Frank Lloyd Wright is widely considered the greatest American architect of the 20th century. You may know that he designed the Darwin Martin House complex, the Graycliff estate and the Larkin Administration building that were built right here in Western New York, but here are some things you might not know about him:
1. Wright was born just after the Civil War (1867) and died during the Cold War and the Space Race (1959).
2. He worked for more than 70 years and designed more than 1,000 buildings (about half of these designs were built).
3. Wright is known for his house designs, but he also created churches, skyscrapers, gas stations and even a cat house!
4. Wright once designed a house for Marilyn Monroe and her third husband, "Crucible" playwright Arthur Miller. The design included a built-in movie theater and swimming pool attached to the house.
5. If it had been built, Wright's "Mile High" skyscraper would have towered over the tallest buildings in the world today. He specified atomic-powered elevators to lift people more than 5,000 feet to the top of the building.
6. Wright enjoyed movies, but hated television, calling it "bubble gum for the mind."
Eric Jackson-Forsberg is staff curator of the Martin House Restoration Corporation.
>NEXT BOOK CLUB
The NeXt Book Club is reading "The Wright 3" by Blue Balliett (Scholastic, $6.99), a mystery about Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House in Chicago. Readers 18 and younger are welcome to send a short (150 to 200 word) review of "The Wright 3" by Nov. 20 for a chance at prizes including books, NeXt T-shirts and Frank Lloyd Wright themed T-shirts and puzzles donated by the Darwin Martin House. Mail reviews to NeXt, Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo NY 14240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Include name, age, school, home mailing address and home phone number. Some reviews will be published in NeXt. Find more information at www.darwinmartinhouse.org, www.wrightplus.org and www.pbs.org/flw. For Darwin Martin House tours, call 856-3858. Admission is $10 for students.