Frank Llyod Wright may be the best American architect of all time. Although he was born over 150 years ago, his 500+ projects worldwide provide evidence of seven decades of perseverance.
Some of his works are considerably more memorable than others.
List of the Best FLW Buildings Ever Created
1. Robie House
This 1910 jewel happened a year after Wright left his wife and six children to join his lover in Europe. His prairie house design was unique, providing clean lines and ribbon windows with low roofs. The Chicago businessman took possession, but ownership transferred to the Chicago Theological Seminary in 1926. It was almost torn down twice.
When Wright abandoned his family, it stopped commissions for some time. One of the servants in the house he built for his mistress set fire to it and murder her, her children, and several staff members with an ax. The first chance for work after those events was this project, completed in 1923. It was eventually demolished in 1968.
Wright’s career stalled at the start of the Great Depression. A younger generation of modern architects was taking over, and people didn’t have money to spend on his designs. Relief came in 1934 when a department store proprietor in Pittsburgh asked for FLW’s help with a mountain retreat. It sits over a waterfall, but it has always had challenges with stability. It’s been a museum since 1964 and is fully restored.
4. The Illinois
Although this project never came to fruition, Wright conceived of building a skyscraper that went a mile into the sky. He was 88 years old at the time, and it is still one of architecture’s most futuristic endeavors. It would have 528 floors, served 130,000 people, and used 56 atomic-powered elevators.
FLW’s designs for this building, which was his only museum, went against all aspects of European convention. It uses an organic structure, much like a spiraling shell, to eliminate the standard 90-degree grids found in most designs. It opened about six months after Wright’s death, and people still either love or hate it.
Frank Lloyd Wright is an American legend. What may be his most notable accomplishment was that he was always independent, refusing to join the American Institute of Architects.