Frank Lloyd Wright was born on June 8, 1867 in Richard Center, Wisconsin, and died on April 9, 1959 in Phoenix, Arizona, at the age of 91. He was the sun of William Cary Wriight and Anna Lloyd Jones. A preacher and teacher respectively. He had two younger sisters Jane and Maginel to whom I could find no further referance. His early life was nomadic, He lived in Rhode Island, Iowa, and Massachusetts, in addition to Wisconsin. His familly finally settled in Madison, Wisconsin in 1878 where he lived until’ he was 20. In 1885, his parents divorced and he never saw his father again. To help support his familly, Wright worked for Allan Conover, a Dean of the University of Wisconsin’s Dept. Of Engineering. He also spent two semesters studying civil engineering at U.W. And assisted Josepu Lyman Silsbee draft and supervise the construction of the Unity Chapel.
In 1887, Wright left Madison and moved to Chicago, Illinois where he took a drafting job with the firm of Alder and Sullivan. Louis Sullivan was one of the few influences that Wright ever acknowledged. They both believed in American architecture based on American themes not on traditional or European styles. Wright and Sullivan suddenly broke their partnership in 1893 when Sullivan found out that Wright had been accepting commisions for “bootleg” house designs on his own, which violated a previous agreement made by both men. After parting wats with Sullivan he formed his own firm. They later renewed their friendship. In 1889, at the age of 22 he maried Catherine Tobin who he had six children with Lloyd, John, Catherine, David, Frances, and Llewellyn.
Wright’s first master piece from his own firm was the Winslow House built in 1893 in River Forest, Illinois. The Winslow House portrayed Wright’s concept of “Organic Architecture” which is architecture that forms a natural link between mankind and his enviroment. Some of Wright’s more notables designs of this period were for “Prairie Houses.” Theses houses resembled the long, low prairies which they sat on. This movement became known as the “The Prairie School.” Even though Wright rejected the label, he became it’s chief practitioner. Wright believed in the machine and gave one of his most famous speachs “The Arts and Crafts of Machines” in 1901 at the Hull House in Chicago which marked the first acceptance by an American architect of the machine. The “Arts and Craft” movement believed that the machine was responsible for much of the decline in quality craftsmanship. Wright contrasted this concept and urged the machine’s use ot bring out the simplicity and beauty of wood. This emphasis on simplicity and his insistence on using natural materials be treaed naturally, was a hallmark of his work. Some of Wrights more important works during this period are the Matrin House, Robie House, Larkin Building, and Unity Temple.
In 1909, Wright left his familly and America behind, and went to Europe with Mamah Borthwick Cheney, who was one of his client’s wife. While in Europe he worked on two portfolios “Ausgefurhte Bauten and Entwurfe” in 1910 and “Ausgefrute Bauten” in 1911 both of which were published and brought him into the international spotlight and greatly influenced other architects. In 1911, Wright returned to America and began construction of his home, “Taliesin,” near Spring Green, Wisconsin. He resumed his practice and recieved a huge commission for an entertainment center in Chicago, the “Midway Gardens.” In 1914, a crazed servent set the living quarters of Taliesin ablaze killing Mamah Cheney, her two childrem, and four others. Although stunned by the tragedy, he rebuilt Taliesin. Sometime afterwards he met a sculptress Miriam Noel, who he maried(and divorced in 1927) Wright spent close to 6 years workin on Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel, known for it’s earthquake resistance. It was one of the only few building to survive the Kanto earthquake of 1923. Also during this period, he began designing many California residence like the Hollyhock House and the Millard House. The Millard House was Wright’s first use of “textile blocks.” In 1925, Taliesin’s living quarters again ignited except this time by electrical problems triggered by lightening. He rebuilt it again.
IN 1928, he married Olga Lazovich, daughter of Chief Justice Montenegro. With his architect buisness slowing down, he went ot writing and lecturing which again put in a broader national spotlight. In 1932, now 65 years old, he published “An Autobiography” and “The Disappearing City” both of which would influencee multiple generations of young architects to come. During the Great Depression, Wright and his wife Olgivanna created an architectual school at Taliesin. It was known as the “Taliesin Fellowship.” There pupils were taught architecture, construction, farming, gardening, cooking, and many other things. In 1927 , visted Arizona when asked to collaberate on designs for the Arizona Building. He then fell again into more hardships and finally made his comback in 1936 with several important commisions. In 1937, he decided to move his permenant winter residence to Arizona where he and the Taliesin Fellowship set up a winter camp known as Taliesin West. There he began designs on his “Usonian” homes which would become as popular as his “Prairie Houses.”
In his Final Decades, he made many lecatures such as “Sixty Years of Living Architecture” and “The Natural House.” He also did the final work on the Guggenheim Musseum in New York. Most of his life he had done residentual designs, but in the end he did mainly public buildings. The Guggenheim was completed after his death.