Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Architecture #34, America #44

Frank Lloyd Wright was, very probably, the last of the true Americans. This is not intended to suggest that he was of Red Indian origin (which he wasn’t) or that his ancestors came over on the Mayflower (which they didn’t). It is intended to mean that Wright was the last great representative of all the things this country once stood for in the world when “America” was still a radical concept, rather than a settled continent: a symbol of absolute, untrammeled freedom for every individual, of as little government as possible, the end of classes and castes, of unlimited and equal physical opportunities for the adventurous, of the absence of all prejudice—excepting prejudices in favor of anything new and bold; of the absence of form and of formality, and finally, a symbol of a society of many individuals living as individuals in individual settlements—not a society of masses living in giant cities.

Peter Blake, The Master Builders: Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright (1970)