Restoring a Frank Lloyd Wright Residence

2 modules


Course Length
1 hour

Self- Paced

$95 - 145


This presentation initially took place at the 2020 Building Enclosure Symposium.

In the 1950s, American architect Frank Lloyd Wright developed a building system using concrete block components that could be assembled into a home, which he described as “Usonian Automatic.” In 1955, Wright designed such a home for Dr. Toufic Kalil and his wife, who built their home in Manchester, NH, with the assistance of a local contractor.

Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE) was selected by the heirs of the Toufic Kalil House to assess the existing conditions in preparation for selling the home. After WJE’s initial meeting, a landscape contractor demolished a site wall with his truck.

Based on our observations of existing conditions and research of historic documents, WJE developed repair documents to replicate the severely damaged site wall. The company also developed roofing repair and replacement documents to replace the leaking roofing system installed in 2003. Documents from the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives housed at the Avery Library of Columbia University supplemented the Kalil family’s personal papers.

The personal family records revealed names of products used for the original roofing system which differed from those in the project specifications. Little information was found about these products. The challenges of the existing conditions of the concrete roof deck and low flashing heights demanded creative approaches to the roofing replacement material and assembly.

William Waterston, RRC, AIA

Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. | Nelson, NH

William Waterston is a recently retired associate principal at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. in Boston, Massachusetts. He continues to work as an affiliated consultant. He is both a registered architect and a Registered Roof Consultant focused on solving waterproofing and roofing challenges in new and existing buildings. Waterston is the author of several articles on roofing material choices and roofing practices. He has presented at various venues, including IIBEC and Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) meetings, conventions, and symposia. He is an Emeritus Member of IIBEC, AIA, and CSI.


By completing/passing this course, you will attain the certificate Certificate with IIBEC and AIA Logos

Learning Credits

Restoring a Frank Lloyd Wright Residence - Recording
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Added 7 months ago, by William
Added over 1 year ago, by Patrick
Added over 1 year ago, by Curt
Well presented, but too much information on 1950's finger pointing and too little on 2019 repairs.
Added over 1 year ago, by Viesturs
Very interesting presentation. Would have liked perhaps more information on details that were poor from the original design. Also, the video "buffered" a lot. Not sure if an issue on my end or RCI's.
Added over 1 year ago, by Alex
Added over 2 years ago, by Soph
The tiered approach to failures in this presentation helps clarify and provide an avenue for keeping important elements in design for long-term value of a building.
Added over 3 years ago, by Jackie

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