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Frank Lloyd Wright-A Man Far Ahead of His Time
Assuming that you've heard of world-renown architect Frank Lloyd Wright, most think of the Guggenheim Museum or Fallingwater as his iconic work of art. But, did you realize that he designed Fallingwater in under three hours in 1935? That's an incredible feat. I sit in awe at his work. The structures he created are timeless. They do not represent a period in time like so many structures do. His style was unique and even looks futuristic now some seventy years later!
Frank Lloyd Wright was recognized in 1991 by the American Institute of Architects as the "greatest American Architect of all time". I couldn't agree more. If you get a chance, go to your local library or bookstore and thumb through a book of his work. Then, slowly let it sink in when these designs were created. The man was a genius.
Please read all of the quick facts about him below. There are few surprises in there I'm sure you didn't know.
Frank Lloyd Wright Biography Quick Facts
The following facts about Frank Lloyd Wright were assimilated from various resources, including several biographies found on the internet as well Wikipedia. The links to all of these sources are listed in the links below.
- Born in Richland Center, Wisconsin on June 8, 1867
- Without finishing high school, he took two semesters of civil engineering at the Univ of Wisconsin
- His first building was the Lloyd-Jones family chapel, also known as Unity Chapel
- Married Catherine Tobin and moved to Oak Park, Illinois and built a home raising their six children
- Wright had his own firm in Chicago for five years before transferring the practice to his home in Oak Park.
In 1909, after eighteen years in Oak Park, Wright left his home to move to Germany with a woman named Mamah Borthwick Cheney, who was the wife of a client. When they returned in 1911, they moved to Spring Green, Wisconsin.
In Spring Green, he constructed Taliesin. Taliesin in Welsh mythology was a poet, magician, and superhero. They lived there until 1914 when tragedy struck. An insane male Barbados servant tragically murdered Mamah Cheney, two of her children and four others, then set fire to Taliesin. Many people thought this horrific event would be the end of Wright's career and it did take him ten years to recover. He did rebuild Taliesin.
Over the next 20 years Wright's influence continued to grow in popularity in the United States and Europe. In 1915, Wright was commissioned to design the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.
Wright utilized natural materials, skylights, stone and walls of windows to embrace the natural environment.
In 1932, Wright opened Taliesin up as an architectural fellowship where young students could pay to work with and learn from him. Thirty apprentices came to live with him at Taliesin. Through the Taliesin Fellowship, Wright created masterpieces such as Fallingwater (the Kaufmann House) in Bear Run, Pennsylvania, and the SC Johnson and Son Wax Company Administration Center in Racine, Wisconsin.
He married Miriam Noel in 1922. The two lived happily in Taliesin for five years and raised a child there. Eventually, Miriam walked out on Wright. Miriam suffered with a morphine addiction.
On April 22, 1925, another fire destroyed the living quarters of Taliesin as a result of a faulty electrical system. Wright rebuilt the living quarters again, naming the home Taliesin III.
He married his third wife, Olivanna Lazovich Hinzenburg in 1928.
In 1937, Wright moved his family and fellowship to Phoenix, Arizona where he built Taliesin West and spent the last twenty years of his life.
January 17, 1938, he appeared on the cover of Time Magazine.
Frank Lloyd Wright appears on a US postage stamp with the Guggenheim Museum in the background.
On April 9, 1959 at age ninety-two, Wright died at his home in Phoenix, Arizona.
Wright created 1,141 designs, of which 532 were completed.
He authored 20 books.
One of Wright's sons, Frank Lloyd Wright Jr., known as Lloyd Wright, was also a notable architect in Los Angeles.
Lloyd Wright's son (and Wright's grandson), Eric Lloyd Wright, is currently an architect in Malibu California where he has a practice of mostly residences, but also civic and commercial buildings.
Another son and architect, John Lloyd Wright, invented Lincoln Logs in 1918, and practiced extensively in the San Diego area. John's daughter, Elizabeth Ingraham, is an architect in Colorado. She is the mother of Christine, an interior designer in Connecticut, and Catherine, an architecture professor at the Pratt Institute.
The Oscar-winning actress Anne Baxterwas Wright's granddaughter. Baxter was the daughter of Catherine Baxter, a child born of Wright's first marriage. Anne's daughter, Melissa Galt, currently lives and works in Atlanta as an interior designer.
A great-grandson of Wright, S. Lloyd Natof, currently lives and works in Chicago as a master woodworker who specializes in the design and creation of custom wood furniture.
Frank Lloyd Wright's Texas Works
Being from Texas, all things Texas catch my eye. Frank Lloyd Wright had four buildings in Texas that are part of his works. They are:
- John A. Gillin House in Dallas, TX-1950
- William A. Thaxton House in Bunker Hill, TX-1954
- Dallas Theatre Center (Kalita Humphreys Theatre) in Dallas, TX 1955 (This was completed after his death)
- Sterling Kinney House in Amarillo, TX-1957
Links and Resources
- Welcome To Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Store
The bookstore at Taliesin West offers a collection of gifts & decorative accessories representing the architectural & graphic designs of Frank Lloyd Wright
- Fallingwater | Explore
The Official Fallingwater Website with information about the Kaufman family, Frank Lloyd Wright, and the iconic house known as Fallingwater.
- New York Guggenheim Museum
The Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
- Brief Biography of Frank Lloyd Wright
- Frank Lloyd Wright - Wikipedia
- All-Wright Site - a Frank Lloyd Wright Internet Guide
A comprehensive Frank Lloyd Wright site
- Frank Lloyd Wright : Building Images List
Links to Images of a number of Frank Lloyd Wright's works.
- Frank Lloyd Wright : Timeline of Wright's Life
List of Frank Lloyd Wright's Work in Chronological Order