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Experience Frank Lloyd Wright’s work across NYC and beyond.

This year marks the 150th birthday of Frank Lloyd Wright, arguably the greatest architect America has ever produced. Around the country, Wright sites are celebrating his iconic creations and trailblazing legacy. Of his more than 400 buildings scattered across the US, Wright is perhaps best known for his Prairie-style houses. The flat-roofed technique is both...
Time: 20:28     Date: 13.09.2017
US Living News: Experience Frank Lloyd Wright’s work across NYC and beyond. NY Post 24 - US News

Around the country, Wright sites are celebrating his iconic creations and trailblazing legacy.

Of his more than 400 buildings scattered across the US, Wright is perhaps best known for his Prairie-style houses. The flat-roofed technique is both rooted in the Midwest and best represented there (the Chicago area boasts more than 50 Wright buildings), but we have plenty to explore right here in New York City.

This week, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy’s annual conference is taking place at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and while the conference itself is sold out, the gathering’s symposia are open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. On Thursday and Friday, architects, critics, and historians will gather at MoMA to debate Wright’s work and influence.

Visit SaveWright.org for details and to RSVP for the free (and wonky!) events.

Even if symposia aren’t your thing, consider wandering through MoMA’s fascinating exhibition, “Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive,” which delves into Wright’s drawings for projects both built and never realized and is open through Oct. 1.

Midwesterner Frank Lloyd WrightFrank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Wright had a strong Utopian streak — he conceived of a suburban dream community called “Broadacre City” — which is explored there and in the exhibition “Living in America: Frank Lloyd Wright, Harlem, and Modern Housing” at Columbia’s Wallach Gallery, which is located on their new Mahattanville campus in Harlem. The exhibition runs through Dec. 17.

Of course, the best way to experience Wright is to visit his work itself. Luckily, New York is home not only to Staten Island’s residential Crimson Beech (profiled on pages 37, 38 and above) but to Wright’s mature masterpiece, the Guggenheim Museum.

It was completed in 1959, six months after the architect’s death. Though controversial when it opened, the museum has come to be seen as one of Wright’s most important projects; millions visit each year, many of them to merely admire the unique corkscrew design.

(To enjoy it as Wright intended, take the elevator to the top and work your way down the spiral.) To honor his birthday, the museum shop has expanded the amount of Wright material for sale.

KTKTKKTAlamy Stock Photo

From the Guggenheim, stroll down Fifth Avenue to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the living room of his Francis Little House from Wayzata, Minn., has been meticulously rebuilt in the museum’s American wing. From wood paneling to leaded windows, nearly all the decorative elements and furnishings inside the room are Wright’s handiwork, giving visitors the chance to see his holistic approach to domestic design. (To learn about the room in context, take the museum’s free guided tour of American art, offered on Saturdays and Sundays.)

Alas, Wright’s other major work in Manhattan — the Hoffman Auto Showroom on Park Avenue, which featured a spiral ramp that may have inspired the Guggenheim — was demolished in 2013. Other big Wright projects for NYC were never realized, including a plan to totally transform 1950s Ellis Island into a futuristic city, and a series of residential skyscrapers surrounding St. Mark’s Church in the East Village. That skyscraper plan eventually transformed into the design for the Price Tower in Bartelsville, Okla., a model of which is included in the MoMA exhibition.

The Museum of Modern Art

The most heralded element to emerge from Wright’s Broadacre City scheme was his Usonian house plan — a modular, single-story home featuring an open plan, heated floors and a carport (another Wright invention, it’s like a garage but without four walls and attached to the house). Staten Island’s Crimson Beech is a fine example, though you’ll have to travel to Pennsylvania’s Kentuck Knob or the Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas to tour a preserved Usonian home inside and out.

There are other Usonians in the tristate area, but they’re all in private hands. In fact, a group of Wright disciples built an entire Usonian community in Mount Pleasant, NY, near Tarrytown in Westchester [https://www.mtpleasantny.com/]. This unincorporated district of 50 homes features a general road plan by Wright — centered on Usonia Road — along with three houses by the master. Other NYC-area Wright homes include the Ben Rebhuhn house on Myrtle Avenue in Great Neck, NY. Built in 1937, it is one of the earliest Usonians in the northeast. Or check out the James B. Christie house off Jockey Hollow Road in Bernardsville, NJ, a large 1940 Usonian that recently sold for $1.87 million.

In fact, for true fans with no restrictions on geography, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy keeps a handy list of all properties designed by the man himself that are currently on the sales market. They are currently seven nationwide, including the 1915-built Booth House in Glencoe, Ill., which is asking $1.7 million.

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