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Hometown Architect: The Complete Buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright in Oak Park And River Forest, Illinois Hardcover – October 16, 2006
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About the Author
PATRICK F. CANNON has had a long career as a publicist, journalist, and editor. He is the author of Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple: A Good Time Place, Prairie Metropolis: Chicago and the Birth of a New American Home, and Hometown Architect: The Complete Buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright in Oak Park and River Forest, Illinois, all published by Pomegranate.
JAMES CAULFIELD has been a commercial and advertising photographer for more than twenty-five years. His studio is a state-of-the-art natural-light production facility in downtown Chicago. His work is also featured in the books Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple: A Good Time Place, Prairie Metropolis: Chicago and the Birth of a New American Home, and Hometown Architect: The Complete Buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright in Oak Park and River Forest, Illinois, all published by Pomegranate.
Kruty is an associate professor of architecture.
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Top customer reviews
Patrick F. Cannon makes a statement in this book about Oak Park Studio employee Isabel Roberts (whose house is on the cover) that is a marvelous guide for further architectural research. He is correct in stating that Isabel was an architect (not simply Wright's bookkeeper or secretary as so many others have mistakenly said). He also rightly states that Isabel moved to Orlando and continued her architectural career in Central Florida during the 1920s. Landmark architecture by Isabel Roberts and her partner Ida Annah Ryan was the result.
For most of the past 100 years architectural critics and Wright biographers have followed Wright's lead unquestioningly, in stating that all of the elements of the prairie style were Wright' sole invention. In recent years, it has become apparent that the studio employees of Frank Lloyd Wright deserve more credit than has been given heretofore in contributions toward bringing into being what has come to be known as the prairie style of architecture. This includes all of the houses featured in this book.
As Barry Byrne described it, the architects in the Oak Park Studio (William Drummond, Francis Barry Byrne, Walter Burley Griffin, Albert McArthur, Marion Mahony, Isabel Roberts and George Willis) engaged in internal design competitions. So that if new clients, say Mr. and Mrs. Thomas, came to call, the program of their needs would be set before all the architects on the staff. Then by a stated time, each one would present his or her idea as to what would be the best solution for the client's needs. Within the Studio, they would discuss and decide--and whichever design seemed most appropriate would be developed and presented to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas. The rest of the designs would be filed away for possible future use. No matter whose design it was, Wright, as the principal of the firm, took all the credit.
It is said that few of these drawings were signed, so the influence of this or that Studio employee is hard to trace. For example, Studio employee and architect Isabel Roberts stated in her AIA application that she designed the house for herself and her mother, and given her architectural training with E. L. Masqueray in New York alongside such other budding architects as William Van Alen (who would go on to design the Chrysler Building in Manhattan), Isabel Robert's statement and her status as an architect should be taken seriously by all who write about Wright.
Thank you Mr. Cannon for pointing them in the right direction.
Walter Burley Griffin was said to have devised the L-shaped plan of the Oak Park Thomas House in order to shield it from its neighbor and to "claim" the park across the street; yet, his contribution to this celebrated Wright residence has escaped most Wright "experts". More information about the inner workings of the Studio can be explored further in Barry Byrne's writings and in Marion Manony Griffin's "The Magic of America" which is unpublished but available to be read on line.