Wright's Usonian High-Rises Foiled by the Great Depression

Frank Lloyd Wright's design for a Usonian high-rise on the Bowery featured rotated open floor plans to provide living space variation.

Frank Lloyd Wright is not particularly well-known for his designs of urban dwellings, let alone high-rises.

If it weren't for the Great Depression, however, three FLW-designed glass towers in New York City's East Village would jut above the uniformly low-rise blocks of the neighborhood, anchoring the historic St. Mark's Church on the Bowery today.

In keeping with Wright's Usonian vision, the towers were designed like trees, each with a central "trunk" or structural core supporting open plan concrete floor plates. A curtain wall exterior, a triangular site and the absence of other nearby tall structures allowed plenty of light to enter the buildings. Wright had planned a two-story penthouse for himself atop one of the towers.

His design was implemented in Bartlesville, OK

Full Story: Frank Lloyd Wright's 1930 Plans for Glassy East Village Towers


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