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343- Usonia Redux

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This is ninety nine percent invisible. I'm Roman Mars. If I as you think of the most famous architect in American history. Even if you don't think, you know, anything at all about architecture. I bet you could take a guess and bet your guests would be right Brank, Lloyd Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright, perhaps the greatest architect of the twentieth century or genius routine square has been called a peace center of modern day architecture, one of the most extraordinary amount of time. He has literally established the piece for innovation and new ideas in the field of architecture. Frank, Lloyd Wright left a legacy of some of the most iconic and gorgeous buildings in the United States like the spiralling Guggenheim museum in New York. The falling water house in Pennsylvania, which straddles a waterfall and the futuristic Marin Civic Center, which is the backdrop for Gatica, which is an awesome movie, and that is producer Avery truffle men by the end of his career, right? Was on a level of celebrity usually reserved for actors and Rockstars. He was a household name. And he was on late night. Talk shows. Some quarters of denounced right as an impractical visionary. And the pompous win bag. How do you feel about this? Mister, right may particularly doesn't bother. None of. So right wasn't just known for being a genius architect. He made headlines because he was a character. He oven were this outfit. That included a flowing Cape and a hat and cane he wrote manifestos launched insults at other architects and loudly. Critique politicians, religion and society, he declared himself, the greatest architect who ever lived. He was unashamed earlier in life. I had to choose between honest Harragan sound hypocritical. I Joe's honest, arrogance and obscene, no occasion to change. No and Frank Lloyd Wright had this wildly scandalous private life. There were suits against him property. Sees jail. Finally voice, the raw material for big spicy headlines. Frank Lloyd Wright was the darling of the sensational press, but this bombastic character ultimately changed the field of architecture and introduced a new philosophy of building before many of rights icon, IQ and famous structures were completed before falling water before the Guggenheim before the marines Vic Senator his most significant contribution to our everyday lives with something much more modest a small, sturdy inexpensive and most importantly, very beautiful house design with the American working class in mind, and it all started with a journalist from Milwaukee. In one thousand nine hundred eighty four a Milwaukee journal reporter named Herbert Jacobs was assigned to take a drive over to spring green in central Wisconsin. He was told to write about tally Essen, Frank Lloyd, Wright's home and studio Jacobs didn't really know anything about architecture, and at that particular time he wasn't really interested in learning. Anything about it. Because Herbert Jacobs had other things on his mind in that November of nineteen thirty four his wife was very very pregnant the night before his reporting trip. He brought her to the hospital, and he stayed up with her until dawn, the nurses assured. Herbert that he could go on his reporting trip without missing the birth. And so he set out that morning alone, bleary eyed completely unprepared. You drove one hundred twenty miles through the chill gray Wisconsin countryside for his assignment to me with Frank Lloyd Wright. Right. Who is sixty seven in nineteen thirty four couldn't have cared less about his appointment with Herbert Jacobs of the Milwaukee journal. Actually, right. Forgot all about it, which was an unusual. He was known to blow off. Journalists were Jacobs arrived at Frank, Lloyd. Wright's compound completely distracted by thoughts of his wife and their baby. He learned that the architect was actually on his way out the door. The got to talk for just over ten minutes before right left abruptly saying some of the boys. We'll talk to you. Now. The boys were Frank Lloyd Wright's apprentices they had come to him from all over the world, and they're were part of a fellowship program that right established at his home in studio a campus, he called tally Essen. Holly is a Welsh word meaning shining Brown. Welsh because it was built on land settled by his family who were farmers from Wales. But the shining Brown also has to do with rights building philosophy so tally Essen actually is built and of on the brow. Just like your brow of. Your head the main tally us and building curls around the side of a hill. Almost like a crown. He felt that you should never build on top of a hill. Because that destroyed the integrity of the hill. This is Floyd Hamlin. He's an architect tally Essen. Also, part of the faculty of the Frank Lloyd Wright's school of architecture, and I've been here since starting as a apprentice back in nineteen eighty-seven Hamlin works and lives at telling us and full-time here on Frank Lloyd Wright's family land were right used to play as a boy. So yeah, where where are we now? So where are we are this is just outside of spring green, Wisconsin, it's a very beautiful green valley with rolling hills. So he spent a lot of his his summers