Talk:Frank Lloyd Wright

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JR Nikko train station[edit]

Hard to believe this structure was designed by Wright, unless while working under Silsbee or Sullivan, before striking out on his own. Both the design style and the date of construction are highly suspect. Not at all a good example of his life's work in any case. It's notable that it doesn't appear in William Allin Storrer's catalog of his works either.

Much, much better examples of his work would be the Robie House, the Coonley House, Wingspread, Fallingwater, or the Guggenheim.

I agree with the first comment, from June 14, 2004. The J.R. Nikko Train Station has never been considered a work by Frank Lloyd Wright. He was still working as a draftsman for Louis Sullivan in Chicago in 1890, and did not have any substantive connections at that time to Japan. For him to have done a work like this in Japan at that time would mean that he would have had connections, and he would have had to go there, at least once. There is no record of this occurring, and it is accepted that he went to Japan for the first time in 1906. I have never heard that Wright did anything in Japan before receiving a commission for Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, c. 1913. I'm not sure where the author[s] of the article got this piece of information.

Influences?[edit]

Does anybody know anything about Franks's influences regarding Mayan architecture and Japanese architecture, prints and motifs. The article did not say anything about this.

This is an important question. I just got back from visiting FLW's home in Oak Park, and part of the tour indicates that he did not make much money with the architecture gig, and actually made most of his income trading and selling Japanese prints. The safe in his home studio was apparently mostly devoted to storing Japanese art prints, not for architectural drawings. And there are clear Japanese influences on his style.

Per a book I just completed, Wright was a very accomplished collector (supposedly one of the top for his day) of Japanese prints and at one point had to liquidate his collection in an effort to pay a bank loan. He was quit influenced by the Japanese

A few things....[edit]

The details of Frank Lloyd Wrights many personal difficulties are WELL known and documented in his own autobiography, in several books including Many of Many Masks by Brendan Gill and the new Book on the Taliesin Fellowship (although that book makes HUNDREDS of unsupportable claims)

Architects fees in Wrights time ranged between 5 and 7 1/2 % with wright this also generally included HIS structural engineer, but not your own and not the survey of the land. In those day projects rarely needed mechanical engineers, title 24 reports and on and on.

Presently Architecs fees range between 10 and 15% for a residence and usually DO NOT include structural engineers, title 24 engineers, mechanical engineers or engineering for "green" systems. This is not a result of declining ability ofr many in the Architectural field, but mostly of the litigation environment, one that Wright never seems to have faced.

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Edit request on March 28, 2014[edit]

Regarding the section Transition and experimentation (1893–1900), Marion Mahony is mentioned as having joined Wright's practice in the Steinway Hall building. That much is correct. The section then goes on to say that she was the the first licensed female architect in the U.S. (there's no citation for that, either). That part is WRONG and must be corrected, not just in this entry but also in the one for Mahony herself -- Mahony wasn't even the first woman to be licensed as an architect in the state of Illinois! This I know because I've personally seen the licensure records down at the Illinois State Archives in Springfield, IL, looking for information about the brother and sister architectural prctice of Charles and Elizabeth Wallace of Joliet, IL. Moreover, Sophia Hayden, who designed the Woman's Building for the 1893 World's Columbian Exhibition in Chicago and graduated architecture at MIT, might easily have been licensed in Massachusetts before coming to Chicago during construction of the Columbian Exhibition. Hayden wouldn't have been licensed in Illinois because the state of Illinois only began requiring professional licensure for architects in 1897, and Hayden's experience working under the indomitable Bertha Honore Palmer so discouraged her that she had a nervous breakdown and never designed anything else the rest of her life.

