Architecture, Design, and Houses: A Brief Frank Lloyd Wright Biography

By HomeAdvisor

Updated March 22, 2019

The Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright is known as one of the most significant modern architects in American history. His influences are still felt through the modern-day structures of American homes, buildings, and skyscrapers.

Who Was Frank Lloyd Wright?

Frank Lloyd Wright was an architect and an educator in the span of his life. Although he had Wisconsin roots, his career took him from Chicago to Arizona.

What Was Frank Lloyd Wright’s Style?

Wright’s style had a strong emphasis on the natural beauty of each building. He cared less about lavish decorations and more about letting the beauty of each structure speak for itself.

How Many Buildings Did Frank Lloyd Wright Design?

With a constant desire to improve architecture and styles, Wright designed more than 1,000 buildings in his lifetime, of which 532 were constructed. Many of his buildings were residences that have since been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Prairie School Architecture

Following his move to Oak Park, Illinois, near Chicago, Wright opened up his own architecture firm, where he cultivated what is now known today as Prairie School architecture.

This specific style was based on his inspiration from the American Midwest and the way the landscape was crafted with perfect charm.

Taliesin Fellowship

In 1909, Wright left behind his wife and family, fleeing to Europe with Martha Borthwick Cheney, a wife of one of his clients. After a few years, both Wright and Cheney returned to the U.S. and lived in a house he built and named Taliesin.

But in 1914, one of Wright’s servants attacked Borthwick and her two children with a hatchet and set the house on fire. He immediately rebuilt the house, but it would burn down again 11 years later.

Wright rebuilt the house again, and he went on to develop his own school of architecture, naming it the Taliesin Fellowship.

  • About the School of Architecture at Taliesin: The history of the Taliesin Fellowship has been preserved through the School of Architecture at Taliesin. This page talks about how Wright built the Taliesin Fellowship and why it was preserved for students to this day.
  • The Fellows: Continuing the legacy of the Wright’s Taliesin Fellowship, alumni of the school grouped together to form the Taliesin Fellows. On this page, there is a description of their history and motivation behind keeping the legacy alive.
  • The Legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West Lives On: Not only did Wright start the Taliesin Fellowship, but he also created his own haven for the winter, called Taliesin West. This page describes the history of Taliesin West and why its importance has turned it into an Arizona landmark.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West: Learn about Taliesin West as a historical site and find out how to visit on this page.

Fallingwater Residence

In his later years, one of Wright’s students was Edgar Kaufmann Jr. During Kaufmann’s stay as a student at Taliesin Fellowship, his parents came to visit and fell in love with Wright’s style and design. Shortly after, they commissioned him to build a house on their property that perched over a waterfall. The house he built would become known as Fallingwater.

Early Life

Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin to William Carey Wright and Anna Lloyd Jones on June 8, 1867.

Wright’s father was a preacher and a musician, leading the family to move around from time to time due to his ministry work.

As he went through childhood, Wright spent many summers with his mother’s family in Wisconsin, and the landscapes there inspired his taste for nature.

Following his parents’ divorce, Wright went on to study engineering at the University of Wisconsin, but he later decided to pursue his true calling in architecture.

Wright’s Death and Legacy

Wright died at age 91 on April 9, 1951, leaving behind a legacy that is still felt today. Due to his contributions to the classic American architectural style, architects revere him as one of the greatest of their profession. In addition, many of his buildings have been declared national landmarks and become tourist destinations.

Frank Lloyd Wright on the Internet

Do you admire Frank Lloyd Wright’s work? Have you always fantasized about building your own home? Take a small step toward that goal. Talk to an architect in your area to see if the home of your dreams can become as real as Fallingwater.

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