ot long after completing one of his greatest architectural triumphs, the Unity Temple of Oak Park, Wright began asking Kitty for a divorce. Twice, she refused. In 1905, he took up with his new belovedMamah Borthwick Cheney, a writer and early-feminist personality who challenged Wright intellectually. They ran away to Europe in 1909 and stayed abroad for a year. Wright abandoned his family and left them in financial turmoil. Though Wright was happy personally, he faced public condemnation for the affair and had a difficult time securing commissions.
My mother was very much in love with him and she wouldnt give him a divorce for several years after he left home. She was always hoping that he would come back. But he never did...My mothers mother kept house with her for a good part of the time. And our father was not around the house at all of course. And after he left home to meet Mrs. Cheney in Germany, he never came back to the house. He rented the Forest Avenue part of the home and put us over in the studio part, made that over into a household, for the family, my sisters and my mother and myself.