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Frank Lloyd Wright in New York: The Plaza Years
May 30, 2019 @ 6:00 pm
In 1954, Frank Lloyd Wright became a New Yorker. Although the 87-year-old architect had long professed to hate all cities, New York in particular, his presence was needed in the city to supervise the long-stalled construction of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, which was rising on Fifth Avenue. Wright ensconced himself in a sumptuous suite in one of New York’s most elegant hotels—The Plaza on Central Park South. The suite, known as “Taliesin East,” became his east coast home and office, and he used it to entertain friends, meet with famous clients, and joust with the press. But it also provided him a convenient base from which preach his architectural gospel on television, a popular new medium in which Wright would prove to be remarkably effective.
Both Wright and New York City, were at the height of their considerable powers in the 1950s. Frank Lloyd Wright in New York: The Plaza Years, examines a momentous five-year period when one of the world’s greatest architects and one of the world’s greatest cities dynamically coexisted.
Jane King Hession, an architectural historian and curator specializing in modernism, is a founding partner of Modern House Productions and a former president of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy. She is the author of The Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park: The Kraus House, and coauthor of: John H. Howe, Architect: From Taliesin Apprentice to Master of Organic Design; Frank Lloyd Wright in New York: The Plaza Years, 1954–1959; Ralph Rapson: Sixty Years of Modern Design. She wrote and co-produced the documentary, Wright on the Park: Saving the City National Bank and Hotel. Her next book, Elizabeth Scheu Close: A Life in Modern Architecture will be published in spring 2020 by University of Minnesota Press.
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