Tuesday, December 24, 2013


An approximation of Mrs. Wright's car (Image from veronicawaldsamusingmusings.blogspot.com)
Over the past twenty years I have met a number of Frank Lloyd Wright's later, Usonian period, clients, and I've noticed that there are references to Wright's "scampering over their site" prior or during construction. In 1999 at an annual meeting of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy I had lunch with Mark Heyman who was an apprentice to Wright from 1954 to 1959 and he told me this:

One day Mark was in the drafting room at Taliesin West when he heard a commotion and saw Mrs. Wright run by, soon followed by Wright, also running. They disappeared into their quarters. Mark wondered what was up and asked around. It seems that Mrs. Wright didn’t have a car but was driven around by Kay Davidson. Mrs. Wright and Kay couldn’t use Wright’s car (a Mercedes) because he might need it.  Mrs. Wright confronted Wright and he told her and Kay to go buy a car. They did, they bought a Plymouth with big fins and it was painted pink and cream. That was what prompted Wright to run after Mrs. Wright. Mark said he almost never saw the car in use except when Wright was away. He didn’t even know where it was hidden. Somewhere in the desert?

Frank Lloyd Wright's Mercedes 300 Sl (Photo courtesy Cooper Weeks)

On reflection I thought, Wright, running? He would have been close to ninety! He must have been really mad, after all it was a matter of taste.

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