Architecture

10 Things You Might Not Know About Frank Lloyd Wright

1. The highly praised architect, Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), had quite the complex personal life. He was married three times throughout his lifetime and had eight children, seven biological and one adopted.

2. He was admitted into the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1886, but departed from the university after a single year of study. He never earned a degree, but gained experience by serving as an apprentice to Joseph Lyman Silsbee and Louis Sullivan.

3. Wright refused to join the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Of the association, he snarkily remarked, “Feeling that the architectural profession is all that’s the matter with architecture, why should I join them?” Despite his disapproval, the association awarded him the AIA Gold Medal in 1949.

4. On September 15, 1914, a tragic event occurred in Wright’s Wisconsin home, Taliesin. An angered butler started a fire in the house as Wright was away on business. As members of the home were attempting to escape, the butler murdered them with an axe. He killed seven people, including Wright’s wife and two of his children.

5. He owned a Japanese block art dealing business. It has been said that at various stages throughout his lifelong career, this business earned Wright more money than his architectural works.

6. Ayn Rand, the Russian-American objectivist, based her protagonist of The Fountainhead on Wright himself. Prior to the novel’s publication in 1943, Rand had never met Wright. They were introduced to each other soon after The Fountainhead was released.

7. Wright had an incredible car collection of over 50 vehicles. One of his favorite cars was a convertible Stoddard Dayton, which he had constructed himself.

8. His legendary career boasted over 1,000 architectural designs. Though only 532 of them were constructed, his vast array of designs included residential houses, churches, commercial buildings, mausoleums, museums, and more. Along with his architectural blueprints, he even dabbled in fashion design, though few of his designs exist today.

9. In 1916, Wright’s son John Lloyd Wright created the popular toy set, Lincoln Logs.

10. Though he was known for constructing beautiful homes, he spent the final years of his life living in a hotel room while supervising the construction of the Guggenheim Museum.

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