Inventing a disaster management plan on the spot, David Bahlman, president of Landmarks Illinois, Barbara Campagna, the Trust's director of architecture, and others borrowed a flat-bottomed aluminum motorboat from a nearby homeowner and rode through the brown floodwaters to the skeletal white house, whose walls consist of huge sheets of floor-to-ceiling glass.
They made makeshift tables out of hastily purchased crates and boards, and stacked rugs and other furnishings on them. They bundled the bottoms of curtains in plastic garbage bags, getting the curtains off the floor. They lifted Mies-designed Barcelona chairs atop the house's wardrobe. Removable primavera wood panels from the house's fireplace wall went there too.
Then the big oncoming storm dissipated, the sun came out and the waters began to recede.