Day Four- 1/4 Lap of America
Oak Park
Frank Lloyd Wright Home

The Studio Building is connected to the Residence, each has a separate entry so clients would not intrude upon the privacy of his family.
Shingles now cover the lower half of the windows of the hexagonal dining room. Mr. Wright, eating with his six children and first wife, Catherine, didn't like to see the neighbors while he ate.
Neither do I.

The magnificent wooden ceiling light screen quietly dominates the room, shedding a soft glow.

At the top of the mantle is inscribed:
"Truth is Life."
And then:
"Good Friend, Around These Hearth Stones Speak No Evil Word Of Any Creature"

Through the house, upstairs and down the hall...

to the playroom he built for his children...

Now here is madness. When you are done considering the huge sunlit playfulness of this arched mega-playroom, and gaping at the massive curved light screen on the ceiling, and mural on the far wall, please look back near the door where you entered...
You see the balcony, for the "audience" of parents to watch the shows put on by the children in the theatre below... and the piano stashed below the balcony.
That is NOT a wall piano, it is a grand piano. Where, you may ask, is it's massive rear end and third leg?
The answer is simple.
The rest of the piano, in fact most of the piano sticks out through the wall into a staircase down to the kitchen. You have to bow your head when going down the stairs not to hit the piano, which is over the stairs.

As if this wasn't all enough, and there is so much more to tell than what you have seen here, just too much to go into, there was another stunning surprise waiting for me downstairs in the research center.
The story goes like this...
I happened to be taking the tour along with a group of architects from Switzerland who don't speak much English. I ended up translating for them in French just to get the tour to move along. This helped me make friends with my guide, and I chatted him up after the tour. Somewhere along the line he mentioned that Mr. Wright had had gas pumps installed in his garage- long before he even had a car. One of the gas pumps still stands in the garage, which is now the Ginko Tree Bookshop.
Frank Lloyd Wright was a car nut.
Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the first car nuts there ever was.
The guide sent me down to the Research Center below the Home and Studio, where I made bad photocopies of bad photocopies of bits and pieces and clippings and hearsay articles on the adventures of Frank Lloyd Wright and Cars.
I went nuts.
OK, I was already nuts, but now I was a nut with a mission.
Let me show you only ONE of the incredibly groovy bits of car info I found:
The 1940 Lincoln Continental.
Mr. Wright purchased two 1940 Lincoln Continentals, number 2 and number 5 off the line.
He gave number 2 to one of his daughters, who promptly smacked it up beyond all recognition.
Number 5 he "remodeled" the way you have seen him remodel buildings.

On the left is a promotional photo for the 1940 Lincoln Continental. On the right is a photo of Mr. Wright's number 5 at Taliesin.
The color photos here are from Hemmings. They are the best I have found of the car.
He covered the back window because he was only interested in where he was going, not where he had been...
Perhaps the way he left his wife and 6 children without looking back, or the way he continued on with his life and his work after his mistress was brutally murdered at Taliesin.

I have been tracking this 1940 Lincoln Continental, which belonged for a long time to on of the biggest Wright fans, the founder of Domino's Pizza, until he sold off his collection. The car now belongs to movie producer and Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Society board member, Joel Silver.
Mr. Silver also owns the only Frank Lloyd Wright Plantation, Auldbrass, in South Carolina. Auldbrass is about 3 hours from the BMW Factory in Spartanburg where all Z3s begin.
I had the good fortune to visit Auldbrass on the one day a year it is open to the public, perhaps for the last time it would be open to the public, as Mr. Silver is no longer under any obligation to open his home to the public. Thanks to SeaJay, another Z3er who told me I better get down there before it's too late.
We had a zplendid time, and ended up with another rare experience of living in a Frank Lloyd Wright space for a short time.
I had a mission to seek out the Lincoln, but after poking around and making a pest of myself, I found out the car was in Savannah for repairs.
I have seen mentions of this car being shown at the Pebble Beach Concours.
My search for the car continues.
In reading the research I found that in Wisconsin there are still the people who did the work on Mr. Wright's cars, and his fleet of apprentice cars, and how the apprentices all followed Mr. Wright's open top car in their 2 seater 4 cylinder convertible roadsters

VIN - VC40169

in caravans from Wisconsin to Arizona and back between the two Taliesins.
Does any of that sound familiar?
It should. A whole world of Frank Lloyd Wright opened up before my eyes and behind closed doors I must open. Frank Lloyd Wright and cars.

So... it's been a Frank Lloyd Wright Feast in Oak Park, IL, I hope your brain tummy is full..... but....
this trip ain't over yet, and what I was about to see would take everything I had learned and turn it on it's side, take it on a trip to an amusement park and let it spin until we all become dizzy.
You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet...
Next stops:
The Rookery Building, Johnson Wax and Wingspread.


Frank Lloyd Wright Home
Day Four- 1/4 Lap of America
Oak Park, IL
Midway Gardens Light of the World~~ Cheney House- Upstairs Reality~~
Cheney House Downstairs Luxfer Prisms~~
Parker and the Gales A Family Affair~~ Hills-DeCaro Victorian Greeks~~
Moore House English Tudor Porch~~ Heurtley Pink House~~
Beachy Winter and Spring~~ Frank Thomas Boston Green Thing of Beauty~~
Unity Temple Uplifting~~ Young If I Could Go There~~ Balch and Goodrich Impala Browns~~
Francisco Terrace and Furbeck What remains~~ Charles Roberts House and Stable For Sale!~~
Frank Lloyd Wright Studio Chain Gang~~ Frank Lloyd Wright Home Don't Look Back~~
came to the Feast since March 3, 2002

1/4 Lap of America Frank Lloyd Wright Gumball Page

May 21-30, 2001

Frank Lloyd Wright Z3ers Pages

Esmerelda's PageEsmerelda's Home Page