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Frank Lloyd Wright

Biography of Frank Lloyd Wright
by

Courtney Hackbarth

on 25 April 2011

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Transcript of Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright Frank Lloyd Wright was born on June 8th, 1867, in Richland Center, Wisconsin. Wright's mother wanted her son to be an architect when he grew up, and design buildings for a living. As soon as he could hold a pencil, he was taught how to draw the simple shapes. His mother also filled his playroom with glue and cardboard, so he could make imaginary buildings. When Wright was thirteen the family settled in the town of Madison, Wisconsin, where he attended high school. At age fifteen, he was accepted as a student at the University of Wisconsin. In 1887, twenty-year-old Wright left college to become an architect. He moved to Chicago, Illinois, and soon found a job working for Louis Sullivan, one of the most famous architects in the United States. Wright quickly became Sullivan's chief draftsperson. He completed Sullivan's plans for stores, office buildings, and auditoriums, calling himself "the pencil in Sullivan's hands." Ater several years, Sullivan put Wright in charge of his company's home design department. Soon, Wright began to develop ideas unlike any Sullivan had ever seen. The houses had low roofs, open rooms flowing into one another, and a fireplace in the center of the home. Sullivan soon asked Wright to design a home for his own family. After several years, Sullivan put Wright in charge of his company's home design department. Soon, Wright began to develop ideas unlike any Sullivan had ever seen. The houses had low roofs, open rooms flowing into one another, anda fireplace in the center of the home. Sullivan soon asked Wright to design a building for his own family. After several years, Sullivan put Wright in charge of his company's home design department. Soon, Wright began to develop ideas unlike any Sullivan had ever seen. The houses had low roofs, open rooms flowing into one another, and a fireplace in the center of the home. Sullivan soon asked Wright to design a home for his own family. By age 25, Wright was chief architect at Sullivan and Adler, the largest architectural company in Chicago. Wright was soon well known. Many people admired his work and asked him to design houses for them. Taking on work outside the company was called bootlegging, and it was against the rule, but Wright had debts to pay. He took on private jobs and was fired as a result. After he was fired, Wright set up an office in his home in Oak Park, Illinois. The house is now a museum that is visited by thousands of tourists each year. From 1893 to 1901, more than forty Wright houses were built in an original design that came to be known as his Prairie Style. Wright continued to develop his ideas, and by the early 1900s, he was one of the most famous architects in the United States. He invented a new word to describe the shape of his buildings, which he called "streamlined." The Praire Style was one of the first truly American building designs. American architects used to imitate European styles, but now they began to study Wright's ideas. They soon adopted his approach, creating simple houses that seemed to grow out of their natural surroundings. By 1911 Wright had made enough money to return to Wisconsin, and buy the land on which his uncle's farm once stood. Using designs drawn very early in his career, he built a school, a cabin, a church, and a windmill. In 1912 Wright designed a house, a studio, and a farmyard. He named his new home Taliesin, in honor of both his grandfather, and his mother, who had encouraged him to become an architect. The dream of Taliesin turned to a nightmare in 1914, when a worker set the buildings on fire, killing seven people. Wright survived and rebuilt Taliesin, but the crime was the greatest tradegy of his life. After shocking events of 1914, Wright foundit difficult to work at Taliesin. When he was asked to design a hotel in Tokyo, Japan, in 1916, he eagerly agreed. Between 1916 and 122 Wright lived in Japan and designed the Imperial Hotel in downtown Tokyo. Wright's biggest challenge was to make a building strong enough to survive earthquakes. Most new buildings in Tokyo had large foundation stones buried deep in the earth. The weight was carried by these supporters at the sides of the building. As usual, Wright's design was different. He was inspired by the sight of a waiter carrying a tray. The man's arm was held above his head, and the balanced the center of the tray on his fingertips. By using dozens of short supports at the center of the building, Wright created the same effect. In 1922 Wright spent a year in Los Angleles, California, where he studied the use of a new building material called concrete. Until the 1920's, most buildings were made of wood, stone, brick, or steel. Concrete, a mix of gravel and cement, could be shaped into blocks before it hardened. Wright used blocks held together with steel rods to build four houses in teh hills around Los Angeles. In 1923 Wright returned to Taliesin for the first time in seven years. In 1924 both his mother and Louis Sullivan, the man that he still called his "master," died. A year later, Taliesin was again damaged by fire and had to be rebuilt. Wright had borrowed a great deal of money, and he was unable to reapy the loan. He was forced to move out of Taliesin byt he bank that loaned him the money. In 927, at the age of 60, Wright began to write the story of his life. In October 1932 it was published, and it sold thousand of copies. The book earned Wright the money that he so badly needed, and attracted people to Taliesin. He soon realized that many people wanted to be his students, and so in 1933 he started a school at Taliesin. Wright's students studied architecture, and also construction, farming, and nature. Several years later, Wright and his first student designed and built Taliesin West in Arizona, where he could teach during winter months.
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