working this land. So he was very familiar with the landscape and this connection with the outdoors was really formative for right? He thought that architecture should help people live harmoniously with. With their environment rather than shield them from it. The house could become part of nature if it was made with local materials and had big windows and was oriented for just the right amount of sunlight Orient House. Just right. So that you take advantage of what nature has to offer. And you're living with nature rather than trying to fight against it. You know, living on the brow of the hill. Not on top of it. This all folded into a concept. Frank, Lloyd Wright called organic architecture. He wanted to spread this gospel to the next generation, which is why he returned to the valley. He knew as a boy and established the tally Essen and fellowship before ship was the thing that the Milwaukee journal wanted Herbert Jacobs to cover in his article when Jacobs drove into tell us and that morning in nineteen thirty four the fellowship had been going on for two years, and it was hard for the public to wrap their minds around it, including this NBC announcer but tally Essen fellowship. Just what is it the school? And yet none. Not a school. I'm colony of devoted men and women principality whose king is Frank Lloyd Wright's apprentices, they're called not students. They are says Mr. right as the fingers of my hand, the apprentices had to pay eleven hundred dollars a year to attend the telling us and fellowship nearly twenty grand today, and it wasn't like an accredited institution or anything students had to do a lot of grunt work like bailing hay plowing fields and making meals, but they got to learn Frank Lloyd Wright's philosophy of architecture and live with them and work with them. Even though oftentimes is meant serving as an unpaid labor force when Jacobs was getting his tour of tally Essen. He described the apprentices as rather long haired, smiling and polite young men who tried their best to explain to him. What organic architecture means organic architectures architecture of its time and of its place, you're not trying to make it look like something that is not right thought that there should be no wallpaper to cover things up. No paint. No plaster would should look like wood stone should look like stone. Concrete should look like concrete when Frank Lloyd Wright worked with plywood. He liked to leave the edge of the plywood expose so that you saw those layers in there, and that became part of the almost ornamental detail, which was different from frilly traditional European style. Architecture with Roko gold, ornaments and cloth chairs and parlors full of knickknacks. Just think of Victorian houses, stuffed with lots of tiny rooms and covered in bright paint and lacy curtains. This idea of organic architecture wasn't just a break from these traditions. Who's a break from new trends in modern architecture to cities all of the world were building huge boxy glass and steel structures designed to be hyper sleek machines for living and working right explains. That these were simply not comfortable for human animals. Go fish and go and these houses that are so glassified as they know they're not sensible. It's abuse of privilege and a an abusive material Frank Lloyd Wright took the traditional old materials and put them into sleek modern forms, his organic architecture was enu style. Born in the United States and are gonna go conjectural new sense of what constitutes humanity under harmonious conditions are Mona's place in which to live and how moan is way to live in it. But Frank Lloyd Wright didn't explain this grand philosophy to the journalist Herbert Jacobs. Because right wasn't there. The apprentices did the best they could. But again Jacobs was very distracted. And was only thinking of his wife in the hospital. He thanked the two young men who showed him around tally Essen and got back in his car Jacobs later road, funnily, I started back to Milwaukee learning on the way through. Phone call to the hospital that I had become a father at about eleven o'clock that morning at the very moment when I was interviewing right? Herbert Jacobs his wife, Catherine and their new daughter lived in Milwaukee for two more years on his reporter salary of twenty dollars a week. This was in the mid thirties the great depression. So when Herbert Jacobs was offered a slightly higher paying job with a paper in the state capital, Madison. The family moved right away. Are we going into medicine? I couldn't find anything within our price range and newspaper man's price range that was what we think it would be nice to live in. This is the voice of Herbert Jacobson self from a nineteen fifty-six NBC interview when he and Katherine moved to Madison they didn't see any houses they liked or that they could afford coz into my wife's been out to Mr. right and suggested that we have Madrid do something for us Jacobs. Didn't really remember much about his first visit to tell us in two years ago. And he murmured something along the lines of very interesting which his wife's cousin took as a. Yes. But he made an appointment for us to go out there. And we went along with that idea. Then on the way out we my wife, and I were trying to think, but is it that we can tell this great, man. Architect of ridge plants, but