A Look at the Edith Farnsworth House & Historic Site – A Virtual Presentation by Scott Mehaffey

This virtual presentation by Scott Mehaffey, Executive Director at Edith Farnsworth House National Historic Site in Plano, Illinois, took place on April 5, 2022. Mehaffey discussed the history and current status of the renowned International Style house. The historical house was commissioned by Dr. Edith Farnsworth, a prominent Chicago medical doctor, musician, and poet. The house, a one-room weekend retreat, was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe between 1945 and 1951. The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006. Today, the house is owned and operated as a house museum by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In the fall of 2021, the house, which was previously known as the Farnsworth House, was given a new name: the Edith Farnsworth House, a change designed to refocus the house’s history to fully embrace Edith Farnsworth’s life and legacy. You can view the program on the EHC YouTube channel here.

Scott Mehaffey has a 30-year career history of public- and private-sector leadership focused in the Chicago area. Former positions with The Morton Arboretum and the City of Chicago have included historic site management, strategic planning and development, and community outreach and programming. In addition, he is an Adjunct Professor in the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology, also designed by Mies van der Rohe, where he teaches graduate level courses in Modernism and the Prairie School. Most recently, Scott headed his own landscape architecture firm based in Flossmoor, Ill., and led efforts to revitalize the historic commercial district in Princeton, Ill. He holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois College of Fine and Applied Arts and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Dominican University. He has been active in the fields of cultural landscape preservation and architectural history, and is a frequent speaker, writer and tour guide on these subjects. He has also held leadership positions with the American Public Gardens Association and the American Society of Landscape Architects.