Award of Excellence
A Residential Design Award of Excellence is given for the restoration of Samara: The John and Catherine Christian House. Completed in 1956, the home is a remarkable embodiment of Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian design principles. Having attained National Historic Landmark status in 2015, a crucial $500,000 Save America's Treasures Grant was secured from the National Park Service, enabling Indiana Landmarks, co-steward of the property, to undertake a meticulous rehabilitation. Harboe Architects, renowned for their expertise in preserving Wright-designed properties, led the restoration project with a keen eye for maintaining the integrity of the original structure. Challenges included stabilizing the terrace and lanai wall, salvaging and reusing original pavers, and adapting living room ductwork while respecting the original design. Attention to detail, adherence to historic preservation standards, and dedication to matching materials were paramount in the success of this endeavor. When so many Modern homes of similar scale are being torn down or inappropriately altered, this successful restoration exemplifies a deep commitment to architectural heritage, guarantees structural integrity for future generations and allows visitors to once again enjoy the terrace and lanai during public tours.
“The detailed documentation of the restoration process and special care taken every step of the way is to be commended”
- Barbara Bestor, FAIA, 2023 Jury chair
“You can tell they took the time and effort to do things right.”
John E. Christian Family Memorial Trust (Marsh Davis, President; Suzanne Stanis, Vice President of Education; Linda Eales, Curator); Indiana Landmarks
Architects: Harboe Architects (Gunny Harboe, FAIA; Bob Score, AIA); General Contractor: Brandt Construction, Inc. (Clint Cravens, Project Manager; Andy Sipe, Superintendent); Structural Engineer:1200 Architectural Engineers (John Matteo, PE, FAAR); MEP Engineer: Architectural Consulting Engineers (Mark Nussbaum, PE); Architectural Conservator: Building Conservation Associates (Dorothy Krotzer)