View Full Version : Frank Lloyd Wright

Jul-29-2005, 15:21
I'm a nerd for the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, and I'm lucky enough to be within minutes of his home here in Wisconsin.

The following is a copy and paste from Wikipedia:

Taliesin (Spring Green, Wisconsin), begun in 1911, was the home of American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright began the home after having left his first wife, Catherine Tobin, and his Oak Park, Illinois home and studio in 1909. The impetus behind Wright’s departure was his affair with Mamah Borthwick Cheney, who had been the wife of one of his clients, Edwin Cheney.

The valley in which Taliesin sits was originally settled by Wright’s maternal family, the Lloyd Joneses, during the Civil War. Immigrants from Wales, Wright’s maternal grandfather and uncle were Unitarian ministers, and his two aunts began a co-educational school in the family valley in 1887. Wright’s mother, Anna Lloyd Jones Wright, began sending her son to the valley every summer, beginning when he was eleven years old. The family, their ideas, religion, and ideals, greatly influenced the young Wright, who would later change his middle name from Lincoln (in honor of Abraham Lincoln) to Lloyd in deference to this side of the family.

Thus, when Wright decided to begin a home in this valley, he chose the name of the Welsh bard Taliesin, whose name means, “shining”-or-“radiant brow.” Wright positioned the home on the “brow” of a hill, a favorite of his from childhood. The home was designed with three wings that included his living quarters, an office, and farm buildings. Aside from placing the building into the landscape, Wright used Taliesin as a way to explore his ideas of Organic architecture. The chimneys and stone piers were built from local limestone, laid by the stonemasons in a way that evoked the outcroppings of Wisconsin’s surrounding "Driftless Area" (the area unaccompanied by glacial drift) and sand from the nearby Wisconsin River was mixed into the stucco walls to evoke the river's sandbars.

Wright and Mamah Borthwick (now going by her maiden name) moved into Taliesin shortly after Christmas, 1911.

On August 15, 1914, while Wright was in Chicago completing a large project, Midway Gardens, Julian Carlton, a male servant whom he had hired several months earlier, set fire to the living quarters of Taliesin and murdered seven people with an ax as the fire burned. The dead were: Mamah, her two children John and Martha, a gardener, a draftsman, a workman, and the workman’s son. Two people survived the mêleé, one of whom helped to put out the fire that almost completely consumed the residential wing of the house.

Wright eventually rebuilt the living quarters, naming it Taliesin II. These living quarters were again destroyed by fire on April 22, 1925. According to Wright in his autobiography, the fire appeared to have begun near a telephone in his bedroom. Wright also mentioned a lightning storm approaching immediately before noticing the fire. Wright scholars speculate that the storm may have caused an electrical surge through the telephone system, sparking the fire. Wright began the rebuilding of Taliesin, which he now named Taliesin III, shortly afterwards.

Wright's interaction with Taliesin would last for the rest of his life and eventually he would purchase the surrounding land, creating an estate of 2.4 km². Over the following decades, Wright used the house as an experiment, continuously changing it, often using his apprentices in the Taliesin Fellowship [1](founded in 1932) as the workforce. This was particularly true once he began a winter home, Taliesin West, in Scottsdale, Arizona (1937- 59) in 1937. After this, Wright and the Taliesin Fellowship would "migrate" between the two homes each year. This allowed Wright the ability to return to each home with a new perspective. To Wright, Taliesin was perfected with each change, yet subject to continual evolution.

Some of the buildings designed at Taliesin were Fallingwater, the Guggenheim Museum, and the first Usonian home, the Herbert and Katherine Jacobs house, in Madison, Wisconsin (1936).

In 1940, Frank Lloyd Wright and his third wife, Olgivanna (December 27, 1898-March 1, 1985) formed the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation[2], which still exists. Upon Wright's death in 1959, ownership of the Taliesin estate in Spring Green, as well as Taliesin West, passed into the hands of the foundation. The foundation also owns Frank Lloyd Wright’s archives [3]and runs a school, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture [4]. The architectural restoration [5] of the Taliesin estate in Wisconsin is under the supervision of another non-profit organization, Taliesin Preservation, Inc. [6]. The entire Taliesin estate is a National Historic Landmark.

The Frank Lloyd Wright page has links to other buildings by the architect.

