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Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin theater to be restored

SPRING GREEN, Wis. (AP) — A theater at Frank Lloyd Wright's 800-acre Taliesin estate in Wisconsin will undergo an $867,000, two-year restoration.

A $320,000 Save America's Treasures grant from the National Park Service, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and Taliesin Preservation will be funding the restoration of the 120-year-old Hillside Theatre, The Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Public performances are held at the theater from May through early October.

"There's all kinds of uses for that theater. It's just elemental to our living," said Minerva Montooth, a longtime resident at Taliesin and the director of social events.

The project will address storm water runoff issues that have compromised the building's foundation and exterior sandstone walls. It will also upgrade the building's heating and electrical systems, the entry foyer, the audience space and the performance area. A green room, bathrooms and storage space will be added to the basement.

The restoration work will maintain the footprint and cane marks Wright left in the grout at the entryway to the foyer.

The project will allow for more events on the property and bring in more people, said Ryan Hewson, the preservation manager of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which owns Taliesin.

"This helps us with our next projects because we're able to bring more people here," Hewson said. "We can springboard from that and they can experience this the way it's supposed to be experienced instead of just coming here for a tour. We want people to come every summer and visit us multiple times."

Work on the project will begin next year.

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