Frank Lloyd Wright

Chicago, United States

Born in Richland Center, Wisconsin in 1867, architect-designer Frank Lloyd Wright’s early years were nomadic. Due to his father’s changing ministry positions, he and his family moved to Rhode Island, Iowa, and Massachusetts before settling in Madison, Wisconsin in 1878. Wright attended the University of Wisconsin for a few terms during the mid 1880s, working for the dean of the engineering department to help support his family. In 1887, he moved to Chicago and briefly worked with different architectural firms before being hired by the legendary firm Adler & Sullivan, where he worked directly beneath Louis Sullivan for six years.

In 1889, he built his first home for his own family on a corner lot in a Chicago suburb. In 1893, he opened his office. Over the next sixteen years, Wright was driven by the wish to create an uniquely American architectural style, inspired by the notion of creating democratic spaces in harmony with the natural world. Simultaneously, he established the standard for what became known as Prairie Style architecture and became America’s most well known architect.

Over the course of a career that spanned seven decades, Wright created over 1,100 designs, approximately half of which were realized. His projects ranged from residential homes to commercial buildings, recreational complexes, museums, religious houses, furniture, lighting, textiles, and glassware. Notable projects include Falling Water, a residential design in southwest Pennsylvania (1938); the Robie House in Chicago (1910); the Taliesin estate in Spring Green, Wisconsin (1911); the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo (1923); and, perhaps most famously, the landmark Guggenheim Museum in New York (1959, posthumously).

Wright died on April 9, 1959, two months before his ninety-second birthday.