Tagged: frank lloyd wright


The Fallingwater House

By , 2022-02-08



From the Wikipedia :- "Fallingwater is a house designed by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1939 in the Laurel Highlands of southwest Pennsylvania, about 70 miles (110 km) southeast of Pittsburgh. The house was built partly over a waterfall on Bear Run in the Mill Run section of Stewart Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, located in the Laurel Highlands of the Allegheny Mountains. The house was designed as a weekend home for Liliane and Edgar J. Kaufmann, the owner of Kaufmann's Department Store. After its completion, Time called Fallingwater Wright's "most beautiful job" and it is listed among Smithsonian's "Life List of 28 Places to See Before You Die." The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966. In 1991, members of the American Institute of Architects named Fallingwater the "best all-time work of American architecture" and in 2007, it was ranked 29th on the list of America's Favorite Architecture according to the AIA. The house and seven other Wright constructions were inscribed as a World Heritage Site under the title "The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright" in July 2019."

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The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

By , 2022-02-08


From the Wikipedia :- "The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, often referred to as The Guggenheim, is an art museum located at 1071 Fifth Avenue on the corner of East 89th Street in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It is the permanent home of a continuously expanding collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern, and contemporary art and also features special exhibitions throughout the year. The museum was established by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in 1939 as the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, under the guidance of its first director, Hilla von Rebay. It adopted its current name in 1952, three years after the death of its founder Solomon R. Guggenheim.

In 1959, the museum moved from rented space to its current building, a landmark work of 20th-century architecture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The cylindrical building, wider at the top than at the bottom, was conceived as a "temple of the spirit". Its unique ramp gallery extends up from ground level in a long, continuous spiral along the outer edges of the building to end just under the ceiling skylight. The building underwent extensive expansion and renovations in 1992 when an adjoining tower was built, and from 2005 to 2008.

The museum's collection has grown over eight decades and is founded upon several important private collections, beginning with that of Solomon R. Guggenheim. The collection is shared with sister museums in Bilbao, Spain and elsewhere. In 2013, nearly 1.2 million people visited the museum, and it hosted the most popular exhibition in New York City."

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A Message From The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy - Good News!! David Wright House Saved.

By , 2012-12-20
Good News - The David Wright House is Saved!

Many people are celebrating at this time of year and we have one more reason to celebrate. The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy has facilitated the purchase of the David and Gladys Wright House in Phoenix, Arizona, through an LLC owned by an anonymous benefactor. The transaction closed on December 20 for an undisclosed price. The property will be transferred to an Arizona not-for-profit organization responsible for the restoration, maintenance and operation of the David Wright House. The change in ownership guarantees that the house will survive and be preserved. LEARN MORE .We expect city Landmark designation to follow shortly but there is no longer a demolition threat. We will also pursue long-term protections for the house.


Thank you for signing the petition and being part of this success! It was very important to demonstrate that so many people around the world cared about this house and took the time to voice their concerns.

As plans progress for the David Wright House there will be opportunities to contribute to its restoration. Details will be posted on the Conservancy website as they become available.

If you want to be a part of protecting other Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings in the future we invite you to join the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy!

Join the Conservancy
Contact us

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Save Wright!! A Message From The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy-Please Pass On!

By , 2012-11-13

Thank you for taking action to save the David Wright House from demolition by signing our petition. Your action is an important element in demonstrating the special significance of this building and the nationwide and even worldwide concern that has been voiced about its future. You can continue to support our preservation efforts by sharing this petition with your friends, family and co-workers. We still need many more signatures in order to demonstrate the extent of interest and concern. We share these numbers with the Phoenix City Council and the media and the amount of signatures has an important impact.

We plan to update you regarding our progress to achieve landmark or historic preservation designation for the David Wright House. We will also post major developments about the David Wright House on our website.

This petition is one part of multiple actions by the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and our local partners to save thisimportant building. Often our work is behind-the-scenes because we can be most effective in that way, but throughout our history the Conservancy has been instrumental in many "saves." If you are interested in helping support our mission to facilitate the preservation of ALL of Wright's built work, I would encourage you to become a member today! In addition to becoming a partner in our efforts, Conservancy members also receive:

  • Subscription to SaveWright , the Conservancy's color magazine published twice a year
  • Advance notification and opportunities to visit Wright-designed private spaces rarely open to the public

If you are already a member, thank you for your continued support!

With your help, we can help ensure Wright's legacy for generations to come.

Best regards,

Janet Halstead
Executive Director

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Frederick C. Robie House

By , 2022-01-26



From the Wikipedia :- "The Frederick C. Robie House is a U.S. National Historic Landmark now on the campus of the University of Chicago in the South Side neighborhood of Hyde Park in Chicago, Illinois. Built between 1909 and 1910, the building was designed as a single family home by architect Frank Lloyd Wright and is renowned as the greatest example of Prairie School, the first architectural style considered uniquely American. It was designated a National Historic Landmark on November 27, 1963, and was on the first National Register of Historic Places list of October 15, 1966. Robie House and a selection of other properties by Wright were inscribed on the World Heritage List under the title "The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright" in July 2019."

