150 Years of Doing It Wright

Were humans significantly longer-lived than we currently are, today we would be celebrating the 150th birthday of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Unfortunately (or perhaps not, this particular human was problematic AF), today’s commemorative celebrations must go on without the man himself. If you’re looking to celebrate the architecture, design, and legacy of Prairie Style, browse the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s website for a comprehensive overview of events both today and throughout the summer, or check out some of these events around the country:


Did someone say BIRTHDAY CAKE? Have a tour and a slice at Taliesin West, Wright’s winter home and studio in Scottsdale, Arizona, for just $1.50. 


As Chicago is home to the world’s largest number of Wright creations, there are naturally loads of events happening in and near the city. Several of Wright’s creations are open tonight for Festive Neighborhood Open Houses… to overwhelming response, so unfortunately registration is already closed. If you’d like to check ’em out or maybe sign up for a tour on another day, do so here:

Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park (just west of Chicago)
Robie House in Hyde Park (south side)
Bach House in Rogers Park (north side)

The Art of Life: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Organic Nature of Japanese Art
Tonight at 6pm at the Art Institute of Chicago, there will be a lecture by Kevin Nute, author of Frank Lloyd Wright and Japan. Registration is required, but admission to the Art Institute is free to Illinois residents after 5pm. And after the lecture at the Art Institute, a Celebration Dinner will be held at the University Club of Chicago. That’s a bit pricier, at $100/ticket, so pretty yourself up if you’d like to hobnob.

Can’t make it tonight? There will also be a gallery talk on June 16: Frank Lloyd Wright and Japanese Prints.

Also at the Art Institute of Chicago, you can view a special exhibit focused on Wright’s Japanese prints and Japanese influences on his work. The Formation of the Japanese Print Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School will be on display through July 23.

On June 18, the Summer R.E. Program at Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation, “Activists Camp” will be hosting a mini birthday bash honoring the creator of the congregation’s spiritual home. The Wright-designed Unity Temple will also be re-opening for public tours in July following extensive renovations.

And at 6pm at the Newberry Library, John Waters, Preservation Programs Manager at the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy and co-director of the Victorian Society in America’s Chicago Summer School, will present a talk: “Frank Lloyd Wright: Looking Forward and Thinking Back.” The focus will be on two important written works by Frank Lloyd Wright and their connections with his built work: “The Art and Craft of the Machine,” presented to the Chicago Arts and Crafts Society in 1901, and Genius and the Mobocracy, published in 1949,  (There will be cake here, too!)


Near Buffalo during the week of June 5-11, celebrate 150 Hours of Frank Lloyd Wright with a pile of activities at the Wright-designed Darwin Martin House and Graycliff Estate.

At MoMA, rarely and never-before seen works from Wright will be included in the new exhibit “Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive,” open from June 12 to Oct. 1.

The Wright-designed Guggenheim Museum offered $1.50 admission today as a part of the sesquicentennial celebration. You can also now buy a Lego Guggenheim!


The self-guided tour “Wright and Like Milwaukee: A Celebration of Wright’s 150th Anniversary” was held on June 3, when aficionados could step inside a dozen architectural gems — six designed by Wright and six created by his contemporaries. (The link shows you the houses if you’d still like to drive by.)

From July 28 through October 15, the Milwaukee Art Museum hosts the exhibit “Frank Lloyd Wright: Buildings for the Prairie” featuring Wright’s early designs.

Taliesin, Wright’s one-time home near Spring Green, Wisconsin, is hosting a family-friendly Wright celebration June 17 at the estate’s Hillside Theater, complete with birthday cake (of course). Additionally, the Taliesin Community Chorus will perform the world premiere of Scott Gendel’s new choral composition honoring Wright’s 150th on August 6 and 7.

Madison’s Monona Terrace also offered $1.50 admission today; it’s worth checking out even if you couldn’t catch them before they closed this afternoon.


Also offering $1.50 admission in celebration of Wright’s 150th include the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael CA, Price Tower in Bartlesville OK, and Rosenbaum House in Florence AL.

Beth Voigt

Beth is a graphic designer in Chicago, a superhero in her own mind, and absolutely nothing on TV. She wrangles fonts professionally, pummels code amateurishly, and has been known to shove fire in her face for fun. Fond of volunteering, late-night bursts of productivity, and making snacks, she dislikes grocery shopping and sticky public transit and is only on her second smartphone. Her opinion is that you should try everything twice; if you don't like it, you were probably doing it wrong the first time around. If external links are your thing, here are links to Twitter and Instagram, and you can support her ongoing weirdness by buying her a coffee or six.

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