Norton Center hosting unique architectural experience Saturday

Published 9:41 pm Tuesday, October 22, 2019


Press release 

A unique architecture learning experience is coming to Danville, Kentucky.

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As part of Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts, “The Wright Angle” exhibition,  a Bluegrass Architecture Festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26, providing a glimpse into the building’s storied past and other Frank Lloyd Wright-related architecture in Kentucky.

The festival recognizes the unique architecture and history of the Norton Center, welcomes architects to earn continuing education credits through in-depth discussions about Taliesin Associated Architects and architects Frank Lloyd Wright and William Wesley Peters, along with a behind-the-scenes look at the Norton Center’s unique design and an examination of what it takes to care for legacy architecture.

“We’re thrilled to host this architecture event with KY AIA here at the Norton Center,” said Steve Hoffman, Norton Center executive director. “It should be an enlightening day of learning and give a behind-the-scenes look into what makes this building truly one of a kind. The sessions were developed to be informative and entertaining to architecture aficionados and novices alike.”

The Norton Center was built in 1973 by William Wesley Peters, the longtime protege of one of the most famous American architects ever, Frank Lloyd Wright.

“The Festival offers an extremely unique experience for architects to earn continuing education while observing the influence of world-famous architects here in Kentucky,” AIA Kentucky executive director Kelly Ives said. “We hope that design professionals will take advantage of this opportunity and we look forward to seeing them there!”

During the Festival, the “Wright Angle” exhibition will take center stage: Hoffman curated the exhibition showcasing the influences of Peters and Wright on the Norton Center’s design, as well as other buildings in Kentucky and across the globe. With support from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Columbia University, and the Guggenheim Museum, sketches and blueprints of these buildings can be found in the Norton Center lobby.

The day-long Festival includes building tours on topics from post-modernism architecture to caring for buildings designed by legendary architects.

Architecture historian William Blair Scott, Jr., from Lexington, will lead a talk about his first-hand knowledge of Peters and the role he played in and out of the Taliesin Fellowship.

A case study about the Norton Center will give attendees another opportunity to go behind the scenes at the Norton Center, where there will be discussions about the challenges of “going green” with a historical building, modifications made during its history, and potential changes for the future.

The evening will wrap up with a Creative Conversation and a special, nationally touring theatrical performance of George Orwell’s classic book, 1984. The Conversation will focus on Utopian vs. Dystopian societies; comparing Orwell’s 1984 dystopia to Frank Lloyd Wright’s idea of a utopian society through architecture.  This adaptation of Orwell’s timely novel will be performed by Aquila Theatre starting at 7:30 p.m.

Bluegrass Architecture Festival tours and sessions  are free for the public to attend. AIA member Festival Packages are available beginning at $75, and include up to 7.25 AIA-approved learning units. Discounted student packages are also available. Architects wishing to receive AIA LUs must purchase a Festival package at the Norton Center box office,, or at the door.

For a complete schedule, visit:

The Bluegrass Architecture Festival is proudly sponsored by The Kentucky Society of The American Institute of Architects, PPG Industries, Inc., and Centre College.

About Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts

The Norton Center is home to an annual performing arts season of professional touring presentations. It is also Centre College’s primary venue for music and theatrical productions, lectures, convocations, and live student entertainment. The Norton Center has two venues: the 1,470-seat Newlin Hall, known for its acoustics, and the warm and intimate 367-seat Weisiger Theatre. The Norton Center also boasts a large art collection with many of the works on display in the Grand Foyer and throughout campus.