Frank Lloyd Wright is today recognized as one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century. During the seventy years he devoted to making architecture matter, he created over 1,100 designs, nearly half of which were realized. These included government and commercial buildings, hotels, apartment towers, recreational complexes, museums, religious houses, residences for the wealthy and those of more modest income, decorative pieces, furniture and lighting features, textiles, and art glass.
Wright's mission was to create a truly American architecture, one appropriate for free citizens that would reflect the democratic values of this great country in which he so firmly believed. In creating what he called an "architecture for democracy," he redefined our concept of space as he sought to make the common man uncommon by offering everyone the opportunity to live and grow in nourishing environments, connected physically and spiritually to the natural world.
In 1991, the American Institute of Architects named Wright the greatest American architect of all time and Architectural Record published a list of the one hundred most important buildings of the previous century. Twelve Frank Lloyd Wright buildings appeared, including Fallingwater, Robie house, S.C. Johnson and Son, Co., Administration Building, the Guggenheim, Taliesin and Taliesin West, Jacobs House #1, and the long demolished Larkin Building and Imperial Hotel. In 2000, the AIA selected their top ten favorite buildings of the twentieth century: Fallingwater topped this list, with Robie house, the Guggenheim Museum and the S.C. Johnson Administration Building also among the select few. These honors bear witness to Wright's own appraisal of his work written in 1953: "I know well that my buildings see clearly not only the color, drift and inclination of my own day but feed its spirit. All of them seek to provide forms adequate to integrate and harmonize our new materials, tools and shapes with the democratic life-ideal of my own day and time. Thus do I know work that is for all time."
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