For years now, in places I did not expect him, Frank pops into my life. At the MOA rally in Madison, Wisconsin I first read about Taliesin and knew nothing about the place, I just knew the general information that Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect. Carol and I rode out to see Taliesin, near his birthplace, to see what he was all about and learned that he was the father of modern architecture. I remember I was leery to spend the steep admission price to just view a building. Since then I ran into Frank near Pittsburg to see his famous house “Falling Water”; the building that brought him world fame and made him a much sought after genius. Yes, I spent another steep admission price to see Falling Water.
And again, here in Phoenix I run into Frank Lloyd Wright. Driving around the city, studying the map, Carol sees a Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard and a Taliesin West site near Scottsdale and somehow we just had to see this place, too. I also saw that some good books were written about Frank L. Wright when I visited Borders the other day. Frank is mentioned in Eric Larson’s book “The Devil in the White City”. It seems that Frank has something to say to me but I am not picking up on it yet. I thought that maybe by writing this, something might bubble to the surface.
Frank was a short man, maybe 5.7 he always made sure he wore platform shoes to look larger than life. He wore a cape to make himself appear bigger. He wore a hat to give him height. He spent money fast and was in debt most of his life. He married 3 women and I do not know anything more about his private affairs but I know that when I walk into his buildings I get this feeling that I am home. Not that I like modern architecture, I do not in fact. Or let me say I prefer a house or home that is functional and warm and made so that if fits me. Like a shoe, it must fit without causing pressure spots. I do not really care what the outside looks like, it must feel right. F L W‘s homes feel cozy! They feel logical and have something that makes me realize that he knew something special. While his personality made people shake their head, his performance as an architect was unique.
I am told that Taliesin means shining brow. Frank Lloyd did not believe in putting a house on the top of a hill. Compared to a human face, his house was situated not on the persons head but was placed so that it appeared as an eyebrow on a face. Taliesin is a Welsh word meaning a shining eyebrow. He was adamant about using the natural environment around his houses and tried to compliment or blend in with Nature.
I am still wondering why I am so attracted to his style, his way of thinking. Maybe it will come to me. I visited Taliesin West, his winter hangout in Arizona, and I am posting some pictures here. He was an early snowbird, bought 800 acres of desert in Scottsdale, when it was cheap. He had vision, lived his own way, lived in a style he believed in and was an ego maniac. So why am I running into him all the time?