Happy Birthday, Frank Lloyd Wright!
June 8, 2012
Frank Lloyd Wright; Photo: Library of Congress
Someone at Google dropped the ball. Today marks what would have been Frank Lloyd Wright’s 145th birthday, and there’s no honorific doodle to commemorate the event, no cutesy homage to Fallingwater, no “lilypad” columns from the Johnson Wax Headquarters (perfect for the ‘oo’ in ‘google’!) or even a stained glass facsimile. Mies van der Rohe got his due this past March, with the search engine posting a Sketch-up-like drawing of Crown Hall on its homepage, prompting an outpouring of halfhearted tributes to the “architect of the future”. Wright, generally considered to be America’s greatest architect, deserves some love, too. In an attempt to right the slight, we’re listing our top 5 Frank Lloyd Wright posts we’ve covered.
FLW’s “Yes, Virginia” moment. It’s safe to say that when then 12-year old Jim Berger scrawled a letter asking the notoriously cantankerous architect to design him a home for his dog Eddie, no one, not Berger’s parents, for whom Wright had designed their house, nor even perhaps the boy himself could have expected a response from Taliesin, let alone a commitment to take on the project. Wright answered Berger with a hesitant yes, saying that “a house for Eddie is an opportunity”, before belatedly sending the boy a folio of drawings some months later. Don’t miss out on the paper correspondence between Wright and Berger, whose elementary cursive on looseleaf is a endearing contrast with the former’s almost mechanistic letterhead.
Who knew architectural preservation could be so…thrilling? This rescuing of two Wright-related buildings is a knotted tale of intrigue and suspense. Watch out for all the twists and turns!
A 1954 Wright house in the Motor City was reclaimed and restored last year, which speaks volumes of Detroit’s fighting spirit and FLW’s undying appeal.
Explore this (righfully) obscure filling station which could be called the only built fragment of Wright’s theoretical “Broadacre City”.
Last year’s (inadvertent) birthday tribute to the the great architect, we examine America’s most famous house, Fallingwater, and its cultural dissemination in video games, from Half Life 2 to an 8-bit Minecraft rendition.
“Franked” by Emily Fischer