Frank Lloyd Wright Frank Lloyd Wright Rebel in Concrete Period 7 March 22, 1999 The Life of Frank Lloyd Wright Before Frank Lloyd Wright was born his mother knew he was going to be a world renowned architect. In his nursery, she hung prints of well known cathedrals of Europe on the walls. Frank Lloyd Wright was born on June 8 ,1869. He was always very close to his mother, and when his father left Frank went off to work to help his mother raise the other children. Franks father also had a large impact on his sons life. Able to play a dozen instruments, he taught Frank to play the piano, the violin and the cello.
He also taught Frank the importance of the acoustics, the way the sound vibrates off obstructions, such as walls in a building. In the summer, Frank would go to Wisconsin to work on his uncles farms. They would wake up at four every morning to feed the animal s and milk the cows. At first Frank hated it, he even ran a way a few times. After a while he began to enjoy the hard work and the money that he made.
The thing Frank enjoyed most about living in the valley with his relatives was that every Sunday after one of his uncles did the sermon at the local Unitarian church, for they were all ministers, they would go deep into the woods and find a stream and they would have a picnic. After they ate the whole family would sing, play instruments or play games. They would even go swimming in the stream. Frank moved to Chicago when he was eighteen, against both his mothers and uncles advice. They thought he would waste his money on extravagant things.
After looking for a job for a week he finally went to Silsbee, an architect that was working on a new church for his uncle. Silsbee hired him for eight dollars a week. Shortly after starting Frank felt that he was doing work that was false, it didnt come from his heart. He had heard that Adler and Sullivan, an architectural agency in Chicago, had an opening. He headed over there and Sullivan turned him down telling him that he needed to do his own work. Later that week Frank went back with his own drawings and Sullivan hired him. Frank wanted to marry a girl by the name of Catherine Tobin. After getting a five year contract at Sullivan and Adler, Frank asked Sullivan for a loan to build a house so that he could get married.
He built the house in a development called Oak Park. Wright decided to start his own business with an old friend, Cecil Corwin, from Silsbees office. He began to design houses and he also added on to his own home. He built a playroom for his children and a drawing room for his business. His aunts, from the valley, wanted him to design a windmill for them that would stand out, Frank succeeded.
You could see the windmill for miles around. At a dinner party Frank was offered four years of study at the Beaux Arts in Paris, two years in Rome and a job when he returned. His family would also be taken care of. Frank refused this offer, because he didnt want to build classical buildings, he wanted to build using a new innovative style. Not long after Wright was building houses for himself, his partner, Cecil decided to go east and pursue a different vocation.
Wright missed him and finally moved into a loft that another friend rented. Wrights stubbornness often scared away clients that wanted classical Greek style houses, but Frank usually won clients over with his sincerity. Frank got a contract to build a factory building in Buffalo, New York. Frank wanted to build around the function of the building. He even added a set of open air stair cases that would allow air intake for the ventilation systems as well as a way of communicating. Frank went to Buffalo for the interview and persuaded the owner to give extra money for the stair cases. He got the job and hired a builder that he had worked with at Adler and Sullivans.
Frank also made the building fireproof by making the furniture steel and magnesite. Next Wright built a temple that was unique because it had no spire. When presenting his design to the board they told him that it was ludicrous. Though enough of the members voted for the design that Wright was hired. A man named Wasmuth wanted to do a publication of Wrights works in Europe.
Wright decided that since his marriage was falling apart he would leave for Germany to supervise the publication. After arriving in Germany Wright found that European architects loved his work. After coming home from Europe, Wright decided to build on a piece of land his mother gave him only a few miles from Spring Green, Wisconsin. He was going to build a house with a workshop attached. He would call it Taliesin after a man From King Arthurs Round Table.
Taliesin means glowing brow. At Taliesin he would work away from the city and be in the valley where he grew up. Next he got a contract to build an orchestra hall in Chicago. For this project Wright brought in his son, John. One thing that held up construction was that many people thought that the acoustics would be bad but in the end Wright won them over and construction continued. The workers union held up construction many times almost pushing back the date of completion.
After much opposition the building was finished. While Wright was in Chicago a servant had set Taliesin on fire, killing many of Wrights apprentices and servants. In 1915, Taliesin II was finished and with much the same design as the first you could see for miles around. Wright was asked to design the Imperial Hotel in Japan after Taliesin II had been finished. He accepted and he received a formal invitation to come to Japan.
In Japan, Wright faced many problems. One was that the ground where the hotel was supposed to be built was eight feet of soil and then mud. Also the problem of frequent earthquakes and the resulting fires posed a threat to the hotel. Wright had to invent a support system to keep the building up during earthquakes. He devised a cantilevered method so that each building was on its own support system and they were linked together.
This left the hotel to lay on top of the soil but not attached to it. Now the hotel could move freely around and earthquakes would have no effect on it. Wright also used lead pipes, with easy bends in the pipes so that the earthquakes wouldnt break them, for plumbing. There was also a large pool in front of the hotel that could be used for water if the hotel caught fire after an earthquake. Wright did have problems with converting western techniques to those that the natives knew. Also, Frank had to conduct many tests in order to use new techniques that he had developed.
While Wright was in Japan he walked the streets and entertained in his spare time. He had a hobby of collecting Japanese prints, when making a trip to the United States he would bring his new prints home with him. On a trip home Howard Mansfield, a treasurer at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, asked if Wright could get some original prints for him. Wright made it known in Japan that he wanted original prints and he soon got them and went back to give them to Mansfield. After Mansfield had inspected …