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Today is the 144th birthday of arguably the most prominent architect the United States has ever produced: Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright’s influence has been so profound that his striking houses have become part of our collective memory. In fact, the horizontal lines and low roofs are so familiar to us that it is hard to remember just how groundbreaking they were when they were originally designed.

Think about this: When the Robie House was designed,

robie house

Robie House

the neighbors gawked from the sidewalks dressed like this, hats, bustles, corsets and all:

1910s fashion

1910's hottest fashions

When Wright designed his masterpiece, Falling Water, with its remarkable integration into its natural surroundings and shocking walls of glass,

falling water

Falling Water

a visitor might’ve pulled up in a Jaguar that had yet to progress past this:

1939 jaguar roadster

1939 Jaguar Roadster

It is rare that one man has so much influence over the world of architecture that it actually makes us forget what things were like before. Wright’s designs are as striking and relevant today as they were blasphemous and new in the early 1900s. Oh how I love those mold-breakers.

So Mr. Wright, I wish you the happiest of birthdays and thank you for the way that you changed how we envisioned what a home could be. And in the ever-wise words of those old Bards Simon & Garfunkel in their ode to FLW, I leave you all with these lyrics:

Architects may come and
Architects may go and
Never change your point of view.
When I run dry
I stop awhile and think of you

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9 Responses

  1. Anna@HGTV says:

    I love the Frank Lloyd Wright living room at the Met. I've also seen some of his houses in Pasadena and Chicago. And now we can all enjoy virtual tours of Frank Lloyd Wright houses currently for sale and listed on HGTV's Front Door. Right now there are five:
    William E. Martin House: http://www.frontdoor.com/listing/924-3yd-mredil-0

    Ennis House: http://www.frontdoor.com/listing/924-3yd-clawca-0

    Gridley Residence: http://www.frontdoor.com/listing/151937-07104682/

    Fawcett House: http://www.frontdoor.com/listing/6449-2541702/212

    Avery Coonley House: http://www.frontdoor.com/listing/607-112343376/28

  2. [...] via: Happy 144th, Frank Lloyd Wright Category: Design Tags: 144th, Frank, Happy, Lloyd, [...]

  3. [...] 5. If you don’t yet appreciate the genius that was Frank Lloyd Wright, architect of Falling Water in Fayette County, and other way-ahead-of-their-time edifices, check out this post where on what would be his 144th birthday, HGTV takes a look at what the times were like when Wright was designing two of his most well-known w… [...]

  4. Michiel Van Kets says:

    Angelina Jolie loves this architect so much that Brad Pitt a few years back rented this hous; Falling Water to have her birthday

  5. Leanne says:

    Great post.

  6. cat says:

    Awesome posting Lili :) )
    Cat

  7. Tyler says:

    The engineering on falling water was ahead of its time. Anchored to the rock on one side and cantilevered out over the falls. Beautiful! His work has always inspired me in my designs.
    <a href="http://www.modernlivinghomeplans.com” target=”_blank”>www.modernlivinghomeplans.com

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Lili ZarghamiLili is Editorial Director of HGTV.com. Her personal obsessions include looking for just the right sofa, ogling real estate listings, and reading floor-plans. She has an admitted "chair problem," collecting...

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