When growing up on a subsistence farm, with no running hot water and an outdoor toilet, even cutting our own wood for an old furnace, I never even thought about the differences between my friends’ homes and mine. Friends were friends, some rich and some middle class, but none as poor as our family was.
Recently while reading about Frank Lloyd Wright, I remembered the wide gap between my friends’ homes and my farm home, in southern Michigan. My best friend lived in a Frank Lloyd Wright house in the Acres, outside of Kalamazoo, Michigan. The house wrapped around a hillside and had all the Wright trademarks, stone floors, stone walls, high windows—it looked like it was a part of the hillside. Her neighbor’s house, one of eight in the planned Wright community, had an oak tree in the center of their house, glassed in with the rooms surrounding it. Classic Wright.
How odd it must have been for my friend AW to have visited me and have had few amenities, plus having to help feed the calves and chickens. She never commented, and on my part, I think I preferred our rag rug covered floors and creaky stairs to the second floor bedroom over the cold, stone floors of Wright’s masterpieces. I sometimes wonder if my friend is as nostalgic about her Wright home as I am about the 1920’s white clapboard farmhouse under the walnut trees where I was raised.
Wright is described as creating organic homes, the real view of American architecture. That may be true, but the heartland is dotted with clapboard farm houses, not as integrated with the landscape as Wright’s, but surely as important in the lives of those who lived there.
If you are interested in learning more about Frank Lloyd Wright come into the Library and check out the many titles,(non-fiction and fiction) we have about his architecture and life.