Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1867-06-08
Death 1959-04-09
Americans
English, Chinese

Biographical notes:

Architect, designer; Illinois, Wisconsin and Arizona.

From the description of Frank Lloyd Wright textile design studies, [ca. 1955]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 86122971

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) was an American Architect internationally recognized for his distinctive Prairie Style houses, innovative building design, Taliesin school and fellowships, and philosophy of "organic architecture."

From the guide to the Frank Lloyd Wright Miscellanea, circa 1905-1995, (bulk 1940s-1960s), (Columbia University. Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Dept. of Drawings & Archives, )

20th century American architect.

From the description of Frank Lloyd Wright ephemera collection, 1920-1994. (Scottsdale Public Library). WorldCat record id: 34267288

Frank Lloyd Wright was an internationally acclaimed American architect whose career spanned 70 years. He was considered to be one of the fathers of modern architecture.

From the description of Letters and receipts, 19078-1908. (Winterthur Library). WorldCat record id: 123478284

The Dana House was completed in Springfield, Ill. in 1903.

From the description of [Interior perspective view of Dana House dining room] [graphic] / [Frank Lloyd Wright]. [1899?] (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 80106690

American architect.

From the description of Architectural drawings (photographs), 1885-1959. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79881330

From the description of Taliesin Fellowship (application), ca. 1935. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 80343310

From the description of Specifications for Wright buildings, ca. 1885-1959 [microform] (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 80932511

From the description of Correspondence, 1900-1959. (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 145998423

From the description of Frank Lloyd scrapbooks, ca. 1920-ca. 1959 [microform] (Getty Research Institute). WorldCat record id: 84393547

From the description of Hillside Home School of the Allied Arts (prospectus), 1931. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 81151068

From the description of Typescript signed : Phoenix, to Seymour Peck, 1952 Dec. 1. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270875029

Midway Gardens was built in 1914 and demolished in 1929.

From the description of [Bird's-eye perspective of proposed Midway Gardens, Chicago, Ill.] [graphic] / [Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect]. [1914] (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 83048044

From the description of Front [and] side elevation[s] of the Midway Gardens, Chicago [graphic] / Frank Lloyd Wright, architect ; drawn by J.[ohn] Ll.[oyd] W.[right]. [undated] (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 79899338

Architect.

From the description of Frank Lloyd Wright papers, 1894-1958. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70981971

From the description of Reminiscences of Frank Lloyd Wright : oral history, 1957. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 309735674

From the description of Reminiscences of Frank Lloyd Wright : lecture, 1951. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 86147415

One of the founders of the Prairie School of architectural design, Frank Lloyd Wright began his career in the office of Joseph Silsbee in Chicago in 1887, but soon joined the offices of Adler and Sullivan and then established an independent office in Oak Park, Ill. The Wright studio gave way to the Taliesin Fellowship (Spring Green, WI) in 1932. Wright opened another office in Scottsdale, AZ in 1938, maintaining both locations as active architectural offices.

From the description of Frank Lloyd Wright collection, 1934-1963. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 63285911

Biographical/Historical Note

The association between the architects Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) and R. M. Schindler (1887-1953) began in 1914 when Schindler first wrote to Wright asking for a position, and revolved around two major commissions: the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, known as Teikoku Hoteru, (1913-1923) and the Barnsdall project, which includes Hollyhock house, in Los Angeles (1915-1924).

Schindler arrived in the United States in 1914 from Vienna, joined Wright's studio in 1918 and worked for him through 1922. During these years, Wright was immersed in the design and construction of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo and spent months at a time there beginning December 1916 through July 1922. Schindler remained at Taliesin (Spring Green, Wisconsin) and Chicago for Wright until 1920 when Schindler moved to Los Angeles to supervise the construction of the Barnsdall project.

The Imperial Hotel (Teikoku Hoteru) in Tokyo was first constructed in 1888-1889 to accomodate the arrival of Westerners, instigated by the Emperor's interest in opening trade to the West. By 1910 a larger and more modern hotel was needed. Frank Lloyd Wright was recommended for the job in 1911, in part because of his well-known interest in Japanese art (which had prompted him to vacation in Japan for three months in 1905). By 1916 the decision was made to hire Wright and he departed for Tokyo December 28, 1916.

