Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:

Losco, Ashley (2019). Permanent Impermanence: Preserving the Garden Room at Frank Lloyd Wright's Desert Camp, Taliesin West (Masters Thesis). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


Since Taliesin West is both an active architectural school and historic site, this thesis study explores the use of “progressive authenticity” in the preservation of the Garden Room at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West. Progressive authenticity is a preservation theory that focuses on the values and cultural heritage of a site, known as the intangible heritage, as well as the physical historic fabric, the tangible heritage. Progressive authenticity argues that every layer of change, including new changes, is part of a historic site’s identity. From construction in 1939 to today, every layer of change by Wright, his wife Olgivanna Lloyd Wright, and their Fellows are important to the identity of the Garden Room. Along with the historic fabric, the essence of the Wright’s and their Fellows are important as intangible heritage. The spirit of the Wright’s is expressed through the ideology of experimentation and change, connection to nature, and a feeling of community. These have been lost over time and strategies could be created to re-incorporate them into the Garden Room’s interpretation.


experimentation, intangible heritage, progressive authenticity, tangible heritage, community



Date Posted: 03 June 2019