Wednesday, May 17, 2006

So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright

There are about 400 Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in America. Should the one being built now on an island in Lake Mahopac, in New York’s Putnam County, be considered one of them? The Journal News reported:

Wright … drew plans for the four-bedroom home in 1951 when he was living at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The then-owner of the 10.37-acre island, J.K. Chahroudi only built a Wright-designed cottage, leaving plans for the main house stashed in a cupboard.

[Joseph] Massaro purchased the private island in 1995 for $750,000 and spent five years securing town approvals for the structure. He had to agree to forgo fire protection and school transportation from the island. The house is equipped with at least seven security cameras, and Massaro will have to haul the trash back to the mainland.

Chicago-area architect Thomas Heinz helped Massaro update the drawings to include energy efficient windows and plenty of electrical outlets for contemporary electronics including television and Internet service. The room sizes have been kept small just as Wright had envisioned.

But apparently if Wright didn’t build it, it’s not a Wright building:

The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservatory in Chicago, which was founded to preserve the architect's structures, said there are about 400 Wright buildings nationwide, the majority of them homes. This project will be recognized as inspired by Wright, not as an original.

Here’s the Journal News story, which doesn’t include a picture. It does however have information about a $100 tour of the house. (The link appears to be dead; I've downloaded a copy of the article, which I'd be happy to send as an attachment to anyone who's interested; send me an e-mail and let me know.)


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