Frank Lloyd Wright commissions

Frank Lloyd Wright commissions can be examined through a variety of search strategies. The options include commission title, client name, geographical location, chronological sequence, type of occupancy (e.g., house, bank, church, etc.), type of building material, names of individuals who produced drawings, status as built, unbuilt, or demolished, and an evaluation from 2 (lowest) to 10 (highest) of importance applied by John Geiger. Other forms of analysis by John Geiger include geometric classifications of floor plans and roof type. Notes by Geiger concerning sources of attribution, critique of a design, or miscellaneous information are sometimes present.



Information is present for 1,150 Frank Lloyd Wright projects titles. There are many variations of Wright commission titles found in archival inventories and publications. An authority list compiled for use on this site combines information from the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives inventory, the Frank Lloyd Wright: The Complete Works volumes (representing the last assessment of projects by Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer), and The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: A Complete Catalog [updated 3rd edition] by William Allen Storrer. The authority list can be downloaded as a PDF.

More than 100 Frank Lloyd Wright commissions have special place names (e.g. "Hollyhock House" or "Fallingwater"). These titles were often bestowed by Wright on his designs but some were applied by clients. Only Wright projects with nicknames appear in this search.

Frank Lloyd Wright had 685 known clients.  A given client may have commissioned one or several projects from the architect. This search approach sorts Wright projects alphabetically by the last name of the client, and provides links to project information and all related project drawings detailed in the database. Wright also produced a great deal of work for his own purposes, essentially as his own client. References to the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park, Illinois, Taliesin estate at Spring Green, Wisconsin, and Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona, as well as other more temporary residences and studios (e.g., Chicago, New York, Italy, and Japan) will be found indexed under his own name.

Frank Lloyd Wright produced projects for 366 geographical locations located in 48 American states and 10 foreign countries. Some unbuilt projects, graphics designs, and publications do not have locations given in the archival record and are absent in this search.

Frank Lloyd Wright lived an exceptionally long and productive professional life. John Geiger was interested in the ebb and flow of architectural commissions in the Wright studio over time. This search shows Wright commissions for given decades and years, though the project dates often imply the completion date for a commission rather than the process of design. Some entries also refer to drawings made by Wright earlier in his career prior to establishing his own practice.

John Geiger recorded the names of 50 individuals considered primarily responsible for the creation of 1,554 Frank Lloyd Wright project drawings. This scholarship was accomplished through research in the Wright literature and correspondence, and particularly with the assistance of John H. Howe, Curtis W. Besinger, and A. Louis Wiehle in providing annotated lists derived from their first hand recollection by examining the Frank Lloyd Wright Monograph volumes.

One of the most encompassing approaches by John Geiger to the study of Frank Lloyd Wright commissions was the creation of 10 data tables that provided places to record project coordinator, preliminary drawing coordinator, working drawings coordinator, specifications writer, structural engineer, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, landscape design, supervising apprentice during construction, and building contractor. Then, drawings for the commission were listed. While such level of detail was usually not available to Geiger, this search represents a refined model for the study of the design and building process that other researchers may want to carry forward. Only Wright commissions having information recorded for these categories of contribution are returned in this search, showing a total of 299 records.

John Geiger identified over 6,300 Frank Lloyd Wright project drawings in his database. The Frank Lloyd Wright Archives is the primary source for the bulk of Wright project drawings. The inventory system developed by the Wright Archives plays an important role in understanding notes and other references found throughout the Geiger database. This search presents projects and drawing numbers according to the Wright Archives assignments. Drawings held in other collections may appear integrated into the scheme by Geiger through speculative placement indicated with a question mark.

John Geiger applied 72 categories of purpose to 1,125 Frank Lloyd Wright commissions. Classifications include 18 housing types, 17 forms of civic buildings including churches, 29 terms for commercial structures, and 7 kinds of site planning, with other categories for decorative accessories, farm buildings, and site improvements. The categories of "Automobile" and "Patent" have been added to include in the results several types of projects not categorized by Geiger.

John Geiger categorized 650 Frank Lloyd Wright projects with 39 different types of construction. This search shows only Wright projects having a building materials assignment.

John Geiger applied a rating system to 714 Frank Lloyd Wright commissions using a numerical range of 10 (highest importance) to 2 (lowest importance), stepped in increments of .5, to express his view of the importance of the designs. Only projects with an evaluation number appear in this search.

Architects often explore the same organizational ideas for spatial relationships in floor plans over a variety of individual projects. John Geiger developed a classification system that applied 49 categories of floor plan to 174 Wright commissons that in his estimation reflected such design continuities. Only commissions with an assigned floor plan type appear in this search.

Many kinds of roof form are possible in covering the structure of a building. John Geiger applied 23 categories of roof type to 294 Frank Lloyd Wright commissions. Only commissions with an assigned roof type appear in this search.

When seen from bird's eye view, intersecting roof lines covering a building form a geometrical pattern. John Geiger applied 8 categories of pattern type to 55 Frank Lloyd Wright commissions. Only commissions with an assigned roof pattern type appear in this search.