can we say to him that would interest him in are very small case in the past when Frank Lloyd Wright had designed private homes, they had not been for people like Herbert and Katherine Jacobs. Right had designed gorgeous wide homes with broad roofs and expensive living rooms for wealthy. People. His constructions were masterpieces there were works of art and there were expensive. So we put it as a sort of challenge for the country needs is a decent five thousand dollar house, can you build one in today's money five thousand dollars is about eighty five thousand dollars. That's a pretty reasonably priced house in most real estate markets with right co listen, we were the first glance at ever asked him to build a little cost. You said for twenty years you've been wanting to build one. But no one ever asked him to know. Right. Headlong wanted to make a more democratic form of housing even early in his career. He had been playing around with inexpensive methods of building in other structures. And he had a lot of con-. Sept that he had been scheming around urban planning. But now right had the chance to make some of his concepts a reality. He had the willing clients and he had time on his hands in nineteen thirty six he was in a bit of a slump in his career people couldn't afford fancy. Big new homes again, it was the depression and a number of big projects have been cancelled. And also right had already been practicing for decades. And he was slowly getting written off as a has been and then incomes this young open minded couple, right? Could tell them his philosophy and teach them how to live well through good architecture. Do you really want to five thousand dollar house? He said most people want a ten thousand dollar house for five thousand are you willing to give up the things that you have to give up Mr. right made a list of the things that the Jacobs would have to do without if they really wanted a five thousand dollar house pile bathrooms extra trim finished and things like that. Are you willing to give those up we didn't know anything about it? And we said sure it's ok with us. Herbert and Katherine Jacobs. Didn't know it at the time. But that modest little house that Frank Lloyd Wright was to build for them would be the most practical expression of his ideology, the Jacobs would own the first house in a movement that right cold you Sonia. The house that her but Jacobs built was the first of the UCLA houses, you Sonian right word, meaning the United States is it ought to be at its democratic Zeenat. You Sonia was Frank Lloyd Wright's name for the United States of North America in rights vision. You Sonia would be a country full of modest well-made beautiful comfortable little houses that the working class could afford. These you Sonian homes would inspire educate end right believed. Create a new culture for all Americans live now people are going to know what constitutes good architecture. And of course, good living has to go with good conduct. Also. Oh, good dressing too. Because you wouldn't dress and allowed and vogue away and a quiet and beautiful room. All is good things. Dependent more or less one on the other an add up to something we call kosher. It's only by a natural growth that you can attain coaching right believed the way to build a better American culture was not on mass not in apartment buildings or cookie cutter developments. It was to be catered to the individual culture, not for the wealth culture is an individual thing. And that's what our forefathers struck declared that the individual is sovereign which to Frank Lloyd, Wright's meant that the masses should be unmasked. It should spread out away from the city. The city, of course, is a is a thing of the past. There was a time during the middle ages when. The there was the onus source of culture. There's no way of acquiring. This thing we call culture except by direct contact. But for right that wasn't true anymore. People were connected to culture through radio and telephones automobiles they have transportation speed listening. This we're using now is no longer essential for people to crowd together. Anyhow that was Frank Lloyd Wright's vision for America, and it would start to become reality in nineteen thirty six, but the Jacob's house, which he called you Sony. A one Jacob's house was one of the first ones built there. This was just wide open. Farmland Lynn was built out here. This is Bill Martinelli manager of you, Sony one. It's in a suburban St. at side of Madison now lined with little suburban houses, but you Sony, a one really stands out, even if you don't know what it is. And you're just driving by because from a street it almost looks like a beautiful wooden wall. The house turns its back on the road. Well, when we get inside or. Go around back. You'll see the whole back Halsall glass. It's all open to the back. And he, you know, he did that intentionally kind of close it off to the street, and then open it up to the back as right side. The point of the house was not to have a big facade to show off to your neighbors with a useless and wasteful patch of lawn in the front and a grand entryway. No the house should be built for residents. Not onlookers. Also from the street, you can see that. There's no garage a car is parked under a wooden awning. Just a little flat roof with no side walls. This is