irst came the philosophy of the building in my own mind.
I said, let us abolish, in the art and craft of architecture, literature in any symbolic form whatsoever. The sense of inner rhythm deep planted in human sensibility lives far above all other considerations in art. Then why the steeple of the little white church? Why point to heaven?
I told the committee a story. Did they not know the tale of the holy man who, yearning to see God, climbed up and up the highest mountainclimbed to the highest relic of a tree there was on the mountain? There, ragged and worn, he lifted up his eager perspiring face to heaven and called upon God. He heard a voice bidding him get down...go back!
Would he really see Gods face? Then he should go back, go down there in the valley below where his own people werethere only could he look upon Gods countenance
Why not, then, build a temple, not to God in that waymore sentimental than sensebut build a temple to man, appropriate to his uses as a meeting place, in which to study man himself for his Gods sake? A modern meeting-house and a good-time place.
The pastor was a liberal. His liberality was thus challenged, his reason was piqued and the curiosity of all was aroused. What would such a building look like? They said they could imagine no such thing.
Thats what you came to me for, I ventured. I can imagine it and I will help you create it. Promising the building committee something tangible to look at soonI sent them away.
© Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation