• The Houses of Lisl Close: A Life in Modern Architecture
    Jane King Hession

Elizabeth Scheu Close, Faulkner/Ziegfeld/Hill House, Minneapolis, 1938, photograph.

The Houses of Lisl Close: A Life in Modern Architecture documents the life and work of Elizabeth "Lisl" Scheu Close, FAIA (1912-2011). The title refers to Close's prolific career as the architect of scores of modern houses, but also to that career's roots in her youth spent in a iconic modern home: the 1912 Adolf Loos–designed Scheu House in Vienna, Austria. Daily living in the light-filled, articulated volumes of this house taught her that architecture can have a transformative effect on its inhabitants.  Through her father's efforts to provide housing for Vienna's displaced denizens following World War I, she also learned that architecture has the power—and responsibility—to address greater social needs. The project explores the themes of "houses" and "housing," as evidenced in Close's design philosophies and through the built work of Close Associates.

Jane King Hession is a writer, curator, and founding partner of Modern House Productions, a multimedia production company that specializes in art and architectural subjects. She holds an MArch from the University of Minnesota and her research interests include modernism and mid-century design. She is the coauthor of Ralph Rapson: Sixty Years of Modern Design (1999) and Frank Lloyd Wright in New York: The Plaza Years, 1954–1959 (2007). She is a past president of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy in Chicago and of the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians.