usonian house
critical response
parallel movements
wright at the time
other works
usonia house: response
New York Times, February 15, 1959
“The Cliches Are His Own“

hus Wright would level the towering city and fill in the empty lands to create across America a continuous urban-ruralism with farms, factories, homes and civic facilities blended in a happy decentralization. Wright sees three factors—electrification, mechanical mobilization and organic architecture—now opening “the door of the urban cage.”

As a book from one of the world’s greatest living architects, “The Living City,” contains surprisingly little new architecture. It is illustrated principally with reprints of buildings created down throughout the years. It does, however, include a beautiful full-color foldout drawing of his Broadacre City first designed in 1934. Auto buffs will also note that Wright, whose own excellent taste runs to early Continentals and Mercedes Benz 300s has designed a “really mobile” new automobile for America’s roads.

Whether the form of settlement our crowding planet will take will correspond to Wright’s vision is open to serious question. However, today, nearly everyone, from perceptive critics like Lewis Mumford and William H. Whyte to the average suburban commuter now threatened with the loss of rail transportation, will agree that the problem of our exploding cities and their suburban fall-out has reached the critical stage. Most would also agree that Frank Lloyd Wright’s abiding respect for nature, love of enrichment and, above all, sense of human scale are badly needed in any solution.

© 1959 by The New York Times. Reprinted by permission.

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