the carport. A term that Frank Lloyd Wright coined while. This is the carport of the house is considered the first named carport that was tournament. Right. Came up with this was one of the many tiny ways right kept costs down. And also the corporate was an education in lifestyle without a garage. The Jacobs wouldn't have space to store their junk have to simply minimize their possessions. And toss would they didn't need. But the carport isn't purely utilitarian the woodwork on the carport roof has this lovely geometric pattern would kind of stripes in the ceiling. Yeah. It's funny. When I heard about the carport like seeing pictures of it. I didn't expect it to be so beautiful. And like, it's really nice. That's this house the more. You look around the more more you see like what the ceiling here of carport. You wouldn't expect that get inside? You'll see the same thing you Sony. A one is full of small elegant details. Sure. Warm in the sun read every like, the brick and the Lloyd. You're I kinda gets drawn him. You Sony one is one floor and inside it's pretty much one room and a loud cat. The space is all open no walls between, you know, living room, dining room kitchen that was kind of innovative for the time. The kitchen is an alcove adjacent living slash dining space with no door in. It's a very very tiny area. This is this is the kitchen it's just a little bit wider than the length of my arms. I think about eight foot quite each foot square. Probably there's a small hallway with tiny bedrooms. But mostly the one main room is the focus. It's very you're supposed to eat relax, read live altogether. Again. Herbert jacobs. Advocate of the open plan and housing that is the removal of boxes within boxes sort of thing. So that you don't have many partitions. The temptation is to be together. Much more. The open plan was pretty novel, and it was cost saving to not have many walls. You Sonian house is full of these clever less expensive solutions like the lights on the ceiling. So that's just a steel channel with the wires just laying in there and then bears sockets bare bulbs. So is considered the first track lighting another I to the house. Now, you see track lighting everywhere wherever you see lights or bulbs affixed to a single beam that's Etonian invention. Other innovations you Sony, popularized include the use of flat roofs built in furniture and heated floors. Herbert Jacobs loved those heated floors or eating now, very general. At that time there were no floor. He did residences in this country. All of these innovations were meant to help the family live, well and frugally they saved money while they lived in the house, and they had also saved costs in the construction of the house. But right, use some other cost saving measures that were kind of cheating like he stole some bricks from another building of his that he was constructing nearby will right. Didn't steal the bricks himself. He sent a bunch of his apprentices over to Racine Wisconsin where his design for the Johnson wax building was under construction. He told the apprentices to grab as many bricks as they could and bring them back to Madison if the Johnson wax, building the corners are curved, so you can see some of these bricks are convex some are concave while those with depend like corner. Bricks another way, right? Kept costs down was by taking a huge pay cut himself. Bill. I paid was for fifty five hundred dollars which. Suited Mr. rights fee of four hundred and fifty dollars by hook or by crook. Right. Did it he met his challenge of building a beautiful house that Herbert and Catherine could afford? I mean, it wasn't perfect. It was a total adjustment for the family and the house had problems with rain drainage and little things were missing initially. Right. Forgot to put screens in the windows, which were the kinds of complaints. Right. Got a lot. He mostly focused on FedEx and principles building rather than practicalities. And ultimately, the Jacob's house was small after Herbert and Catherine had two more children. They couldn't fit into the house anymore. And so after six years of living in new Sonia won, the Jacobs family would move off to the countryside where Frank Lloyd Wright would design them a second, you Sony house? But Herbert Jacobs thought of their first home, very fondly. Marie mad house was. Wonderful. I think it'd be nice if a lot more families have that same sort of thing happened to Mr. right thought so too. He thought everybody should live in a house designed by him. You know, the dishes and clothes designed by him and all the furniture, and he did design a lot of his furniture, and in at least one case he did design a dress for the wife of the client. This was all about changing culture. One home at a time. Frank Lloyd Wright wanted to redesign America. And by that token, Americans good design. He thought would make a kinder more beautiful more enlightened country nowadays you Sony in houses. Maybe seen the countrywide. You don't need a book, you'll know by nineteen thirty nine right? Had built you Sonian homes all over the country, including houses in Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan and Virginia. But he wanted to build more. He wanted to have a central factory that made prefabricated you Sonian parts modifiable for each client, depending on their needs for space