Frank Lincoln Wright


".......having a good start not only do I fully intend to be the
greatest architect who has yet lived, but fully intend to be the greatest
architect who will ever live. Yes, I intend to be the greatest architect of all
time." - Frank Lloyd Wright 1867-1959


CHILDHOOD

Born in Richland Center, in southwestern Wisconsin, on June 8, 1867
(Sometimes reported as 1869) Frank Lincoln Wright (Changed by himself to Frank
Lloyd Wright) was raised in the influence of a welsh heritage. The Lloyd-Jones
family, his mother\'s side of the family, had great influence on Mr. Wright
throughout his life. The family was Unitary in faith and lived close to each
other. Major aspects within the Lloyd-Jones family included education,
religion, and nature. Wright\'s family spent many evenings listening to William
Lincoln Wright read the works of Emerson, Thoreau, and Blake outloud. Also his
aunts Nell and Jane opened a school of their own pressing the philosophies of
German educator, Froebel. Wright was brought up in a comfortable, but certainly
not warm household. His father, William Carey Wright who worked as a preacher
and a musician, moved from job to job, dragging his family across the United
States. His parents divorced when Wright was still young. His mother Anna
(Lloyd-Jones) Wright, relied heavily on upon her many brothers sisters and
uncles, and was intellectually guided by his aunts and his mother.

Before her son was born, Anna Wright had decided that her son was gong
to be a great architect. Using Froebel\'s geometric blocks to entertain and
educate her son, Mrs. Wright must have struck genius her son possessed. Use of
the imagination was encouraged and Wright was given free run of the playroom
filled with paste, paper, and cardboard. On the door were the words, SANCTUM
SANCTORUM (Latin for: place of inviolable privacy). Mr. Wright was seen as a
dreamy and sensitive child, and cases of him running away while working on the
farmlands with some uncles is noted. This pattern of running away continued
throughout his lifetime.

WRIGHT\'S FIRST BREAK

In 1887, at the age of twenty, Frank Lloyd Wright moved to Chicago.
During the late nineteenth century, Chicago was a booming, crazy place. With an
education of Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Wright found a job as
a draftsman in a Chicago architectural firm. During this short time with the
firm of J. Lyman Silsbee, Wright started on his first project, the “Hillside
Home” for his aunts, Nell and Jane. Impatiently moving forward, Wright got a job
at one of the best known firms in Chicago at the time, Adler and Sullivan.
Sullivan was to become Wright\'s greatest mentor.

LOUIS SULLIVAN: LIEBER MEISTER

Wright Referred to Sullivan as “Lieber Meister” (beloved master). He
admired his talent for ornamation, and his skill of drawing intricate plans and
designs. Wright picked up on his ways of Sullivan and soon became ahead of
Alder in importance within the firm. Wright\'s relationship between he and his
employer caused great amounts of tension between Wright and his fellow draftsmen,
and as well as in-between Sullivan and Adler. Wright was assigned the
residential contracts of the firm. His work soon greatend as he accepted jobs
outside of the firm. When Sullivan found out about this in 1893, he called
Wright on a breach of contract. Rather than to drop the “night jobs”, Wright
walked out of the firm. When Wright left the company, Sullivan\'s quantity of
contract declined quickly. Sullivan soon ran into economic troubles and his
international reputation dwindled by 1920. Sullivan was soon reguarded as
worthless to the architectural world. He resorted to alcoholism and died in
1924 without regaining the glory of what was held in their early years of
Chicago.

LIFE AFTER THE FIRM

Wright quickly built up a practice in residential architecture. At one
point in his career, Wright would produce 135 buildings in ten years. Wright
took a different approach to architecture by designing the furniture, light
fixtures, and other things that were in the structures that he made. He
developed a unique type of architecture that was known as the “Prairie” style.
Dominated by the horizontal line, the style would make-up the type of buildings
designed in the 1900-1913 era of his career. Wright had two other distinctive
styles and a period for each one of them, one being the Textile block (1917-
1924) and the other the Usonian (1936-1959).
In 1909 Wright took off for Europe, once again leaving a stable life,
with six children, a wife and a well established business. He traveled to
Europe to seek greater fame and recognition. Wright did not stay long in