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The Pope-Leighey House: A Survive and Thrive Story

Join us for a lecture about the race to save—and preserve—a young, yet already iconic house in nearby Alexandria, Virginia. When Frank Lloyd Wright designed the modest Usonian Pope-Leighey House for a young journalist, he had no idea that this relatively simple house would become a heated national preservation story. The 1940 house was moved, rebuilt, moved again, and later opened to the public by The National Trust for Historic Preservation.  

This presentation, presented by Ashley Wilson, AIA, ASID, Graham Gund Architect for the Historic Sites at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, will explore why this well-loved tiny house, chock-full of masterful design touches, helped create a new model for protecting modern architecture that is still practiced today.

Presented by: Ashley Wilson, AIA, ASID, Graham Gund Architect for the Historic Sites at the National Trust for Historic Preservation

This program is presented in association with Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior, organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC, in cooperation with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ, on view through September 6, 2019.


This project has been funded in part by a grant from the Dorothea DeSchweinitz Fund for the District of Columbia of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


At the completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Explore and Identify Usonian Architecture and its related typology;
  • Explain and compare early to current preservation efforts in the DMV area related to development pressure;
  • Describe and explain the history Pope-Leighey House, a modest Frank Lloyd Wright building; and
  • Discuss and investigate the issues of saving important buildings that aren’t yet fifty years old.