and site conditions. In originally, the whole idea was all these walls would be manufactured in a factory. That never really happened. This was all site built Frank Lloyd Wright's factory for you Sonian homes never came to pass, and it became increasingly clear to write that the five thousand dollar price tag for you Sonian homes. Just wasn't feasible after the depression. Also writes career picked up shortly after you Sonia one, he started getting bigger commissions, the ones we all know him for like falling water among the right houses. None has been more widely publicized than the Pennsylvania home of Edgar common which straddles a waterfall. Right. Worked on you Sonian homes up until near the very end of his life. But it was a group of his apprentices that would carry on his vision by building an entire community of you Sonian houses turn right onto you sound here road. Up next after the break a trip to you, Sonia, New York to see what became of Frank Lloyd, Wright's vision, and how these little houses have affected the ways we live. Squarespace lets you create a beautiful web site in just a couple of clicks. Which means you can spend less time worrying about your online presence and more time doing what you love to do. Whether you're a graphic designer or you have your own record label squarespace has a template that will work for you. 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I've accused of saying I was the greatest architect in the world niff-. I had said so I don't think it would be very. Arrogant. Right believe that the buildings we live in effect, the kinds of people we become the taste. We have and the comforts we seek. And he said that he could rebuild the entire culture of the United States. He claimed that he could change the nation by changing its architecture. That is true. Amazing could do for this country and big part of his plan. His philosophy is proposed building system was called you Sonia. Here again is a retrial Felman rights ideas about living in harmony with nature using organic materials in a modern way, and creating a forcible democratic housing had inspired a new generation of architects so much. So that they would go on to found an entire community based on righty and principles. Road nestled in leafy hills near Pleasantville New York about an hour north of Manhattan is a little village called you Sonia. All the homes have low flat roofs there tucked away into the trees. So you can hardly see them on lush summer days. It almost looks like some sort of Star Wars planet fit for suburban e walks. There's no big welcome sign no gift shop or leaflet in the middle of the community. There is a plaque and Estonia homes. A cooperative was founded in nineteen forty four by idealistic young families to pursue the dream of owning a modern affordable home in the country following World War Two. The quad was started by a couple of right disciples who had studied at Frank Lloyd Wright's school tally Essen, most notably a man named David hankins. And although right would be involved with the project. It was Hankun who guided it as the black says this land was acquired in December nineteen forty six and in April nineteen forty seven Frank Lloyd Wright, the supervising architect sent the. Nick site plan site plan, put forty some houses on circular properties without fences. So that the property boundaries would flow into each other homes wouldn't be on little square plots with white picket, fences, David Hentgen, and his family looked for other similarly minded people who could come and join their community and invest in it and among those idealistic young people was Roland rise. He and his wife had just been married in nineteen fifty. We heard no money. We had no children. We were both only children. We wanted to plant roots and start a family, and we heard from a friend that there's a community in northern Westchester. That's building homes to revise by Frank. Lloyd Wright this building project had a communal mortgage. They would pay for the houses together on land. They all owned cooperative. Let's take a look curious, and we came up here. And there were already ten eleven homes that were new. Incompletion or beginning to be occupied. We were welcomed with open arms and the enthusiasm of the people who were here and talking about their project was infectious. And we were we were hooked we decided that we're joined the community, but it wasn't all big romantic adventure. It was a real risk. First of all, I was radical. It's not the these days that's called mid century modern, but the architecture then was radical meaning these homes were so strange looking to the larger world that the people who chose to live in them were seen as radical. And in some ways, they were some of them were lefty Jews from the Bronx with socialist ideals about land ownership the true cooperative that we were was radical block is in the sense that no one owned their has fish. Also, this was a financial risk since the houses were not as cheap as they were supposed to be the supposed- five thousand dollar cost low turned out. It was not a realistic number during and after World War, Two materials and labor became more expensive and the building of you Sonian homes involved special skills and custom fixtures, and the houses ended up being double or triple their price estimates the rise