Here's what I found at the Illinois State Archive in the licensure records: Starting on September 1, 1897, the state began accepting licensure applications from architects who were already practicing as such, and ONLY from those working architects. Their applications were considered by a review committee, whose notes I read and also copied. A degree in architecture was not required at the time, and plenty of architects became such by appreticing to other, more experienced architects, as Wright himself did. It isn't clear exactly what criteria were used to determine who was a working architect and who wasn't, but the applicants had to demonstrate that they were, in fact, working as architects, and the committee had to be persuaded; then, all the applicants who had applied under Form A (that was the form working architects had to use) and were approved were 'grandfathered in' and licensed, pending acceptance of the license fee. That last part is important because the ledger makes clear that in a few cases, approval was withdrawn and licenses weren't granted when the fee wasn't submitted on a timely basis. The ledger notes don't include discussion of individual applications, only general meeting notes and lists of who was approved on which day. That group of approved and licensed architects for 1897 included most of the people you'd expect -- John Van Osdel, Edward Burling, William LeBaron Jenney, William Mundie, William Holabird, Ossian Simonds, Martin Roche, Normand S. Patton, George C. Nimmons, Daniel H. Burnham (though not John Wellborn Root, as he had already died), Burnham's protege William J. Brinkmann, Ernest Graham, Dankmar Adler, Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Henry Worthmann, Gregory Vigeant, Howard Van Doren Shaw, Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge (whose three applications, interestingly, were submitted chronologically on the same day and approved in precisely that order), Irving K. Pond, C.W. Rapp, Frank Shaver Allen (then also of Joliet), and Ms. Mahony's cousin, Dwight H. Perkins, among others. W.W. Boyington's application was first approved, then withdrawn; the fee was never submitted, and he died only a month or two after the application was withdrawn (he may have already been ill and/or retired when the withdrawal occurred).

Three other applications were among that first group: Charles L. Wallace, Elizabeth B. Wallace and (Ms.) Mel Dora Ice of Champaign County, Illinois. Charles L. Wallace had application no. 312, received in mid-November of 1897; Elizabeth had application no. 313, received on the same date (clearly, they sent in their applications together). His was approved Dec. 3, 1897 and hers was approved a week later on Dec. 10th, but the licenses weren't actually granted until the licensing fee was received. Charles and Elizabeth sent in their fees promptly within a few days of approval and received their licenses within two weeks thereafter, before Christmas 1897. In short, they were licensed within a month of applying. Mel Dora Ice, who was approved the same day as Charles even though her application had been submitted much later than either of the Wallaces' applications, took two weeks to send in her licensing fee after she was approved -- so she was licensed second, a few weeks after Elizabeth. And no other woman applied during 1897.

The point here is not only whose license came first, but also the fact that Elizabeth Wallace and Mel Dora Ice were the only women who had applied in 1897 and both were working architects, or at least working as apprentices, to the satisfaction of the licensure committee. Ms. Mahony's application and licensure came later.

After January 1, 1898, all other architects applying for licensure were those who weren't yet in practice; some of them had attended university, some had not -- but ALL architects after that date had to apply under Form B and undergo an examination before their licenses could be approved and (upon receipt of the fee) granted. In January 1898, the third application of the year was that of Marion Lucy Mahony, later Marion Mahony Griffin. Ms. Mahony was examined in February 1898, but she didn't receive approval of her license until a few months later, in the spring. She was, however, the first woman licensed that year and the first woman to pass the examination for licensure (they didn't care that she'd attended MIT; everybody had to take the exam after Jan. 1, 1989). Mahony was, however, only the third woman to become a licensed architect in Illinois. Interestingly, her future husband, Walter Burley Griffin, wasn't licensed until two years after she was. Unlike Ms. Mahony, who apprenticed with someone who became famous, Elizabeth Wallace toiled in her brother's practice, and to this day, we still don't know which designs were hers and which were his because all the commissions were undertaken under the firm's name -- in other words, under Charles's name. At least Mahony got credit for her own work.

However, this now leaves the question as to how to write a citation for the fact that Mahony was merely one of the first woman to be licensed as an architect in the U.S. Can you cite the records of the Illinois Department of Professional Licensure in Springfield? It's not like this information is available online -- it's in a dusty, dirty handwritten ledger book that's falling apart and may never be digitized. I'm changing the reference to Mahony because frankly, Elizabeth Wallace deserves the title of first woman to be licensed in Illinois -- and we have NO idea when the other states began requiring licensure for architects, let alone who the first woman were to be licensed as architects in other states.