Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright

Happy Birthday Frank Lloyd Wright! 

Wright, a Midwesterner born in Wisconsin, is the founder of the Prairie School of Design that came out of the Midwest.  He also developed the concept of organic architecture in which structures–houses, hotels, buildings–blended in with the natural landscape.  The elements of nature and history were used in the design of the building and interior design.

These were revolutionary architectural and design concepts at the time.  Wright’s home and studio in Oak Park, Illinois, are stand out as examples of the Prairie School style in comparison to the commonplace designs of the other houses in the city at that time.

Wright home in Oak Park, Illinois

Wright Studio

Wright Studio, photo from Wikipedia

Oak Park house

Oak Park house, photo by me

He was influenced by history such as the ancient civilizations of Mexico.  Design styles from pyramids and structures in Mexico found its way into tiles that Wright designed.

carved stone head

Americas carved stone head at Field Museum of Natural History, photo by me

Wright developed the organic architecture style.

“So here I stand before you preaching organic architecture: declaring organic architecture to be the modern ideal and the teaching so much needed if we are to see the whole of life, and to now serve the whole of life, holding no traditions essential to the great TRADITION. Nor cherishing any preconceived form fixing upon us either past, present or future, but instead exalting the simple laws of common sense or of super-sense if you prefer determining form by way of the nature of materials…” – Frank Lloyd Wright, written in 1954

One of his more famous houses, Falling Water, was designed by Wright to incorporate a waterfall in the woods where it was built.


waterfall photo by me

Falling Water

Falling Water, photo from Wikipedia

Wright’s philosophies, theories and designs continue to influence architects, interior designers, and artists to this day.

One of the best ways to learn more about Frank Lloyd Wright is to visit houses and structures he designed.  Take a walk around Oak Park, Illinois, and tour his home or the Wright Foundation.

Visit Taliesin in Spring Green to see his studio and home set amid the bucolic farmlands of central Wisconsin.  There a theme a view of water on the sides of his house, built to capture all the best views.  Taliesin, which is Welsh for the Shining Brow, was named in honor of his mother’s heritage.

Or travel to Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Or take an architectural tour in Racine, Wisconsin, of the Johnson headquarters.  Or a tour in Chicago to see the buildings he decided in the Windy City.

There are many buildings that he built that instrinically incorporate elements for that location or concept that changed over time.  If you’re interested, delve into the history and art–architecture of Wright.  Happy Birthday Frank.

39 responses to “Frank Lloyd Wright

  1. Love his architecture! Believe it or not, I was in Chicago in Oak Park on his birthday with my brother who lives there. Incredible homes. He was truly a trailblazer. 🙂

  2. Falling Water is my favorite work of FLW. I live just north of San Francisco in Marin County and our Marin Civic Center is the last work of Wright’s that was started before he died. Across the street from it is the only Post Office that FLW designed.

    Way back in the early Sixties I fell in love with the Pairie School of Design and thought I was going to be the next Frank Lloyd Wright. As it turned out I was more like the next Frank Lloyd Wrong, so I got into the Electrical Trade.

    After moving to this area in 1981, it is a joy to be around such fine examples of Wright’s work. I enjoy spending time in the Library at the Civic Center and just wandering the halls looking at little details here and there.

    Thank you for this post,

    • Allan,

      I’m lucky to live in the Midwest in driving distance to many of Wright’s designed buildings and homes. It’s nice to meet yet another Wright fan. His idea that the building should fit the environment and use locally sourced materials was ahead of its time.

      Have you ever heard of Jens Jensen? His practices on landscape architecture fit with Wright’s.

      Will you be posting photos of the civic center? If you do, can you send me a link in the comments section? I’d love to see them.

      Your welcome.

  3. Love your post on Frank Lloyd Wright. I will be visiting his houses this coming Monday July 10th and can’t wait to photograph them. Thanks for the information and visiting my blog.


  4. I have always been fascinated by him, but have never had the opportunity to see any of his buildings in real life. I hope to someday…

    • He was a complex, creative person. I learned alot about him when I visited his home and studio in Wisconsin. I hope you do get to visit one the buildings he designed. It’s worth a trip to one of them. I would like to see some more of them.

  5. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge – Geometry in Nature | Canoe Communications·

  6. Happy Birthday, Frank. If I could do life over, I would definitely go to his architecture school, Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona. If you haven’t been there, it is worth a visit.

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