“Youth is a quality, not a matter of circumstances.” — FLW

the fifties: Guggenheim Museum
After the age of eighty, Frank Lloyd Wright was busier than he had ever been. He undertook projects all over the world and seldom declined a commission. At the same time, he became a media superstar who divided his time between the spotlight and the drawing board. As a result, he could not give his work the attention it required. Many projects of his last decade have been criticized as vulgar and repetitive, inappropriate for the site, superficially developed, and far removed from the principles of organic architecture that characterized his earlier work.

Nevertheless, three of Wright’s buildings from the fifties were designated by the American Institute of Architects to be retained with fourteen others as examples of his architectural contribution to American culture — the Price Company Tower (1952), the Beth Sholom Synagogue (1954), and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1956). Many of the houses constructed during the fifties are notable for their siting, their materials and the geometrical themes of their design. His Usonian houses continued to exemplify affordable housing at its best.

Frank Lloyd Wright died on April 29, 1959, in Phoenix, Arizona. It is said that the project on his drawing board was a simple and affordable prefabricated concrete-block house.

Links to Photographs and Other Materials

Isadore J. Zimmerman House (1950), Manchester, New Hampshire. Color photographs and commentary.

Zimmerman House. “About.com Architecture” site with 10 color photographs, discussion and study resources.

Ina Moriss Harper House (1950), St. Joseph, Michigan. Color photographs of exterior.

Russell W. M. Kraus Residence(1951), Kirkwood, Missouri. B/W photo of exterior and brief discussion.

David Wright House (1950-51), Phoenix, Arizona. Official site of the David Wright House includes a virtual tour of the house.

David Wright House. The story behind the house.

Ronald Reisley Residence (1951), Pleasantville, New York. Color photograph accompanying article in The New York Times: “Green Before It Had A Name”.

Price Company Tower (1952), Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Discussion of building and color photograph of exterior.

Price Company Tower: by Fred Gibson. Three pencil sketches by Fred Gibson, Architect.

Anderton Court Shops (1952), Beverly Hills, California. Color photographs.

George Lewis Residence, “Hemicycle” (1952), Tallahassee, Florida. Blog post to raise awareness of efforts to save house from demolition. Color photographs and discussion.

Fifties 1

Robert Llewellyn Wright House (1953), Bethesda, Maryland. Color photographs of exterior.

Robert Llewellyn Wright House.“Bethesda Magazine.com” article with b/w photograph.

Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Florida. Photographic tour of the “Child of the Sun” campus with history of the design and construction of the buildings.

Florida Southern College. Panoramic 360o view of campus.

Beth Sholom Synagogue (1954), Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. Website of the Beth Sholom Congregation with history and photographs of synagogue.

Beth Sholom Synagogue. Color photographs of exterior and interior.

John E. Christian House, "SAMARA"(1954), West Lafayette, Indiana. Samara house site; color photographs.

I. N. Hagan House "Kentuck Knob" (1954), Chalk Hill, Pennsylvania. Kentuck Knob web site; color photographs, history of the house.

Kentuck Knob. Color photographs.

Harold Price, Sr. House, (1954), Paradise Valley, Arizona. Color photographs of exterior and interior with description of a tour of the house by the photographer.

Usonian Automatic Homes. Usonian houses whose masonry structures could be build from blocks assembled by the client. Commentary and photos of houses built and un-built.

Dorothy H. Turkel House (1955), Detroit, Michigan. Usonian automatic house; color photographs and discussion.

Fifties 2

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church (1956), Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Color photographs of exterior.

Annunication Church. Color photographs of exterior.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1956), New York, New York. Digital Archive of American Architectures site; color photographs.

Guggenheim Museum. B/W photograph of museum under construction; another view.

Guggenheim Museum. Official site of the Guggenheim Museum; includes photo of building, discussion, and audio recordings.

Frank Bott House (1956), Kansas City, Missouri. Color photographs of exterior view from street.

R. W. Lindholm Service Station (1956), Cloquet, Minnesota. Article in The Atantic with color photograph and 2 videos featuring the station.

R. W. Lindholm Service Station. A set of 45 color photographs showing exterior and interior of station.

Mile High "Illinois" (1956) not built. Color perspective rendering.

Mile High. Blog post, “LOST MASTERPIECES: The Ghost of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Mile-High Chicago Tower.”

Fifties 3

Herman T. Fasbender Medical Clinic (1957), Hastings, Minnesota. Color photographs of exterior.

Carl Schultz House (1957), St. Joseph, Michigan. Color photographs of exterior.

Marin County Civic Center (1957), San Raphael, California. Photographs, commentary and study resources.

Marin County Civic Center. Docent-led audio tour with photographs of the Marin Civic Center. Part One, Introduction (2:01); Part Two, in-depth discussion of Wright’s model and master plan for the site and tour of the first floor (11:43).

Marin County Civic Center. Color photographs of exterior and interior.

C. E. Gordon Residence (1957), Aurora, Oregon. Web site of the Gordon House Conservancy, the only Wright-designed building in Oregon.

Wichita State University, Juvenile Cultural Study Center, "Corbin Education Center" (1957), Wichita, Kansas. Color photographs.

Don M. Stromquist House (1958). Discussion, drawings, and photographs.

Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium, Arizona State University (1959), Tempe, Arizona. Arizona State University page with color photograph.

Gammage Memorial Auditorium. Color photographs.

Norman Lykes Residence (1959), Phoenix, Arizona. Pencil sketch by Fred Gibson, Architect.

Sanderson Sims “Solar Hemicycle” House (designed in 1950’s, built 1992-95), Kamuela, Hawaii. Virtual tour and discussion. Color photographs of exterior, interior, and furnishings.

Links on this page last confirmed 2/22/17
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