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Oct. 26, 2017

Ryerson Team Wins Bid to Update 1911 Frank Lloyd Wright Banff Pavilion Plans

Calgary, October 19, 2017 --- The Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative is pleased to announce that a team of professors from Ryerson University, one of Canada’s preeminent universities, will be undertaking the task of updating Frank Lloyd Wright’s original Banff Pavilion drawings. The partnership is the winning bid from a call for proposals that concluded, August 31st, 2017.

The Banff National Park Pavilion was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and Francis Conroy Sullivan, Wright's only Canadian student. The pavilion was designed in 1911 and completed in 1914, before eventually being demolished in 1939. Located within Banff National Park in Alberta, the pavilion was the last of only two Wright designs in Canada.

The call for proposals generated significant interest, with over 30 bids received. Ryerson’s bid proved successful, due in large part to its unique structure and expertise --a team of seven, including architects and engineers with specialties in historical restoration, environmental systems and controls, project management, architectural modeling and building performance.

Updating the drawings is critical to the next phase of the Pavilion’s revival. When complete, they will be used in the Initiative’s land amendment application to the Town of Banff.  

“It was crucial that whomever we chose for the role understood and respected our intent. This isn’t a collaboration per se, rather a technical update to make the structure viable again,” said Initiative spokesperson Evie Eshpeter. “This in no way diminishes the import of the task which is restoring the work of a world-renowned architect.”

Leading the Ryerson team is Yew-Thong Leong, a practicing architect and professor at the university’s Department of Architectural Science. In addition to adjudicating multiple heritage grants, Professor Leong has served on the Toronto Preservation Board, was a winner of a City of Toronto Heritage Award, currently sits on the National Roundtable on Heritage Education and is the founder of the Architectural Preservation and Conservation program at Ryerson.  

“We are thrilled to be part of this project. This is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for any architect or scholar−particularly from Canada,” notes Professor Leong.  “We hope our research and work will make a significant contribution to both international architecture study and the community of Banff.” 

Going beyond fulfilling the logistics of the update, the Ryerson team will be doing a complete literature review on the building, conducting primary and secondary research and will be making their findings public as a way to educate and engage students, faculty, scholars and the broader community in the project.    


Yew-Thong Leong
Professor & Architect, Ryerson University
For interview requests, please contact: Zandra Alexander, Public Affairs, Ryerson University
+1 416-979-5000 ext. 4282 | [email protected]

Evie Eshpeter

Spokesperson, Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative
+1 403-918-4292 | [email protected] | flwrevivalinitiative.org / jellepr.com


The Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative is a US-based, 501-3C non-profit organization that funds and manages the development of demolished and never-built, Frank Lloyd Wright structures. Founded by documentary filmmaker, Michael Miner, the organization is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the renowned architect through the building of his structures that, for various reasons, are no longer standing or were never built. Among other advocates, the Initiative has the enthusiastic support of Frank Lloyd Wright’s grandson, Eric Lloyd Wright, Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, former Director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Archive and Arthur Dyson, noted Taliesin Fellow and architect. To donate to the Banff Pavilion Rebuild, visit flwrevivalinitiative.org.   


Michael Miner is a documentary filmmaker from the United States. Since 2002, Miner has devoted his career entirely to the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, chronicling the master architect’s buildings in a series of films. Miner first established himself in Hollywood with the screening of the short film "Glycerine Tears" at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival. After that, Miner undertook mainly commercial projects for the next 10 years, detouring briefly to screen “Serial Killer” at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival. Desiring a hiatus from Hollywood, Miner embarked on two major road trips (the first in 1995), during which he visited Frank Lloyd Wright buildings all over America. These trips were the impetus for Miner’s next project - the documentation of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. Miner’s first Wright film, Sacred Spaces, was completed in 2005 followed by A Child of the Sun, the story of the West Campus of Florida Southern College in Lakeland and finally, Romanza, which was released in 2011. Miner is currently touring with his most recent film, Masterpieces. In 2016, Michael launched the Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative. A US-based, charitable non-profit organization, the Initiative funds and manages the development of demolished and never-built Frank Lloyd Wright structures in an effort to preserve the architect’s legacy.  


Ryerson University is Canada’s leader in innovative, career-oriented education. Urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 44,600 students, including 2,600 master’s and PhD students, 3,100 faculty and staff, and nearly 185,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit ryerson.ca.

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