Who Is Frank Lloyd Wright?

Frank Lloyd Wright, whose original name is Frank Wright, was born on 8 June 1867 in Richland Center, Wisconsin, United States. He died on 9 April 1959, Phoenix, Arizona. Wright was an architect and writer, a richly creative master of American architecture. His “Prairie style” became the foundation of 20th-century residential design in the United States.

Wright’s Early Life

His early childhood was nomadic because his father travelled from one ministry position to another one in Rhode Island, Iowa, and then Massachusetts, prior to settling in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1878.

Wright’s parents get divorced in 1885, making already difficult financial circumstances even more difficult. To assist with supporting the family, 18-year-old Frank Lloyd Wright worked for the dean of the University of Wisconsin’s department of engineering while studying at the university.

However, Wright knew that he wanted to be an architect. In 1887, he left Madison for Chicago, where he found work with two different firms prior to being hired by the esteemed partnership of Adler and Sullivan, working directly under Louis Sullivan for six years.

His Working Life

Sullivan, who rejected decorative European styles in favour of a cleaner aesthetic that was summed up by his motto “form follows function,” had a deep influence on Wright, who would ultimately carry Sullivan’s dream of defining a distinctively American style of architecture to the end. Wright worked for Sullivan up until 1893 when he broke their contract by taking on private commissions to design homes and the two went their separate ways.

Wright’s Private Life

In 1889, a year after he started working for Louis Sullivan, the 22-year-old Wright got married a 19-year-old woman called Catherine Tobin. Eventually they had six children together. Their home – which is situated in the Oak Park suburb of Chicago – is now known as the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio, is considered to be his first architectural masterpiece.

It was there that Wright formed his own architectural practice when he left Adler and Sullivan in 1893. That very same year, he designed the Winslow House in River Forest, which with its horizontal emphasis and extensive, open interior spaces is the first instance of Wright’s revolutionary style, that was later termed “organic architecture”.

Over the next couple of years, Wright designed a number of residences and public buildings that became known as the most important examples of the “Prairie School” of architecture. These were single-storey homes with low, pitched roofs and long rows of casement windows, using only locally available materials and wood which was always unstained and unpainted, emphasising its natural beauty.

Wright’s most famous “Prairie School” buildings include the Robie House in Chicago and the Unity Temple in Oak Park. While such architectural works made Wright a celebrity of sorts and as popular as CA mobile casinos online, he stayed relatively unknown outside of architectural circles in the United States.

Wright embraced a philosophy of architecture that was supposedly democratic, however increasingly he adopted an elitist attitude and saw the general public as vulgar and stupid, famously referring to popular culture as “the mobocracy.”