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Documentary Spokesperson

Wittenberg Professor Helps Tell Story Of Springfield's Historic Westcott House

Springfield, Ohio — Wittenberg University Professor of History Thomas T. Taylor is a featured spokesperson for the PBS documentary Westcott House, which airs at 8 p.m. Monday, March 10, on ThinkTV Channel 16. The nearly hour-long broadcast is one of ThinkTV's fundraising features and has appeared several times in recent days.

Taylor saw the show when it first aired on March 6.

"I remember filming back in around 2003," Taylor said, "But I was surprised to turn the program on and see myself. I had no idea it was going to be shown at this time."

Other familiar faces from the Wittenberg community include Kristin Cline, associate professor of chemistry, and her husband, Matt, chemist Andy Palmer '03 and Virginia Weygandt '88.

The documentary includes a history of Springfield during its years as a "boom town," the Westcott House, which is considered among the best work of Frank Lloyd Wright, and the reaction of neighbors as the house took shape on Millionaire's Row alongside the "vertical, complicated Victorian" homes of the era.

According to Taylor, no one really knows why Burton Westcott chose Wright to design his house. One possibility was that many prominent Springfield residents had Chicago contacts, and another possibility was that his wife, Orpha, saw an article in the Ladies Home Journal.

Histories of Springfield, the Burtons and the Westcott House, from design to its near destruction and rebirth, are entwined with insights into Frank Lloyd Wright's life and genius by his grandson, architect Eric Lloyd Wright. The program provides a detailed look at the story behind one of Springfield's most interesting success stories and introduces many of the people who made it happen.

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Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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