Skip to main content

Frank Lloyd Wright collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: N19

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains photostats of drawings and blueprints for the S.P. Elam residence, Austin, Minnesota (1950-1951), now the Plunkett house; blueprints for the Dr. B. Marden Black residence, Rochester, Minnesota (1947); blueline prints of the Dr. Herman Fasbender clinic, Hastings, Minnesota (1957); the Benjamin Adelman residence (project), Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin (1955); a measured drawing (photostat of blueprint) for a chair from Unity Temple, Oak Park (1904), executed at a much later date by George Winterowd of the faculty of the University of Minnesota's School of Architecture; floor plans, elevations, and furniture details of the Robie house, Chicago (1907), drawn in 1963 by the Historic American Buildings Survey (blackline prints); and blackline prints of working drawings for the Guggenheim Museum, dated 1945.

There are also 17 sheets of 5.5 x 5.5 mm black and white contact prints of photographs taken by Tom Martinson in 1972 that chronicle the demolition of the Little-Stevenson house ("Northome") at Deephaven, Minnesota. Blueprints of the Henry Neils (1951) and Malcolm Willey (1934) residences, both in Minneapolis, are contained on one reel of 35mm microfilm.


  • Creation: 1934-1972


Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

Available for use in the Manuscripts Division reading room. Advance notice is requested.

Restrictions on Use

There are no other restrictions in place for this collection. Copies of other material can be requested if the condition of the originals warrants it.

Biographical Note

Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin, on June 8, 1867. He began working for architect Joseph Silsbee in Chicago in 1887, leaving five months later to join Adler and Sullivan's office. There, he became imbued with the Prairie School style of architecture, which was to influence his entire life. Following a disagreement with Sullivan, Wright left to open his own office, first in Chicago, then in Oak Park, Illinois. He became best known for his Prairie School houses, which he developed before 1900. Seventy-six of his Prairie School houses were built, mostly in and around Chicago, and his success soon made him one of the recognized leaders of the Prairie School. He was an icon in the field, and many younger practitioners copied him for years to come.

Domestic troubles and two fires at his studio/workshop in Spring Green, Wisconsin, between 1909 and 1925 brought his practice almost to a standstill. In 1932, the Wright studio in Spring Green gave way to the Taliesin Fellowship, founded with 23 young apprentices. In addition, he established a school and workshop in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1938 and maintained both locations as active architectural offices. The Taliesin Fellowship issued 180 buildings of all kinds, including the Guggenheim Museum in New York City (1957); Price Tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma (1953–1955); and the Marin County Civic Center in California (1957–1959), plus numerous residences.

The year 1936 marked a dramatic upswing in Wright's career with the production of the first of his Usonian houses (partially prefabricated, economically built homes) and such masterpieces as the Johnson Wax Company's administration and research buildings in Racine, Wisconsin, and "Fallingwater", a vacation house cantilevered over a waterfall near Pittsburgh. Frank Lloyd Wright died in Paradise Valley, Arizona, on April 9, 1959.


2 Cubic Feet (1 microfilm reel)


Collection contains renderings and blueprints for residences and other structures designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright.


The collection is organized into two series:

  1. Working Drawings
  2. Other Documents

Physical Location

Mezzanine; A-V Room; High Bay

Additional Finding Aid

An unpublished finding aid with detailed contents is available in the Manuscripts Division.

Related Material in the Northwest Architectural Archives

William G. Purcell papers (N 3)

John H. Howe papers (N 14)

Frank Lloyd Wright collection
Archives Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Northwest Architectural Archives Collecting Area