FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT. William Fremd High School American Studies Mrs. Olsen/Mr. Palmer Mr. Schaefer/Mr. Palmer.
William Fremd High School
Mrs. Olsen/Mr. Palmer
Mr. Schaefer/Mr. Palmer
Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin, on June 8, 1867, and died in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 9, 1959, at the age of 91. (He often gave his birthdate as 1869, but records indicate that he was actually born in 1867.)
Mr. Wright\'s "organic architecture" was a radical departure from the traditional architecture of his day, which was dominated by European styles that dated back hundreds of years or even millenia. While most of his designs were single-family homes (ranging from small homes for families of modest incomes, to mansions like his unbuilt design for Henry Ford), his varied output also includes houses of worship, skyscrapers, resorts, museums, government offices, gas stations, bridges, and other masterpieces showing the diversity of Frank Lloyd Wright\'s talent.
Florida Southern College
Prairie houses were characterized by low, horizontal lines that were meant to blend with the flat landscape around them. Typically, these structures were built around a central chimney, consisted of broad open spaces instead of strictly defined rooms, and deliberately blurred the distinction between interior space and the surrounding terrain. Wright acclaimed "the new reality that is space instead of matter" and, about architectural interiors, said that the "reality of a building is not the container but the space within."
Chicago, Illinois (1909)
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio
Oak Park, Illinois (1889)
Which of these basic principles do you see in the Arthur Heurtley House in Oak Park, Illinois built in 1902?
Simple Geometric Shapes?
Integration with Natural
Hidden Entry Way?
Strong Horizontal Lines?
View from the Door
Music Room: Notice how the same principles are in effect in the interior.
Some of Wright’s earliest homes are in Oak Park. They show a blend of Victorian and Prairie School elements. These are sometimes called “bread and butter” houses. (On your field trip, you’ll be asked to explain why they might be referred to that way.)
"Fallingwater is a great blessing - one of the great blessings to be experienced here on earth. I think nothing yet ever equalled the coordination, sympathetic expression of the great principle of repose where forest and stream and rock and all the elements of structure are combined so quietly that really you listen not to any noise whatsoever although the music of the stream is there. But you listen to Fallingwater the way you listen to the quiet of the country..."
–Frank Lloyd Wright, 1955
Fallingwater (Mill Run, Pennsylvania, 1937) is generally considered to be Wright’s residential masterpiece.
Another extraordinary Wright home in Oak Park is the Nathan Moore house (1895, rebuilt in 1923 after a fire). Most observers think it’s stunningly beautiful, or a hideous monstrosity. Wright himself thought it was unattractive.
Although Wright continued to design residences for the rest of his life, his later career included commissions to design some remarkable public buildings.
The Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art
New York, New York, 1959
“An ideal American architecture should develop in the image of trees.”
Frank Lloyd Wright
The Marin County (California) Civic Center (1962) is basically a courthouse and community gathering place.
“We know that the good building is not the one that hurts the landscape, but is one that makes the landscape more beautiful than it was before that building was built. In Marin County you have one of the most beautiful landscapes I have seen, and I am proud to make the buildings of thisCounty characteristic of the beauty of the County."
Frank Lloyd Wright
Wright designed Unity Temple in Oak Park (1905) as a place of worship for the Unitarian faith. This is his original drawing of the building.
As is consistent with the Unitarian faith, the building is stately, solid, and devoid of religious iconography.
Here are two more exterior views of Unity Temple. Notice the solid concrete construction, as well as the incorporation of other typical Wright elements.
Unity Temple’s interior completes Wright vision of a marriage of spiritual beauty and architectural perfection.
Frank Lloyd Wright designed the First National Bank of Dwight, Illinois (population 4,300) in 1905. Of three banks designed by Wright, it is the only one still functioning as a bank. Notice how it contrasts to the building next door, built at roughly the same time.
Detail of Exterior Light Fixture
The Johnson Wax building in Racine, Wisconsin (1939) is Wright’s vision for a corporate environment.
The interior of the Johnson Wax building features this distinctive lily-pad design which allows light to filter to different floors.
Architecture is the triumph of Human Imagination over materials, methods, and men, to put man into possession of his own Earth. It is at least the geometric pattern of things, of life, of the human and social world. It is at best that magic framework of reality that we sometimes touch upon when we use the word “order.”
- Frank Lloyd Wright, 1930
Now we’ll visit the Oak Park web site to get a more in-depth look at the neighborhood we’ll be visiting.
William Martin House
Oak Park, Illinois (1905)