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Image of doghouse designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

The Smallest Structure Ever Designed by The Iconic Architect

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation | Aug 26, 2021

In 1956, Frank Lloyd Wright was presented with the unique opportunity to design a dog house.

Being in the doghouse takes on a new meaning when it was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1956, Jim Berger, the twelve-year-old son of Robert and Gloria Berger, whose father previously commissioned a Usonian home, wrote to the architect, asking if he could provide plans for a small home for his Labrador retriever, Eddie.

Jim wrote:

June 19, 1956

Dear Mr. Wright,

I am a boy of twelve years. My name is Jim Berger. You designed a house for my father whose name is Bob Berger. I have a paper route which I make a little bit of money for the bank, and for expenses.

I would appreciate it if you would design me a doghouse, which would be easy to build, but would go with our house. My dog’s name is Edward, but we call him Eddie. He is four years old or in dog life 28 years. He is a Labrador retriever. He is two and a half feet high and three feet long. The reasons I would like this doghouse is for the winters mainly. My dad said if you design the doghouse he will help me build it. But if you design the doghouse I will pay you for the plans and materials out of the money I get from my route.

Respectfully yours,

Jim Berger

Wright responded that the idea was an “opportunity” and eventually sent plans for the doghouse. It was designed to match the Berger house, including notes that specified that the structure be built on a concrete slab and the walls be constructed from Redwood boards. This is the smallest structure designed by the architect.

Though this was the only doghouse Wright designed, Taliesin and Taliesin West were home to several dogs over the years including Jeff, Casanova, Bamboo, and Cheetah.

News and updates from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation