodate movement and allow for maintenance
  • Coating all exposed steel with high performance coating system to prevent corrosion and provide long term color and gloss retention
  • Restoring all site disturbance from construction access

All donors of $50 or more will be recognized in our upcoming newsletters and will receive a journal and Edith Farnsworth House souvenir.

All donors of $100 or more  will receive TWO custom-imprint Edith Farnsworth House face masks and will be recognized on the Donor Wall in the Visitor Center, starting in July, 2021.

All Donors of $250 or more  will receive TWO custom-imprint Edith Farnsworth House face masks and a copy of
Baldwin Kingrey: Midcentury Modern in Chicago 1947-1957 in our Edith Quote Grocery Tote – and will be recognized on the Donor Wall in the Visitor Center, starting in July, 2021.

Premium Donors will receive these recognitions PLUS:

Stone Quarrier (Gifts of $500 or more): a limited-edition, frame-worthy, 8×10″, color photograph of the Edith Farnsworth House, signed and numbered by the photographer, William Zbaren;

Stone Cutter (Gifts of $1000 or more): the 8×10” photo and a copy of Broken Glass, a new historical novel about the Edith Farnsworth House, autographed by the author, Alex Beam;

Apprentice Stonemason (Gifts of $2000 or more): the 8×10” photo, autographed copy of Broken Glass, and a 3×5” travertine paperweight engraved with the Edith Farnsworth House logo and your name;

Journeyman Stonemason (Gifts of $5000 or more): the 8×10” photo, autographed copy of Broken Glass, 4×5” engraved travertine paperweight, and a private tour for up to 12 guests (subject to applicable COVID-19 regulations at the time of event);

Master Mason (Gifts of $10,000 or more): all of the above plus a 90-minute private party on the completed lower terrace, for up to 50 guests (beer, wine, soft drinks and appetizers – subject to applicable Covid-19 regulations at the time of event)

ALL donors will receive written recognition of their gift for tax purposes.

Please help make this long-awaited restoration project a reality by clicking the link below.  If you have questions, please contact Edith Farnsworth House Executive Director Scott Mehaffey at 630-273-7055.

What we need to successfully complete the project and where we are, represented by the 220 pieces of lower terrace travertine.

Illustrations by Moana McAuliffe.

Although the Lower Terrace Restoration project has been funded, you can still help maintain this icon of modern architecture by making a tax-deductible gift today. Your help is vital for the future of the Edith Farnsworth House.

Secure donations can easily be made online by clicking the button below.  Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express cards are all accepted. More substantial donations can be arranged by calling 630.552.0052.

Thank you for supporting the continued preservation of the Edith Farnsworth House.


Donors as of July 9, 2021

Master Mason (Gifts of $10,000 or more) 

Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley
Nancy Jones Beard Foundation
National Trust for Historic Preservation – Historic Sites Fund
Journeyman Stonemason(Gifts of $5000 or more)

Craig and Bette Williams  

Apprentice Stonemason (Gifts of $2000 or more) 

Chicago Bauhaus & Beyond (dissolution residuals)

Dirk Lohan 
Scott A. Mehaffey
William T. Ruhl
Ashley R. Wilson

Stone Cutter (Gifts of $1000 or more)

Diane K. Barrowman
Doretta M. Carlson
Dirk Denison
Thomas E. and Barbara C. Donnelley
Kari Finseth and Ted Feibel
James Goettsch and Nada Andric
Leon Hamui
Leonard Koroski, FAIA
Antonius Meijer (Ton Meijer Posthuma)
Mark A. Musgrave
Carlos Quezada-Gomez
Gordon and Carole Segal

Stone Quarrier