lease house was over twenty grand. But the members of you Sonia would not be deterred. We were determined to go for. Forward with this. We were very optimistic. Peel would come occasionally to see these has under construction. You gotta come and see in Sania. When Roland and his wife signed up for the community. They thought they'd worked with one of the tally Essen graduates to design their house, not the master himself dream of approaching Frank Lloyd Wright's, I mean, really. Who who would thing? But Frank Lloyd Wright did in fact want to design Rowlands house, they met up in New York, and they exchanged letters and ideas about the plans and Roland went out to see right at tally Essen, and it was a real person you could talk to him you exchange a joke. I mean, people people don't though see him that way. But there were there. It was Rolland was twenty-six, right. Was Eighty-three come on rolling sit down you my client. I'm your architect. Redesign you a house as many times as I have to until I was satisfied all of your needs. You have to speak up. If you don't you'll take what you get Rowlands house would be one of three and you Sony New York that Frank Lloyd Wright designed himself about five years after the rise lease moved in when Roland as wife had kids Frank Lloyd Wright at an extension to their house. In fact, Roland is the last living owner of a Frank Lloyd Wright, you Sonian home built specially for him. And he still lives. In it. I came to realize after some years living here that they're not been a day in my life. When I didn't see something beautiful even the terrible days that occur in every life. House is completely used Sonian with a simple carport and sumptuous wooden walls that almost glow and one big main room and a tiny kitchen it almost feels like you're outside because it has these big glass windows with long roof overhangs to draw the eye out towards the thick forest of trees, just outside hyphen. It has had an effect on me in in many ways, the neuroscientists say that that kind of sense reduces stress and is good for your good for your emotional health, and maybe good physical health too. I'm ninety two years older in pretty good shape for ninety two. And I attribute that partly. I mean who knows I'd like to attribute that to to experience beauty around me for most of my life, which is quite remarkable. As roland. Sees it Frank Lloyd Wright's idea that better architecture could create a better way of life has been entirely true. They could depend on each other. If there was a problem or aid, the kids will do all off the adults by their first name who's to say that children growing up here. Head fifty aunts and uncles, and you Saudia for the first forty years of you, Sony, New York only twelve of the forty eight houses changed hands six of those today's generation members of the community. There were only two divorces. I hit the joke. They could they couldn't decide who get the house but life started to move at different paces for people living in east Sonia. Suddenly, they weren't all new young families. They were all groups of people in different phases with different needs. And when it was time for homes to change hands. Prospective buyers were thrown off by the cooperative nature of the village. In the first decades of you, Sonia members didn't own their homes. We decided very reluctantly to. Grant title to the individual home sites to each member while retaining all of our common land as a cooperative and that made a big difference. Suddenly people who are more willing to look at that. But if you're not rolling Reisali and your house wasn't custom built for you by Frank Lloyd Wright himself, the U Sonia houses can be a bit of an adjustment today. Most of the homes, and you so New York have been expanded any and all new editions have been built in a U Sonian style using local materials, flat, roofs, big glass, windows, and righty and sensibilities. They have to be built that way. While the outsides are not landmark they are governed by the board of you Sonia. The insides are not at all. This is Evan Kingsley. He's one of the newcomers to you Sonia relatively he's been there since two thousand and three, but I think for the most part those of us who have chosen to move here or really sensitive to the aesthetic of the interior. But there's one specific part of the interior that has changed in a lot of the Sonian homes. We've. Completely redone the kitchen as was the case in most EU Sonian homes, the kitchen in Evans home was this little alcove berry efficient in very very Tony. Right. Never realized that the whole family might actually wanna hang out in the kitchen nowadays. It's as much a place to gather as the living room the dining room. Evan has added new tiling and appliances and expanded his kitchen, but not by much where we bumped that wall out by taking some closet space away, and we gained I don't know maybe ten inches. They are. That's all that we gained in doing that. There are smattering of you Sonian homes throughout the United States some designed by right in some by his apprentices, but all following the same basic principles and like Evan Kingsley's home. Many of these other you Sonian houses are hard to modify because they're often governed by boards who are trying to preserve them as historic pieces of architecture and also the owners