“The architect must be a prophet … a prophet in the true sense of the term …
if he can’t see at least ten years ahead, don’t call him an architect.” — FLW
As the decade of the forties began, Frank Lloyd Wright’s practice began to grow. In 1940-41, the Museum of Modern Art held a retrospective exhibit where he received several awards and honors. During World War II, he was an outspoken pacifist and encouraged conscientious objector status for some of his apprentices, prompting the FBI to investigate whether he was obstructing the war effort. The war brought most construction to a standstill, and only a handful of Wright’s designs were built between 1941 and 1945. Nevertheless, the Second World War interrupted Wright’s career less than the First, and various projects initiated during the war years came to fruition soon after the war was over.
Though well into his seventies by now, Wright’s work during the forties gives evidence of the continuing vitality of his powers of invention. In addition to rectangles, triangles, hexagons and octagons as the basis for residential floor plans, the circle and the helix appeared in his constructed work. The Jacobs House, designed in 1943, was the first of a series of houses that he built with curved plans. This “solar hemicycle” has a two-story living area that bends around a circular sunken garden court with the bedrooms opening off a balcony above. The other side of the the house is half buried in the hilltop, over which rises the walls. Circles and spirals were also used to spectacular effect in the S. C. Johnson Research Tower (1944), the Morris Gift Shop (1948), and the Guggenheim Museum which he was commissioned to design in 1943.
Links to Photographs and Other Materials
Florida Southern College (1938 – 1954), Lakeland, Florida. Information about walking tours of the campus, discussion of the buildings, and a few color photographs.
Florida Southern College. Color photographs and detailed discussion of the history of “The Child of the Sun” campus and of individual buildings.
Florida Southern College. Color photographs and detailed discussion of the buildings.
Gregor S. and Elizabeth B. Affleck House (1941), Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Color photographs and discussion.
Affleck House. Interior and exterior photographs with discussion.
Affleck House. The house was donated to Lawrence Technological University in 1978 by the Affleck children for use as a teaching resource for the University’s College of Architecture and Design faculty and students; site includes a history of the house.
Carlton D. Wall House (1941), Plymouth, Michigan. Color photographs and discussion.
Herbert Jacobs House II (1943), Middleton, Wisconsin. Solar hemicycle house; discussion and color photographs of interior and exterior.
Jacobs House II. Discussion and color photographs.
S. C. Johnson and Son Research Tower (1944), Racine, Wisconsin. Site of S.C. Johnson and Son, discussion and photographs of exterior.
Johnson Research Tower. Article on ArchDaily.com web site includes construction photographs.
Lowell Walter House, "Cedar Rock" (1945), Quasqueton, Iowa. Official Cedar Rock web site; photographs and discussion of the design and style of the house.
Lowell Walter House. Blog with color photographs of exterior and interior.
Melvyn Maxwell Smith House (1946), Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Usonian house, color photographs.
Smith House. Photographs and discussion.
Unitarian Meeting House (1947), Shorewood Hills, Wisconsin. Web site of the First Unitarian Society of Madison; historical and other information about the Meeting House.
Unitarian Meeting House. Discussion and photographs.
Unitarian Meeting House. Color photographs.
Unitarian Meeting House. Color photographs and study resources.
Amy Alpaugh House (1947), Northport, Michigan. Color photograph.
Usonia (1947), Pleasantville, New York. Blog post and podcast featuring the planned community designed by Wright and which contains three Usonian houses designed by him.
The Acres/Galesburg Country Homes (1948), Galesburg, Michigan. Discussion about the subdivision and photographs of Wright-designed homes and entrance to subdivision.
Curtis Meyer House (1948), Galesburg, Michigan. Color photograph.
Eric Pratt House (1948), Galesburg, Michigan. Color photograph.
Galesburg Country Homes. Color photographs 4 houses in subdivision.
Morris Gift Shop. Vintage Shots of V.C. Morris Gift Shop; recently unearthed photos show Frank Loyd Wright’s only San Francisco building shortly after opening.
Morris Gift Shop. Blog post, “Frank Lloyd Wright’s West Coast Experiment, Ramping Up to the Guggenheim;” discussion and photographs.
Clinton Walker House (1948), Carmel, California. Color photographs and study resources.
Walker House. Included in a blog featuring three houses in the “Carmel House and Garden Tour, 2012”.
The Point (1948), Pittsburgh Point Park (never built). Wikipedia article with drawings and discussion.
Parkwyn Village (1948), Kalamazoo, Michigan. Color photographs of exteriors.
Robert Levin House (1948), Kalamazoo, Michigan. Color photograph.
Ward McCartney House (1949), Kalamazoo, Michigan. Color photographs.
Eric V. Brown House (1949), Kalamazoo, Michigan. Color photographs and discussion.
Howard Anthony House (1949), Benton Harbor, Michigan. Color photographs of exterior.