We are sometimes asked whether plans or permissions are available for the construction of Frank Lloyd Wright’s unbuilt works or the reconstruction of projects that have been lost to the years. While contemporary architectural designs by others inspired by the work Wright created during his lifetime continue to broaden his legacy, newly constructed or reconstructed projects that are based on designs, sketches, working drawings, and/or photographs of Wright’s work cannot faithfully represent the intentions of Wright himself.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation maintains that the contemporary construction or reconstruction of any architectural projects based on photographs or completed working drawings of Frank Lloyd Wright, or works based on the conceptual designs of Wright’s work (collectively to be known as ”Unbuilt Projects”), will necessarily require varying degrees of interpretation as to how Wright would himself have constructed the project, or used materials now available for such works, in today’s building environment. Historically, the process of construction of his many built works was typically facilitated by his own on-site representatives so as to ensure conformity to working drawings and their intentions. This is, of course, not possible today.
Other considerations, as set forth by the Society of Architectural Historians in their Position Statement on the Reconstruction of Lost Buildings and the Construction of Unbuilt Designs, may also bear on the question of construction or reconstruction of such works. These include:
- Creating a false sense of history through such construction;
- Redirecting resources for historic preservation from existing works in need of support; and,
- Supporting the creation of new works by contemporary architects and designers
We encourage those interested in funding Wright’s projects to direct their resources to organizations like the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation that are preserving Wright’s existing works for future generations. You can make a donation to support these efforts here.