themselves wanna make sure they keep within the principles of the house. You have X number of cabinets. You don't have cabinets up at the top. They weren't put there. And if you could Adam you file eight the principles there's no freight way right through come around. And look and see if you joke about, but there, isn't that's Betty and John More. They live in Wisconsin in the house called Jacob's to. It's the second you Sonian house that Wright designed for that journalist Herbert Jacobs. Well, you want to make sure that you can adapt to the house because it's not going to reject. You you aren't going to change it much like most you Sonian homes Jacobs to had a carport big windows and open plan in concrete floors with a heating system in it. Floor is nice and cool. News winner, you come downstairs at bear is nice and warm. I mostly wanted to play that clip because I love how Betty and John actually complete each other's sentences. Betty John's house needed a lot of attention, which is why it was on the market for four and a half years before they bought it. Everybody went to look at it. There's a curiosity, but nobody wanted to live here. If they're really not for everyone. The reason they sit on the market sometimes for so long. It's because people consider them a difficult live. That's John F ler an architect in Chicago who has restored a number of Wright houses, including you Sonia, one in order to preserve them, you sometimes have to modify them in order to make them more livable. But even experts like I floor have a tough time keeping track of how many you Sonian homes exist. So how many are there? I don't know. I've heard numbers ranging from twenty seven to one hundred forty it all depends on your definition of what an authentic, you Sonian house is you could consider you Sonia. A period in Frank Lloyd Wright's life a period in American architectural history, which would include the houses by the apprentice or just a general architectural style, depending on your definition, the number of you Sonian houses continues to grow in two thousand thirteen a new use Sonian house was built on the campus of Florida southern college. It was a design of rights from nineteen thirty nine but constructed seventy four years later, all according to rights plans and principles you Sonia. Certainly never came to pass in the way that Frank would write originally envisioned with every American living in an affordable, custom home. In fact, elements of the us Sonian home have evolved into something else entirely. So it is true that the that you Sonia directly employed. The development of the ranch. Oh, without a doubt. Yes. I think so. Ranch style houses are all over the country in nearly every suburb. They are horizontal close to the ground one story. They have an open floor plan with few walls. So it's not hard to see the similarities to Sonia. Although ranch homes are generally, less inspired. They don't have the elegant details and they're made with standard materials. Right might not have been pleased the concepts. Have you Sonia got absorbed into the sensually the opin- me of cookie cutters urban housing? But at least these houses really were affordable for the middle class. Unlike all the U Sonia houses after you Sonia. One after world to the American suburbs were full of ranch homes. There weren't that many variations after the war and the suburban ranch home was pretty much it. I mean that. Unless you're living in some humongous mansion or something. Everyone was living in, you know, ranch homes and suburbia it was very prevalent form of housing. Frank Lloyd Wright died in nineteen Fifty-nine at age eighty nine three years after finishing Roland rise lease house in New York. He died having created an American style for home building away in which natural wood, bricks and masonry are used in a simple modifiable way away that his cozy stylish organic and honest, his influences there where you see lots of wood and stone, and where you see big open floor plans where homes are oriented to the sun or away from the street where you see a structure built into a hill instead of on top of it connected and responding to the landscaping and yes, whether he would have liked it or not Frank Lloyd Wright's influence can be found in ranch homes in the suburbs. And then the details of all kinds of homes all around us and ways, right? Never imagined. You Sonia lives on? Ninety nine percent visible was produced this week by Avery trauman music by Sean riyal, Katie mingle is the senior producer Kirk kolstad as the digital director thrust. The team includes our senior editor Delaney hall, tree fuses, emit FitzGerald, turn Mazza, Joe, Rosenberg, Vivian Lee, Sophia class, Klotz and me Roman Mars. We are project ninety one point seven KLW. San Francisco produced on radio row in beautiful downtown, Oakland, California. Ninety nine percent visible as a member of radio Topi from peo-. Wrecks of fiercely independent collective of the most innovative shows in all of podcasting. Find the mall at radio, topa dot FM. You can find the show enjoyed his cousins about the show on Facebook. Tweet me at room in Mars in the show at nine P. I org run Instagram tumbler and read it too. If you want to drool over some you Sonia homes, look, no further than nine p I dot org. Ex-?

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