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The Living City - Frank Lloyd Wright and Broadacre

By , 2022-01-06


Kjell Olsen, Wright Sketches for Broadacre City,   CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Living City by Frank Lloyd Wright

In 1958 Frank Lloyd Wright published The Living City . Appearing a year before his death the book contains his final thoughts on the subject of remaking American cities in a truly 'organic' and 'democratic' style. In its pages Wright outlines his vision for his ideal Broadacre City and many of the themes explored here had preoccupied the great architect for much of his life.

As an insight into Wright's philosophy of architecture it is invaluable. Indeed the work is part philosophical and political treatise, and part, prescription for his 'democratic' city of the future.

His plans have been dismissed as Utopian and criticised for being too auto centric but at least one commentator has recently suggested that it may be time to take a second look -  Is the world ready for Frank Lloyd Wright’s suburban utopia?

In the final part of 'Living City', Wright poses the following question:-

"Do you question the fundamental direction for American citizens of the future? Then first learn the meaning of these words:-

'Organic' 'Decentralisation' 'Integration' 'Democracy' " 

In issuing the above challenge, Wright clearly intends that you should acquaint yourself with his own interpretation of these terms.

Organic Architecture

Frank Lloyd Wright did not coin the phrase 'organic architecture' and he wasn't the first (or last) to use it but a number of relevant themes emerge from a consideration of his work and writing.  It is difficult to precisely define this term and it is certain that Wright's understanding of it grew and developed throughout his career. Broadly speaking, however, he was determined that his buildings should be constructed to harmonize with their surroundings in such a way that - "No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together with each the happier for the other." He also preferred to build with local materials wherever possible.

Importantly he also insisted that - "The reality of the building does not consist of the roof and the walls but the space within to be lived in”. Consequently the interior space determines the exterior form and there should be a sense of space flowing through the interior rooms. The use of L-shaped designs with copious window space was also intended to blur the distinction between exterior and interior, once again enhancing the sense of space.


Wright was no fan of the American city in its present form. He regarded it as the embodiment of a form of centralisation intrinsic to modern capitalism and cursed by the burden of 'rent' which it imposes on its citizens. Wright defines various forms of 'rent' and seems to include wage labour amongst them. He wished to abolish overcrowding by building more spacious communities in which each couple would have an acre  of land, more for larger families, at their disposal in which to  practice agriculture and grow vegetables  both for their own consumption and for sale at local community markets.


Lest the above prescriptions should sound like a recipe for vastly increased suburban sprawl, albeit with bigger yards and better designed houses, it should be noted that Wright's communities would be provided with integral features like community centers, design centers and roadside markets. These would integrate, or reintegrate citizens with their local communities just as the newly designed homes would reintegrate them with their environment.. These features will be discussed later in this article.


Wright believed that architecture is, "... the logical outline, the background and framework as well as the philosophic and aesthetic center-line of any true civilisation."

Consequently he believed that it alone possessed the power to create an environment in which a true capitalist democracy could flourish. Witness the following from 'The Living City':-

"Optimistic, nonpolitical, exurban, vernal, spacious, free! All this - yes. In practical outline here is the feasible idea of organic  social democratic reconstruction of the city belonging to creative society - the living city. Abolish not only the 'tenement' and wage slavery but create true capitalism. The only possible capitalism if democracy has any future."

Whether the breadth of Wright's vision was powerful enough to achieve the effect that he desired is up to the individual reader to decide but for now let's examine some of the features of his ideal or 'Usonian' * communities.

'The Living City' contains sections on many of the building types that will grace the Usonian city of the future. There are chapters on offices, apartments, motels, theaters etc. But perhaps the structures that would most exemplify the philosophy and spirit of these settlements are the following three.

Community Centers

These would be - "a salient feature of every countryside development of the county, wherever the county seat may be."

"Golf courses, racetracks, the zoo, aquarium, planetarium - all would be found at this general center. Good buildings grouped in architectural ensemble with botanical gardens, art museum, libraries, galleries, opera etc."

As will be seen from the above quotation these centers would serve a much wider variety of functions than present day community centers do. They would serve as mini 'town centers' offering a full range of recreational facilities.

Design Centers

These would be 'live in' establishments where the brightest and best in the local community or those with some flair for practical design, would work with machinery donated by industry to create new and original designs. Industry would also provide tutors for these style centers and benefit from the results of their work. Wright insists that there should be no entry exams for these establishments. He also maintains that these centers would have real producing power and that, "each month a supply of usefully beautiful things would be ready for roadside markets."

Roadside markets are perhaps one of the more interesting and original features of the Usonian community and we will turn our attention to them next.