The following is a small collection of images of Taliesin from around the net:

There is a school on the Taliesin complex:

A chapel:

An unusual windmill (named the "Romeo and Juliet" windmill):

Some unique barns:

as well as a few other smaller homes that belonged to apprentices, Wright's sister, Jane, and even FLWs final resting place:

Frederik Magle
Jul-29-2005, 17:24
I sure wouldn't mind living in a house like "Taliesin"! (sans the fires https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif). I agree Frank Lloyd Wright was an amazing architect.

Btw, thanks for kicking off discussions about architecture in this forum with such a great post, Jason. Personally I have a lot of interest in architecture, only held back by lack of time due to my musical work...

Jul-29-2005, 18:31
Architecture is one of my passions. I have a FLW website, and as time permits, I plan to share more information about FLW here, and other architects/architecture, as well as some photos from my personal collection.

Taliesin, not just the home, but the entire complex, and the area it is located in (Southwest Wisconsin) is an amazingly beautiful, relaxing place. It's trully a pleasure that something so non-typically/modern American is in the smack-dab middle of America.

BTW, my avatar is another Frank Lloyd Wright home called Fallingwater. It's a home built on a small waterfall.

Jul-29-2005, 20:16
That`s some unique architecture https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/up.gif. Would it be posible for you to post your avatar or is there any way I can enlarge it?. I think it sounds interesting, with a house build on a waterfall. I have been wondering what that avatar/picture was https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif


Jul-29-2005, 21:11
At the risk of completely bloating this thread with pictures https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif , here are some images of Fallingwater, which is in Pennsylvania.


Jul-29-2005, 21:31
I would love to live in Fallingwater.
That´s amazing https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/up.gif

Jul-30-2005, 09:11
Thanks Jason https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/up.gif
I wouldn`t mind living there either, it looks so peacefully. I`m amazed, blown away https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

Jette https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Dec-09-2005, 04:23

The recently deceased American Architect Philip Johnson complained to the original owner Mr. Kauffman that the sound of the waterfall excited his bladder. It's a great place to be at although...



Dec-10-2005, 21:51
After seeing a documentary on FLW I started a composition inspired by Falling Water. Someday I'd even like to finish it. https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
We get to drive by the Marin Conference Center. Here is a link to a page with photos.
I'm sure George Lucas et. al. used this for some of the architecture in Star Wars.
Great post - thanks.

Jan-08-2006, 17:06
I studied Frank Lloyd Wright in architectural history. I have to say that he was the most prominent architect of this period and it was mostly due to the waterfall building. Not only because of the way it promotes harmony between man and nature through it's design, it was also because of the complexity of the foundations and the way he used the most modern and natural resources to complete this building.

A true architectural genius.

Below shows the ground floor plan, illustrating some of the complexities he faced.

Jan-08-2006, 18:04
Ooooh, another admirer of FLW.

*Organic Architecture* never goes out of style - like Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, it's always fresh and bracing like a dip in a chilly mountain stream in Northern Scotland - the river Dhu comes to mind https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Giovanni https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wave.gif

Feb-25-2006, 23:01
Hi jason,

Might you be familiar with this site?


Hopefully it will be new to you.


Giovanni https://www.magle.dk/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tiphat.gif

Oct-13-2006, 02:24
that guy rox my sucks!! hes a frekin genios!! the waterfall house!! :eek: and not only the way he master the outside in all his pices..bt the spaces in the inside and the way he relate them in such an open form no walls hoho

Jun-04-2007, 20:37
Frank Lloyd Wright is by far one of the best architects ever. Not only did he design and build the structures but he also designed windows, doors, furniture, light fixures and silverware were amongst other designs. He also designed certain details to help enforce his belief of horizontality. Horizontality helps to shrink a buildings appearance creating a structure that seems to melt into the landscape. FLW would have his masons fill in all the vertical mortar joints allowing all the horizontal mortar joints to stand out. Fallingwater in Pennsylvania I believe uses this detail. His idea of bringing nature in was very obvious with his Fallingwater design. The hearth of the fireplace is the actual rock the house is built on. The creek flows through the house as if the house has fresh water flowing through it's veins. Also his use of the corner window would allow the interior spaces to flow outward and inward. Another memorable design of Frank Lloyd Wright is the Guggenheim museum in Manhattan.

Jun-13-2007, 13:30
I also came accross some of the work of Mr.Wright and it is absolutely gorgeous...I tried to host online picture (http://www.uploadit.org/) to show you...
Imperial Hotel

Art Rock
Jun-22-2007, 11:39
One of my favourite architects as well, and one of the first I used in the Architecture ("Buildings") series in my blog.