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FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT DEFINES SHADOW AND LIGHT IN ARIZONA

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

Look to Frank Lloyd Wright when the world grows too tight.

Mr. Wright didn’t plan for jet contrails to cross over his compound in Arizona, did he?

If heaven makes plans, and he gets a say, it couldn’t have worked out better during an inspection tour of Taliesin West. 

Why else would the white lines in the sky match the angles of his roof lines, which were built to match the angle of the mountain in the background? Fifteen degrees never looked so magical.

Call it an inspection tour or pilgrimage, depending on what moves you.

On scales both grand and tiny, Mr. Wright is man tuned to the needs of his fellow man. If that doesn’t move you, you might be stuck where you don’t want to be.

Find help through Frank Lloyd Wright.

Are Millennials aware of the Wright way? They should be. He embraced their demographic, their age, when their grandparents were young.

Frank Lloyd Wright in the intellectual desert

As an aging architectural master he gathered the best and brightest students dedicated to his vision.

How dedicated? Enough to pull up roots and travel the pre-Interstate roads from Wisconsin to Scottsdale, Arizona. During the Depression-era ’30’s.

Keep in mind these students weren’t looking to build their mom’s new house, but men and women with young families, dogs, and a shared goal: create a better world.

They didn’t roll into a nice parking lot beside an academic ivory tower as you might suspect for architect students.

Instead, they showed up without the necessities and started building, but not what you think.

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

They needed places to stay and a road to get there. So they built it themselves.

How many felt they were made for better things than shovel work and moving rock? Six miles of road building and creating shelters where none existed explored those feelings.

Walking a tour on a 110 degree day had me exploring those feelings. They didn’t abandon their dreams in 1937. Neither did anyone on tour in 2017.

Reflections of Frank Lloyd Wright

How hard is it to make a box? Four sides, a top and a bottom, done deal.

Now expand it to a livable scale for a one family, or hundreds.

You’ve seen apartment building boxes? Maybe you call it home?

Walk through the front door of the box and climb the stairs to your apartment box. It’s the same box you find on either side.

Living inside another brick in the wall turns you into something similar?

Who’d be surprised to discover Pink Floyd as Frank Lloyd Wright fans?

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

Any trip to a population center shows the need for affordable housing.

Portland, Oregon knows the crunch. People living outdoors know it best.

A box would be an upgrade, but it’s still tough.

Post WWII Frank Lloyd Wright

What would Europe look like today if Mr. Wright had been part of the Marshall Plan?

Or if Stalin hired Mr. Wright to influence Soviet style architecture?

In a world crushed by bombs and artillery his work would have shined a light on a brighter future.

Imagine a Wrightstown instead of Levittown.

Put a man skilled in the use and re-use of surplus materials on a large scale project to produce sanctuaries.

If that had happened no one would get lost in their own neighborhood.

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

Look at period movies, or visit museums with recreated living spaces from pre-revolution France.

What is all that stuff crowding the floor and hanging from walls.

A person born in 1867 like Mr. Wright had an eyeful of decorative googaws representing class and comfort.

Talk to someone living in that sort of space. If they clean up after themselves it’s a never ending task.

In contrast the Wright way looks like an easy sweep and vacuum.

Mr. Wright talks to Millennials

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

The small houses designed by Mr. Wright don’t include tons of storage.

Not a good fit for hoarding.

If he were to address the largest generation in American history he might say this:

“The point of life isn’t collecting forgettable objects and living in lock step.

“Nature is a guide to follow, and sharing is the trail to walk.

“You have a chance to change your world the way I did mine. If you find your vision, stay true to it.

“Build a life you believe in. Make a sustainable life and leave room for others.

“The collaborative effort today is the foundation of tomorrow. More people need more space? Or better ways of living?

“Challenging the status quo means changing attitudes. Your time is arriving quickly and your change will leave the world better off when you get it right.

“The experiences you cherish define who you are. And who you will be. If you embrace my ideas early, your choices will be better informed.”

Innovation, education, preservation and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Preservation is at the heart of everything the Foundation does. We are committed to thoughtful and thorough preservation and stewardship of Taliesin (Wisconsin), Taliesin West (Arizona), and the Taliesin Collections (both Taliesins) – which includes significant collections of art, artifacts, furnishings, prototypes, personal effects and ephemera, and more. Preservation is our highest and deepest obligation.

The inherent value of preserving these unparalleled Wright works and collections for generations to come is a public trust that we take very seriously. In addition, the inspiration of the two Taliesins is central to all of our educational and public programs.

With your support, the Foundation is able to preserve and care for Taliesin, Taliesin West, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy to help inspire and engage future generations.

Mr. Wright speaks to all the way our guide Molly did on tour.

With any luck you’ll find your way to Taliesin West.

Are you feeling lucky?

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

About David Gillaspie

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