Maybe because I’m blessed to live in what might be the only county with a civic center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, his architecture has always fascinated me. Our civic center is probably the only public building I really enjoy visiting, but I live on the West Coast and most of Wright’s buildings are back East, so visiting them has never been convenient… until last week, when the Frank Lloyd Wright Museum of SL opened in Second Life. Finally anyone anywhere can wander through some of his finest buildings.
Born in 1867, two years after the U.S. Civil War ended, Wright lived until 1959 and left a legacy of unconventionial architectural designs that stressed blending into the environment and in 1991 was declared "the greatest American architect of all time" by the American Institute of Architects.
The first picture shows what is arguably his best known design, the house called Fallingwater (aka Edgar J. Kaufmann Sr. Residence), which was built over a waterfall but which because of leaks, humidity, and mold, Kaufman was known to refer to as "Rising Mildew."
Seth Peterson Cottage
In 1958, Seth Peterson asked ninety year old Wright to design a cottage on a bluff overlooking Mirror Lake in Wisconsin. Peterson died before the cottage was completed and Wright died in 1959. Today the cottage is part of Mirror Lake State Park and is one of only a handful of Wright-designed buildings that can be rented. It’s available for overnight stays for up to four people; you can get information at www.sethpeterson.org.
This picture shows the main room of the cottage, looking out over the lake. The kitchen area is behind the fireplace.
The Robie House
The Robie House, designed in 1908-09 and located in Chicago‘s Hyde Park, was one of Wright’s earlier designs, but came close to demolition four decades after construction. The Chicago Theological Seminary had bought the house in 1926 for use as a dormitory and dining hall but in 1957 announced that they planned to demolish it, prompting Wright to quip, ""It all goes to show the danger of entrusting anything spiritual to the clergy." An outcry ensued and the house was saved. The University of Chicago used it until 2002, when it was donated to the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust.
There’s a lot more to see. Several more of buildings that Wright designed are reconstructed at the museum, and there are photographs and other information about him. There is also a shopping area, where you can buy textures and fixtures.
You can learn more by joining Second Life’s The Frank Lloyd Wright Museum of SL Group, and you can teleport there at slurl.com/secondlife/DiLemma%20City/51/201/22.