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Frank Lloyd Wright

Heidi Shenk "architecture" "Frank Lloyd Wright"

I have a bit of a thing for Frank Lloyd Wright. Not the man himself (he was quite a crazy man and beyond egotistical, but then again aren't most architects?), but his architecture. I blame my father for this, not that it's a bad thing, because he too loves Frank Lloyd Wright.

In fact, in the 20 years that I lived in my childhood home, my dad rehabbed nearly the entire house from top to bottom with an arts and crafts flavored style-- simple designs and lines, wood built-ins, stained glass light fixtures in the arts and crafts style. And when my parents moved, I was crushed. Not only because it was my childhood home, but because the house was beautiful and I worried that the next person to buy it would change it all. So what did my dad do with their new house? Began the process over again, naturally.

Maybe it's cliche to say that Frank Lloyd Wright is your favorite architect, but I'm ok with that. And just as it happens, Andrew (who is an architect himself) claims Wright as his favorite as well. In fact, in the process of redoing small parts of our row house in Baltimore, we've toyed with adding little Wright-esque features here and there. The most recent being our staircase. The stairs have been completed, but our banister remains unfinished with an architectural debate at hand. We'd love to take it out and install something like this:
But wouldn't that stray from the more traditional style that these Baltimore row houses are supposed to maintain? Maybe it's a deliberation of a nerdy architect sort, but at the same time shouldn't a house be stylistically the same throughout, rather than a bit of this and that throughout? Such a tough decision.

Needless to say, during our time in Indiana this past Thanksgiving weekend, we spent a morning in Oak Park, outside of Chicago, at Frank's home and studio. While we weren't able to take photos inside, I got some shots of his home and studio exterior as well as some of the other homes he designed in the neighborhood.

While I love most of what Wright designed, I must say that my favorite are the Usonian homes with the cantilevered roof lines and balconies, similar to the characteristics seen in Fallingwater.

Do you see a trend here? We tend to include architectural visits in our travels. Maybe one days if I get rich, I can buy a Frank Lloyd Wright home, but somehow I'd guess that I'm more likely to own a home designed by Andrew. At $875,000 a pop, buying a Wright home is no small investment!

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