Thursday, February 16, 2017


Like most people I'm a huge fan of Frank Lloyd Wright, but he's not above making mistakes.  Nobody is.  I thought it might be fun to review some of his faux pas.

Let's face it. A lot of his chairs don't look very comfortable.

Some of the worse offenders are his plywood chairs, like the one above. This chair is missing its cushions, but even so....

For a time Wright fell in love with plywood and used it to make visible walls even in his upscale houses, something few modern architects would do.

A more serious problem is his lack of interest in bedrooms and kitchens.

Here's (above) a Wright bedroom. It's a living room with a bed in it.  Taken alone it looks great but imagine a whole house where every room is a living's just too much of a good thing. I see homes as a confederacy of different moods and purposes, the way nature itself is.

Here's another bedroom. It feels like a family room or a study that's doing double duty.

Here's a kitchen that also looks like a study. You get the feeling that the man never spent much time in kitchens.

Lots of people think of landscaping as an art form but the subject seemed to bore Wright.  All he seemed to want around his houses (above) was a nicely mowed lawn. 

His low-budget Usonian houses seemed all the more stark and unappealing on the plain lawns. 

Does anything I mentioned diminish the architect's stature in my eyes? Nope. Not a jot.  He's still the greatest builder of homes that I'm aware of.  I only mean to point out that nobody's ever perfect, not even the greatest geniuses.


ardy said...

"a confederacy of different moods and purposes, the way nature itself is."

Very nice way of putting it.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Ardy: Wow! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I just LOVE that last picture. I don't know how that one is a mistake. I agree with you on most of the rest though. Come to think of it, the first bedroom pictured ... I picture myself laying in bed looking up at the interest of the ceiling. One of my favorite things to do is to lay on the floor looking up and imagining what it would be like if that were the floor. Now that bedroom ceiling would be interesting to walk on!


Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Doug: You mean the house with the red trim? Haw! Well, maybe you saw better pictures of it in another book. We do share the love of ceilings, though, and Wright was one of the best ceiling men. I have some great pictures of the ceilings of the Imperial Hotel. I'll put them up soon.