THE GEIGER DATABASE
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
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
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
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.
Copyright © 2010 John W. Geiger