Friday, June 08, 2007

Frank Lloyd Wright 1867-1959

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright was born on June 8, 1867, in Richland Center, Wisconsin. America's most significant architect, Wright's "Prairie Style" transformed 20th-century residential design while his plans for businesses, churches, and museums also proved simultaneously innovative and practical. Wright's commitment to "organic architecture"—the belief that structures should harmonize with both occupants and landscape—underscored his creative genius.

Although trained in engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Wright was a self-taught architect. After occupying several junior positions in Chicago architecture firms, he found a mentor in master architect Louis Sullivan. Wright served for several years as Sullivan's chief assistant before opening his own firm in 1893.

Soon, Wright was the leading practitioner of "Prairie School" architecture. Primarily constructed in the Midwest between 1900 and 1917, Prairie style houses are typically two-story structures with single-story wings which emphasize horizontal lines. Ribbon windows, gently sloping roofs, prominent overhangs, and hidden gardens are hallmarks of Prairie School style. During the first decade of the century, Wright designed and built about 50 houses of this type. Shown above is the Robie House, built in 1909.

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