DS, one page, 8.5 x 14, City of New York Department of Housing and Buildings letterhead, February 13, 1957. An amendment to the plans of his tremendously famous creation, the Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue. In part: “In lieu of the original design bearing condition, which is 5 ton soil, approval is requested of a substitute bearing condition at Column L-5, which is a concrete foundation of a prior building on the site. The concrete foundation is 6’ x 12’ x 8’ deep resting on rock. Column L-5 would be centered on the foundation as shown on the sketch.” Under the typed amendment is a sketch of the proposed amendment to the column, done in another hand. Boldly signed near the top in fountain pen by Wright. In very good condition, with two punch holes to top corners, small areas of paper loss and small tears to edges, and scattered creases. Accompanied by a color 16.5 x 14 copy of Wright’s drawing of the plans for the Guggenheim Museum. The cylindrical building would be Wright’s last—and arguably most well-known—work, as he passed away just six months before the museum opened its doors to the public. A magnificent document related to this landmark work of 20th-century architecture. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA.
Category Archives: Frank Lloyd Wright
Incredibly rare set of five original pencil and colored pencil developmental architectural drawings of Wright’s Fallingwater masterpiece, on large onionskin pages, each approximately 40 x 28, all done in an unknown hand, with the first page titled in pencil, “Revised Drawing Kaufmann House, July 27, 1936, Frank Lloyd Wright Architect,” also in an unknown hand. Each page is also notated “File B-111A,” and numbered one through five. Page one shows a remarkably detailed overhead view of the first and second floor plans of the home, all labeled with accurate measurements, with notes on the side indicating, “All bath rooms to have cork floors,” and “1st floor lavatory to have stone paving.” Several additional pencil sketches have been added to the first page as well, including a window, and staircase, again in an unknown hand, as well as several notations to individual areas of the drawing.
Second page is a detailed wiring schematic of the entire home, listing 15 different circuits. Third page shows an overhead view of roof and third floor, with the fourth page showing details of the basement, complete with boulders, a wine cellar and boiler room, with the shore line of Bear Run added to the bottom portion of the drawing, and the final page shows an overhead view of the second floor. Rolled and in overall fine condition, with some paper loss to lower right corner of first page, expected handling wear and soiling, and some scattered light creases.
Thought to be in the twilight of his career in the mid-1930s, Wright used the project of Fallingwater as an opportunity to yet again leave his mark on American architecture. Commissioned by Pittsburgh businessman Edgar Kaufmann to build a weekend getaway for his family in the lush woods of Mill Run, Pennsylvania, Wright first visited the site in 1934. Anticipating a quiet retreat with spectacular views of the property’s waterfalls, Kaufmann was surprised—and more than a bit upset—when he saw the plans nine months later; with a series of cantilevers rising over 30 feet above the water, the home was to be built directly over the falls. After much back-and-forth and a long series of design revisions (which would continue throughout the arduous building process, as evidenced by these blueprints), the two men came to agreement on the design and commenced building in the spring of 1936. Upon its completion three years later, the house became an instant wonder, capturing the imagination of the public and bringing Wright back into the limelight. To this day it remains his most famous and widely recognized work, earning the designation of a National Historic Landmark in 1966. Blueprints from any Wright work are highly sought-after; this set, bearing intricate details of his crowning achievement, is one of the finest Wright items we have ever offered. RR Auction COA.
Original printed blueprint, 56.5 x 18, of Wright’s design headed “Elevation from Lake Monona 1/32″= 1´-0″,” signed in brown ink, “F Ll W/56,” in a 1 x 1 square box shaded in red pencil. Blueprint shows the civic auditorium from Lake Monona, the fountain, and the top of the Madison State Capitol building can be seen in the distance. Rolled and in very good condition, with toning and some tape to edges from previous display (all of which could be easily matted out), scattered creases and wrinkles, and printing several shades light but still visible.
In 1938, Frank Lloyd Wright proposed a design for a civic auditorium that would link Lake Monona, surrounded on three sides by the city of Madison with the Wisconsin State Capitol building two blocks away. The proposal was defeated by one vote, but in the postwar economic boom of 1955, the city reconsidered and asked Wright to undertake the project. This stunning blueprint was completed in 1956, just one year before a state law would again bring the project to a halt; reducing the height of a lakefront building to 20 feet, the new law was considered by the mayor to be ‘a regrettable insult to Wisconsin’s most renowned living citizen,’ an evaluation with which Wright agreed, of course. In January of 1959, legislators passed a bill repealing the law and again turned to Wright—in the three final months of his life, he completed his last rendering of the building. After another 35 years of back-and-forth, the city of Madison finally began construction on Monona Terrace in 1994, completing its construction three years later, nearly sixty years after Wright’s original proposal. Blueprints from any of the legendary architect’s buildings are highly sought after—with its fascinating background story and high profile struggle to materialize, the Monona Terrace blueprint holds even greater appeal. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Exceptional Wright-designed business check for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, 8 x 3.25, filled out in type and signed by Wright, “Frank Lloyd Wright,” payable to Thorson Store Fixture Co. for $187.61, February 24, 1954. In fine condition, with expected cancellation holes and bank stamps (touching the beginning of the signature), and slight show-through to upper border from tape to reverse. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.