Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was an American architect, designer, writer, and educator. He designed more than 1,000 structures over a creative period of 70 years. Wright believed in designing in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. This philosophy was best exemplified by Fallingwater (1935), which has been called “the best all-time work of American architecture.” As a founder of organic architecture, Wright played a key role in the architectural movements of the twentieth century, influencing three generations of architects worldwide through his works.

Wright was the pioneer of what came to be called the Prairie School movement of architecture, and he also developed the concept of the Usonian home in Broadacre City, his unique vision for urban planning in the United States. In addition to his houses, Wright designed original and innovative offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, hotels, museums, and other structures. He often designed interior elements for these buildings, as well, including furniture and stained glass. Wright wrote 20 books and many articles and was a popular lecturer in the United States and in Europe. He was recognized in 1991 by the American Institute of Architects as “the greatest American architect of all time.” In 2019, a selection of his work became a listed World Heritage Site as The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Raised in rural Wisconsin, Wright studied civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin and then apprenticed in Chicago with noted architects Joseph Lyman Silsbee and Louis Sullivan. He opened his own successful Chicago practice in 1893, and developed an influential home and studio in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1898. His colorful personal life made headlines: leaving his first wife, Catherine Tobin for Mamah Cheney in 1909, the murders at his Taliesin estate by a staff member in 1914, his tempestuous marriage with second wife Miriam Noel in 1923, and his relationship with Olgivanna Lazović, whom he married in 1928.

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