Frank Lloyd Wright, Resurrected

Joe Massaro simply wants to build an unrealized design for a spectacular Frank Lloyd Wright house. Along the way, he is learning that the merits of posthumous architect are controversial.
August 31, 2006, 9am PDT | Deborah Myerson
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In 1950, Frank Lloyd Wright designed a home for an 11-acre island in the middle of Lake Mahopac, about an hour north of New York City. A triangular home with a cantilevered balcony that incorporated the lake shore’s natural rock formations, Wright reportedly said that this design would surpass that of Fallingwater, the famous Wright-designed house in Pennsylvania perched over a waterfall that draws thousands of admirers each year. Yet Fallingwater was built while the architect was alive--and this design was shelved.

Now, more than half a century later, the new owner of the island is building the remarkable home based on Wright’s drawings. While seeking to remain as faithful as possible to the original sketches, Wright never filled in some detailsâ€"-requiring assistance from a living architect to complete the project. In addition, the 20th century design must be configured to meet 21st century building codes. As one of hundreds of Wright’s designs that remain-â€"but were never built during the architect’s lifetimeâ€"-some question the authenticity of posthumously built works.

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Published on Monday, August 28, 2006 in The Guardian
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