Part 4 of 4 in the Wright Career Timeline!
Well past an age when most would be retiring, Frank Lloyd Wright continued to create architectural masterpieces. While the turmoil in his personal life seemed to be over, his career certainly was not. Following the world-wide recognition of Fallingwater, in current lingo he was now a “starchitect”. However, he did not turn away more modest projects. He continued to work until his death in April 1959, creating a variety and scope of projects that is unparalleled, from a small service station to the spectacular Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Continuing what he began with Unity Temple, he designed innovative buildings for a number of religious faiths in these last decades, including Beth Sholom Synagogue, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church and Pilgrim Congregational Church.
Reviewing events in world history during the 1940s and 1950s helps to bring context to the timeline of Wright’s career. The U.S. had 37 states when he was born, the 49th and 50th states were admitted to the Union the year he died.
From the bombing of Pearl Harbor bringing the U.S. into World War II to the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan to end the war, the rise of communism and creation of the “Iron Curtain” and then the Korean War, global conflict continued. Technology rapidly advanced with the invention of the first computers and later microchips, discovery of DNA and the start of the “space race’ with the Russian launch of Sputnik I.
From his Victorianesque “bootlegs” to the spiraling Guggenheim, Wright’s creativity advanced as the world went from the days of horse and buggies to the beginning of the space age.
By Ken Simpson