usonian house
critical response
parallel movements
wright at the time
other works
usonia house: critical response

usonian house

right has an ambivalent relationship to democracy and to the mass. He has two words: democracy, which he thinks is a good word; and mobocracy, which he thinks is a bad word...He wanted to be a democratic architect who would educate the American people to an aesthetic greater than the one that they had already achieved. He loathed architecture of the mob which pulled architecture down to the least common denominator...over and over and over again, he does continue to build buildings for relatively poor clients, many more than most architects of his stature would have been doing at that time. It’s not to say that they’re not expensive buildings, not to say that they would ever have been a mass form, but he is committed to that democratic vision.—William Cronon, Historian

He loved the idea of the people so long as the people were loving him. But the fact that...what the people really wanted was a little brick Georgian house or a little Cape Cod cottage or something drove him crazy. He hated it. And so then, of course, he turned against them and talked about how they were the mobocracy and this was this, you know, this tyranny of terrible taste and so forth. He couldn’t accept the idea that middle-brow taste was what it was and that he was really beyond that and that his own work appealed to much more sophisticated people.—Paul Goldberger, Architecture Critic

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