Wright describes them as follows:-

"Great spacious roadside pleasure places these markets, rising wide and handsome like some flexible form of pavilion - designed as places of cooperative exchange, not merely of commodities but of cultural facilities."

Wright sees the germ of these future establishments in modern day county fairs and farmers markets, however in the Usonian community of the future they would serve a multiplicity of new roles and would replace city centers as hubs of exchange and commerce. Critically they are 'places of cooperative exchange' so we must assume that the many  local homeowners and small scale agricultural producers, all those families living nearby with one, two or more acres of land, would be able to market their surplus produce here.

Local 'design centers' would also display and sell their wares in these markets.

Further Reading

Should you wish to read beyond this brief introduction to Wright's Broadacre City vision the following links will prove of interest:

Revisiting Frank Lloyd Wright’s Vision for “Broadacre City”

Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Living City” Lives On: Conserving the Broadacre City Model

* 'Usonian' is a term which Wright often employs to describe his uniquely American organic, democratic style of architecture. He claims to have borrowd it from Samuel Butler's 'Erewhon'. Interestingly it has been claimed that Butler nowhere employs this term in his work.

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A Visit to the Gordon House

By , 2022-01-02

This is a brief photo blog about a recent visit (2014) to the Gordon House, Silverton, Oregon. The trip was organised by the Welsh Society of Oregon . The Gordon House is the only Frank Lloyd Wright site in the state and is currently managed by the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy who offer 45 minute tours of the house and grounds. The Gordon House website can be found here:-  gordonhouse.org


From the Wikipedia :- "The house was designed in 1957 for Evelyn and Conrad Gordon, and finished in 1963 (four years after Frank Lloyd Wright's death). It was originally located near Wilsonville, Oregon, situated to take advantage of views of the adjacent Willamette River on the west side and Mount Hood to the east. After Evelyn Gordon's death in 1997, the house was sold to new owners David and Carey Smith, who wanted to tear it down to make room for a larger, more contemporary structure. The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy became involved in attempts to preserve the historic house. The "Building Conservancy" is an organization devoted to advocating for Wright buildings, and finding sites for buildings that have been put on the market. In early 2001, the Building Conservancy obtained a three-month reprieve to dismantle the Gordon House, and move it to the Oregon Garden, about 21 miles (34 km) southeast of its original location. The Conservancy accepted a proposal from the Oregon Garden Society, assisted by the City of Silverton, to take charge of moving and reinstalling the house. Dismantling began on March 9, 2001. The house was moved in four large pieces, with the upper floor, containing two bedrooms and one bath, moved as a single unit. Overall neglect required refurbishing of the structure's siding and roofing which was arranged by grants from the Architecture Foundation of Oregon and the Oregon Cultural Trust. A new foundation replicating the original was constructed. The house opened one year later as the only publicly accessible Frank Lloyd Wright home in the Pacific Northwest."

Bathroom detail 2
The Gordon House, Oregon
Bathroom detail 1
The Gordon House, Oregon
Living room, piano and fretwork detail
The Gordon House, Oregon
Exterior view 4
The Gordon House, Oregon
Living room
The Gordon House, Oregon
Exterior view 6
The Gordon House, Oregon
Exterior view 5
The Gordon House, Oregon
Exterior view 3
The Gordon House, Oregon
Exterior view 2
The Gordon House, Oregon
Exterior view 1
The Gordon House, Oregon
Balcony detail
The Gordon House, Oregon
Bedroom with balcony entrance
The Gordon House, Oregon
Bedroom with window fretwork detail
The Gordon House, Oregon
Skylight detail
The Gordon House, Oregon

Marin County Civic Center

By , 2016-03-28

While visiting the San Rafael (CA) area I became aware that the local Civic Center was designed by internationally acclaimed Welsh American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. I simply had to get a few snaps! I have posted them below. They're not very good because I don't know the area and it appears to be difficult to get a good vantage point. The last shot on this page (of the interior) is from Wiki Images. 

From the Wikipedia :- Marin County Civic Center

"The Marin County Civic Center, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is located in San Rafael, California, United States. Groundbreaking for the Civic Center Administration Building took place in 1960, after Wright's death and under the watch of Wright's protégé, Aaron Green; it was completed in 1962. The Hall of Justice was begun in 1966 and completed in 1969. Veterans Memorial Auditorium opened in 1971, and the Exhibit Hall opened in 1976.

Located away from the former county seat in downtown San Rafael, the expansive complex stretches across two valleys just east of US 101. Its pink stucco walls, blue roof and scalloped balconies are distinctive. The smaller wing is the county administration building and the larger the Hall of Justice, joined by a round structure on a small hill that houses a county library.

A battle between factions of the Marin County Board of Supervisors played out through the selection of the site and the architect, the financing of the project, and its eventual completion. The Marin County Civic Center is a state and National Historic Landmark."