The 250 Year Project is our Eames Foundation’s plan for making sure that when your great, great, great, great grandchildren visit the Eames House in the future, they will be able to have the same authentic experience that you can have today.
The Eames House has been consistently maintained by its owners: first, by the Eameses, then the Eameses’ daughter Lucia Eames, and now by the Eames Foundation.
As it became clear that the maintenance regime established by Charles and Ray was no longer adequate for the conservation of several aging structural elements, the Eames Foundation began to identify concerns and issues. Importantly, we needed to avoid a patchwork of repairs that could undermine the experience of the site, whether physical or intangible. We were concerned that even with the best of intentions, we could lose the spirit of what was important to Charles and Ray, as well as what is significant in the eyes of the world.
In addition, we needed to make sure that each new steward would receive the Eames House not only in good shape, but with all of the cumulative learnings, so that future decisions may be even better.
When LACMA approached the Foundation in 2010 to borrow a few visually-prominent objects for its Pacific Standard Time exhibit on California Design, 1930-1965: “Living in a Modern Way”, the Foundation suggested that LACMA borrow ALL the living room contents. In hopes that LACMA would agree, a highly-detailed inventory and collections assessment was finalized, and Escher GuneWardena Architecture was selected as the Phase One architect. In early 2011, LACMA agreed, providing us with the opportunity to perform studies, repairs and conservation work. (LACMA installation at right!)
The goal of the Foundation is to conserve as much of the original fabric of the site as possible: structures, contents and landscape, and to anticipate and schedule conservation work to extend the life of this fabric as well as the evidence of the Eameses’ thoughtful living. The Conservation Management Plan will assist the Foundation in deeply understanding the site and its conservation needs. It will serve as a guide towards the creation of future management plans for the contents and landscape, with the goal of applying best practices towards conserving the site.