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Flood damages Farnsworth site

September 16, 2008|From the Chicago Tribune

While homeowners along Illinois' Fox River fretted over damage to their homes, architectural and historical experts worried about the fate of the Farnsworth House, a historic site in Plano, Ill., considered an icon in modern architecture.

The steel-and-glass home, built by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1951, sits on 5-foot risers, but that wasn't enough to spare it from floodwaters over the weekend. Its interior was covered in at least 2 feet of water, said Whitney French, historic site director.

Employees at the Farnsworth House used boats to reach the home Saturday and lift the designer furniture away from the water. But some pieces, including a custom-designed wardrobe bound to the floor, could not be saved. Officials have not yet estimated the cost of the damage.

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