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talisein west
An Autobiography
By Frank Lloyd Wright

ictor Hugo wrote: “The desert is where God is and Man is not.” Arizona desert is like that. But the Arizonan living in these desert towns has got himself a carpenter-built Mid-Western cottage, or sometimes, more fortunate so he thinks, a mid-Mediterranean or Mexicano palazzo. And believe it or not, he has already built a few skyscrapers in towns on the mesa. He would build more if he could.

The Yankee-Hopi house is the Phoenix favorite just now. In all this weird, colorful, wide-sweeping terrain nothing is quite so deciduous as Arizona buildings, unless the crows lighting on the fences of the irrigated fields only to fly away.

Unspoiled native character insulted like this. Arizona character seems to cry out for a space-loving architecture of its own. The straight line and flat plane must come here—of all places—but they should become the dotted line, the broad, low, extended plane textured because in all this astounding desert there is not one hard undotted line to be seen. The great nature-masonry we see rising from the great mesa floors is all the noble architecture Arizona has to show at present and that is not architecture at all. But it is inspiration. A pattern of what appropriate Arizona architecture might well be lie there hidden in the Sahuaro. The Sahuaro, perfect example of reinforced building construction. Its interior vertical rods hold it rigidly upright maintaining its great fluted columnar mass for six centuries or more. A truer skyscraper than our functioneer has built.

© Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

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