Wright worked closely with the Managing Director of the Imperial Hotel, Aisaku Hayashi and, to a lesser extent, with the Chairman of the Board of the hotel, Baron Okura. Wright brought some of his draftsmen (Antonin Raymond, William E. Smith among others) and contractors (such as the Chicago builder Paul Mueller) to Tokyo to work with him.

The difficult soil conditions - eight feet of soil on top of about 60 feet of liquid mud - and the frequency of earthquakes necessitated particular attention to the engineering of the foundation of the building. In late 1919 the Annex of the old Imperial Hotel burned down. This loss made the need for the new hotel building even more urgent. Wright was asked to rebuild the Annex and speed up the construction of the hotel. Wright designed and built a new Annex which opened in 1920. He completed the new hotel in 1923. On the morning of the hotel's official opening, September 1, 1923, a severe earthquake hit Tokyo and proved the brilliance of the hotel's structural engineering. The Imperial Hotel suffered little damage and became the headquarters of refugees and rescue efforts because it was one of the few buildings still standing.

Aline Barnsdall (1882-1928) commissioned Wright to design a residence (Hollyhock house, 1917-1922) and other buildings to support a center for the arts on Olive Hill in Los Angeles (1915-1924). Miss Barnsdall, whose money came from her family's oil business, was interested in theater and music. She first commissioned a theater from Wright in 1915, before she had even settled on a site. In June 1919 she purchased 36 acres in Los Angeles. In the fall of 1919 construction began on the residence.

Wright's son, Lloyd Wright, supervised the early construction (grading, foundations, pools). By 1920 Schindler was producing working drawings for the residence, named Hollyhock house after Miss Barnsdall's favorite flower. The initial plan included Hollyhock house, two smaller residences referred to as Residence A and B, a theater, a house for a resident artistic director, an apartment house known as the Actors' Abode (not built), an entrance pavilion for the public (not built), a row of shops along Hollywood Boulevard with small houses on the terraces above (not built), and a movie theater (not built).

In December 1920 Schindler moved to Los Angeles to take over the supervision of the project. By fall of 1921 Hollyhock house and residences A and B were nearly completed. Other work on Barnsdall, some of which Schindler, Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra had a hand in, continued until 1924.

Schindler remained in Los Angeles for the rest of his life. Wright opened an office in Los Angeles for a brief period, 1923-1924, but returned to Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin in 1924.

From the guide to the Frank Lloyd Wright correspondence with R. M. Schindler, 1914-1929, 1918-1922, (Getty Research Institute)

Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin on June 8, 1867. He began working for architect Joseph Silsbee in Chicago in 1887, leaving five months later to join Adler and Sullivan's office. There, he became imbued with the Prairie School style of architecture, which was to influence his entire life. Following a disagreement with Sullivan, Wright left to open his own office first in Chicago, then in Oak Park, Illinois. He became best known for his Prairie School houses, which he developed before 1900. Seventy-six of his Prairie School houses were built, mostly in and around Chicago and his success soon made him one of the recognized leaders of the Prairie School. He was an icon in the field and many younger practitioners copied him for years to come.

Domestic troubles and two fires at his studio/workshop at Spring Green, Wisconsin, between 1909 and 1925 brought his practice almost to a standstill. In 1932, the Wright studio in Spring Green gave way to the Taliesin Fellowship, founded with 23 young apprentices. In addition, he established a school and workshop in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1938, and maintained both locations as active architectural offices. The Taliesin Fellowship issued 180 buildings of all kinds, including the Guggenheim Museum, New York City (1957); Price Tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma (1953-1955); and the Marin County Civic Center, California (1957-1959), plus numerous residences.

The year 1936 marked a dramatic upswing in Wright's career with the production of the first of his Usonian houses (partially prefabricated, economically-built homes) and such masterpieces as the Johnson Wax Company's administration and research buildings in Racine, Wisconsin, and "Fallingwater", a vacation house cantilevered over a waterfall near Pittsburgh. Frank Lloyd Wright died in Paradise Valley, Arizona on April 9, 1959.

From the guide to the Frank Lloyd Wright collection, 1934-1972, (University of Minnesota Libraries. Northwest Architectural Archives, Manuscripts Division [naa])

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