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 This is the forty-first edition of the FLlW UPDATE @

a supplement to the printed FLlW UPDATE, this update 21 March 2018

All items in this website © copyright 2018 W A Storrer

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This is the ONLY independent, unbiased source of information on the world's greatest architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, and his work.

Materials in this & related web pages are copyright © MMXVIII by William Allin Storrer

This page updated 21 March 2018

 SAD, but TRUE, there are those who violate copyright. These include a famous auction house, a museum in Indiana, Price Tower among others.


If you see my plans or photos in use anywhere without a copywright notice of my ownership, please notify me directly.

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Color photos for all extant structures

Now in its fourth edition.

For a view, Click HERE


This is the ONLY independant, unbiased source

of informatio

n on the world's greatest architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, and his work.

"Shaking Houses out of his sleeve,"

the hidden Legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright

or how Wright moved from Victorian to a "Democratic American Architecture"

To view this presentation, CLICK HERE


What is art? What is art in architecture, and why is the presentation of Frank Lloyd Wright to the public failing?

Somewhere around the turn of the century (19th to 20th) Joseph Conrad wrote that art is "a single-minded effort to render the highest kind of justice to the visible universe."

Wright did that in his architectural designs. His was not a company, but a single mind. Yes, occasionally he worked with other great minds, but they had to satisfy his idea. That idea was of a whole, an entire environment, from outside to inside including its furnishings.

Yet Wright-based institutions, notably the bookstores attached to Wright sites, market Wright in parts, thus shouting to the visiting public that Wright's ethos was wrong. Instead of marketing a few, well-chosen books that present Wright's work or his life in the inspirational beauty they represent, the biggest Wright bookstores market anything with the name Wright on the cover, even books filled with incorrect or incomplete information about Wright (Many Masks), his work (The Frank Lloyd Wright Encyclopedia) or books that are now outmoded (Hitchcock's In the Nature of Materials which, however much it was the standard reference in 1940, now presents but one-sixth of Wright's built work).

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This is the ONLY independant, unbiased source of information on the wrld's greatest architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, and his work.


Given that, as a child, Frank Lloyd Wright was surrounded by pictures of great architecture selected by his mother Anna, it should hardly surprise us as to why Wright chose to be an architect, to practice the Mother of all the Arts. But what kind of architecture? Wright's goal was a Democratic American Architecture, and democracy starts at home, around the hearth. Initially his designs were eclectic, Victorian, but in seeking how he could make that derivative architecture more democratic and more American, he rejected pretty Victorian decoration and looked for organic ornamentation and found interest in rectilinear forms. This led to his abstraction of the American midWestern prairie into the low, ground-hugging Prairie designs, regularized somewhat democratically on a unit system creating a grid for the plan, and freed from the box by the cantilever. This was American, not yet truly democratic. Asking what if he changed this or that, varying pinwheel and four-square plans in an endless variety, did not make Prairie any more democratic, so he rejected Prairie and went into the wilderness, tying Prairie neatly off with the Wasmuth Portfolio. While living on large commissions, Midway Gardens, the Imperial Hotel, Barnsdall Park, he worked to develop inexpensive housing, first in River Forest, then refined in Glencoe, and finally the American System-Built Homes project, which was realized in prefabricated versions for Arthur Richards, which failed due to the First World War. Then, in the Twenties, Wright conceived of his Textile Block method of construction, inexpensive yet beautiful, Democratic as he understood the concept. Four houses, each abstracted to its site, followed, and another in Oklahoma. Then Arthur McArthur bastardized Wright's Arizona Biltmore, and the Great Depression killed other projects. Wright retrenched, substituted cheap wood panels where he would have preferred masonry, and created his second generation Usonian house, single-story to suit the Prairie. Now, abstracting from the site and the client, asking "what if" with each design, he fit home after home in a dizzying array of geometric grids, squares, rectangles, triangles, diamonds, even circular segments, to whatever site the client presented. Returning to masonry after the Second World War, he went back to Textile Block in his Usonian Automatic designs, then even followed the step he took to achieve his 1936 and later Usonians by turning the all-masonry Automatic into the Erdman Pre-fabs. Here in his Usonian designs from 1923 to 1959, fully half his architectural career, is the hidden legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright, Democratic American Architecture, each individual, each abstracted to its site and to its client.

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