Frank Lloyd Wright Crashed on Park Avenue
A significant piece of New York City’s architectural heritage was lost early in April 2013 when the Hoffmann Auto Showroom interior designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and considered a fore runner of the Guggenheim Museum design, was demolished. The showroom had been on the first floor of a building located at the corner of Park Avenue and East 56th Street.
According to Crain’s New York Business, owners of the building applied for a demolition permit for the showroom on March 28, 2013, less than one week after “the Landmarks Preservation Commission called the owners of 430 Park Ave. to tell them the city was considering designating the Wright showroom…as the city’s 115th interior landmark.”
Crain’s went on to say that by the end of the following week the showroom had been totally gutted leaving no trace of Mr. Wright’s design.
Read the entire article and see a video report on Crain’s New York Business.
Thank you to Frank Lloyd Wright Newsblog for bringing this sad tale to our attention.
Frank Lloyd Wright, Drawing for Hoffman Auto Showroom, New York City (1955). Demolished. Copyright Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home Movies
Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin for many years. During those visits, she captured the atmosphere of daily life at Taliesin on film.”Wright worked for and studied under Adler, and his granddaughter Joan became a regular visitor to Wright’s home and farm at
Frank Lloyd Wright and Olgivanna Wright in the garden, late 1930s-early 1940s. Photo credit: Still from a film from the personal collection of Joan Salzstein. Milwaukee Art Museum, Institutional Archives.
Happy 50th Anniversary Marin County Civic Center
A big thanks to Prairie Mod for sharing an article about a special postmark commemorating the 50th anniversary of one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most futuristic looking buildings, the Marin County Civic Center. Read More.
At fifty the Marin County Civic Center Still looks far ahead of its time.
Frank Lloyd Wright. Marin County Civic Center, San Raphael, CA (1963).
You Win Some, You Lose Some
While the future looks bright for the David Wright House in Tuscon, AZ, a buyer has been found for the house who intends to preserve this important example of Frank Lloyd Wright ‘s mid-century southwestern architecture. More details.
Frank Lloyd Wright, David Wright House (1950-52), Tucson, AZ. Photography credit: Pedro Guerrero, 1952.
Fate, however, has not been as kind to Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital Building in Chicago, IL. Northwestern University plans to build a major biomedical research facility on the site. More details.
Bertrand Goldberg, Prentice Women’s Hospital and Maternity Center (1975), Chicago, Il. Photography credit: designslinger.com, copyright 2010.
Photographer Pedro E. Guerrero (1917-2012)
Frank Lloyd Wright, George Sturges House (1939). Photo by Pedro E. Guerrero (1947).
Pedro E. Guerrero, who is perhaps best known for his photographs of Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic mid-century buildings, died on September 14, 2012. The best of these photographs can be viewed in Guerrero’s book, Picturing Wright: An Album from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Photographer, published in 1993.1
In addition to capturing images of Wright’s work, Guerrero “photographed buildings by other architects, including Marcel Breuer, Eero Saarinen, Edward Durrell Stone and Philip Johnson; [and] documented the work of sculptors Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson.1”
1. Muchnic, L. (September 14, 2012). Pedro E. Guerrero dies at 95; fine arts photographer. Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-pedro-guerrero-20120914,0,7037728.story
For Further Reading
Guerrero, P.E. (2007). Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey. Princeton Architectural Press, New York, New York.
Guerrero, P.E. (1993). Picturing Wright: An Album from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Photographer. Pomegranate Communications, Petaluma, California.
The Vision of Richard Meier
Taking inspiration from the best of Twentieth Century modernist architecture, Richard Meier created his own unique vision while remaining loyal to his own design ethic, regardless of the current architectural trends. According to Meier, “Architecture should not mimic but rather provide a counterpoint to the surroundings while still maintaining a relationship”1.
“Richard Meier was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1934,” 2 and studied architecture at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. In 1957 he graduated from Cornell with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. Early in his career Meier worked for Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and then with architect and designer, Marcel Breuer. Meier opened his own practice in 1963 at the age of twenty-nine.1 The architect became a member of the “New York Five,” a group of influential young architects that included “ Meier, Michael Graves, Charles Gwathmey, John Hejduk, and Peter Eisenman (Meier’s second cousin)”3.
Rchard Meier circa 2000, phtotgrapher unknown.
Meier’s signature architectural forms are clean, bold, dramatic and white. “Early works included opulent homes that blurred the lines of art and architecture with bold geometric design”4. The Smith House, built in the mid-1960s in Darien, Connecticut, and the Douglas House (1971-73), in Harbor Springs, Michigan, exemplify this design philosophy.
Richard Meier, Douglas House, Harbor Springs, Michigan, (1973). Photograph Copyright, AIA.
Good Luck to Eric Jackson-Forsberg
Design and Desire learned last week that one of our favorite bloggers, Eric Jackson-Forsberg of The Weekly Wright-up will be leaving his position as curator of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo, NY. Jackson-Forsberg curated the house for the past nine years, during which time the complex has undergone a dramatic forty million dollar restoration. He departs to become the new Executive Director of the Western New York Book Arts Center.
We’ve always enjoyed Jackson-Forsberg’s lively and sometimes humorous dispatches and musings about the events at the Martin House. He will be missed very much as the voice of The Weekly Wright-up and more likely missed most by the staff and visitors of the Martin House Complex.
Eric, congratulations and best wishes as you embark on the next phase of your career.
Eric Jackson-Forsberg, Curator of the Darwin D. Martin House in 2003. (Photographer unknown)
Silly Saturday: Frank Lloyd Wright Goes to the Dogs
In 1956 California paper boy Jim Berger asked architect Frank Lloyd Wright to build a dog house for his black lab, Eddie. Berger’s father was a client of Mr. Wright’s. Not one to turn down a challenging commission, Wright designed a modernist home for Eddie. Berger, however, never got around to building the home Wright designed for his beloved pet. According to Architects and Artisans, “His father and brother took up the project, completing it in 1963.”
Filmmaker Michael Miner obtained permission to rebuild the dog house as part of his documentary film, “Romanza,” about Wright’s work in California.
For more about the Frank Lloyd Wright dog house read the full story at Architects and Artisans.
For details on Michael Miner’s documentary on Wright visit Designed by Wright.
Frank Lloyd Wright, plans for Berger Dog House, 1956. Photo credit: photograher unknown,
From Tokyo to Buffalo
Eric Jackson-Forsberg, curator of the Darwin D. Martin House Complex in Buffalo, NY, tells the interesting story of how one of the surviving blocks from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Imperial Hotel (demolished) found its way to the Darwin D. Martin House’s collection in Buffalo, NY. As the rock band the Grateful Dead said, “What a long strange trip it’s been.”
Read the details. »