Frank Lloyd Wright…
“THE WORLD’S GREATEST ARCHITECT.” FLW
Frank Lloyd Wright
A supremely arrogant, egotistical but gifted artist, with no regard for anything but his massive creations. It was Wright who labeled himself “the world’s greatest architect.”
I followed the great artist around Barnsdall Park in Hollywood as he checked the display of his models, renderings, and plans before the opening of an exhibit of his genius, stopping conscientiously to correct the rendering of a structure completed 40 years earlier.
Wright wandered through the exhibits pausing in front of a model of Broadacre Estates, a sprawling development mounted on a large plywood platform extending about two feet over the edge of a planter. Some thoughtful worker had placed a 2×4 under the suspended corner for support. Wright stared at the platform for a long time then started kicking the hell out of the piece of wood. The foreman hurried over, telling the master architect the model would fall over without it. Wright continued kicking until the 2×4 was dislodged. He then looked up at the foreman with disdain. “Nonsense,” he said. “It will cantilever over the edge with the mass supporting it in the back. I designed it that way.”
He was once commissioned by a couple to build a home for them of native rock, perched high in the Santa Monica mountains as if it was born there. He advised the couple to take a long trip while it was being constructed. After a year in Europe the couple returned to survey the fantastic structure with Wright only to discover to their dismay there was no plumbing in the house. His response, “You didn’t ask for any.”
While he tried to ignore me and my camera, I asked Wright why he designed the unconventional Broadacre housing project, which included an acre of land for each residence giving the homeowner freedom from neighbors. He said he took it on because of all the atrocities being designed by today’s builders. He replied with a vicious smile, “Those contractors should be forced to live in the houses they build.”