Jackson Creek Middle School
American Heros: Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright's Life
Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin on June 8, 1867. His dad, William Cary, was a preacher and musician. His mom, Anna Lloyd Jones, was from a large Welsh family who settled in the area.
In Frank's childhood, he always dreamed of becoming an architect. He wanted this dream so badly that he ran away from home to Chicago in 1887 at the age of 18. He got his first job as a draftsman for Joseph Lyman Silsbee at eight dollars a week. Here, Frank became good friends with Cecil Corwin, also a preacher's son, who he lived with until he made enough money to buy a house in Oak Park with his mom and sister.
After working a few months for Silsbee, Frank was accepted as a draftsman for Louis Sullivan, one of Chicago's finest architects at the time. Frank learned the saying "Form Follows Function" from Sullivan, which he later revised to "Form and Function Are One." In 1889, Frank married Catherine Tobin, and he built a home in Oak Park. He and Catherine had six kids.
In 1893, Frank separated from the Adler and Sullivan Company and began his own company. He added a studio to his Oak Park home where he did most of his work. Some buildings he designed while working from home were the Wilson House, Hull House, Robie House, and the well-known Unity Temple in Oak Park.
In 1913, Frank worked on different designs for the new Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. After Frank got the job of designing the hotel, he spent six years in Japan designing and then finally building the hotel. It was difficult because Tokyo was known for its great earthquakes. In 1923, the Kanto earthquake hit Tokyo and demolished most of the city, but the Imperial Hotel was left standing. Over the next few years, Frank designed many houses including Fallingwater in Pennsylvania. This house is well known because it sits on top of a waterfall.
Frank Lloyd Wright died on April 9, 1959. All together Frank designed 1,141 works that included houses, offices, churches, schools, libraries, bridges, museums, and other buildings. Out of the 1,141 works, 532 were built and 409 of those still stand today. But Frank did not only design houses, he also designed furniture to put in his houses like this clock:
Most authorities consider Frank to be the 20th centuries greatest architect. Through his writings and, of course, his works, Franks ideas have been spread throughout the world.
By: Peter R.
Last Updated: 12/14/01