National Building Museum

Frank Lloyd Wright Day

Saturday, June 10, 2017
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Frank Llloyd Wright Portrait by Vlad


Celebrate architect Frank Lloyd Wright's 150th birthday!


Lightning Talks
30 minutes

10:30–11 am
Taliesin Diary – Sarah Leavitt
National Building Museum curator, Sarah Leavitt, shares highlights from Taliesin Diary: A Year with Frank Lloyd Wright. The book, edited by Leavitt, features a journal written in 1942-43, the only known first-hand diary to come out of the Taliesin Fellowship. Written by Priscilla Henken, the account offers delightful, poignant, and often funny descriptions of the trials and joys of day-to-day life with Frank Lloyd Wright.

11:30 am–Noon
Prairie Skyscraper – Chrysanthe Broikos
Learn about the Price Tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Frank Lloyd Wright’s only built skyscraper. Museum curator Chrysanthe Broikos discusses Wright’s long-held vision to build a cantilevered tower and how the modern high-rise, its ornament, and furnishings, took shape.

1:30–2 pm
Usonians – The Small Houses of Frank Lloyd Wright  -- Steven M. Reiss
Learn how Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian houses were innovative for their time. Architect and author Steven M. Reiss uses the Pope-Leighey House in Virginia to explore how Wright sought to provide small but architecturally significant homes, carefully sited, and constructed of readily available local materials. Following the talk, Reiss signs copies of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House (UVA Press, 2015).

2:30–3 pm
Frank Lloyd Wright Designs With Nature – William Keene
Learn how dendriform columns, open corners, and massive, room-anchoring fireplaces were just some of the architectural moves that Frank Lloyd Wright utilized to blur the line between inside and outside. Urban historian William Keene explores these, and other, engineering techniques that helped Wright place architecture in nature, and nature in architecture.

Ongoing Activities
West Court

Out On a Limb
Frank Lloyd Wright wasn’t the first architect to use the cantilever in architecture, but it could be argued that he elevated this building technology as he sought to link architecture and nature in new ways. Explore Frank Lloyd Wright’s use of the cantilever through hands-on building, then build your own; visit Fallingwater and other Wright buildings using Google Cardboard augmented reality technology to see Wright’s use of cantilever in context; make a paper model of the Research Tower at the Johnson Wax Headquarters to see how its “taproot” supported “limbs” that are cantilevered floor plates. Participants will experience how Wright used this old building technology in innovative ways to meld the natural and built worlds.

Faux Stained Glass Suncatchers
Create a faux stained glass sun-catcher inspired by the geometric glass windows Wright included in many of his homes. Take your creation home and hang a piece of architectural art in your own sunny window. Drop in any time, while supplies last.

Little Builders Storytime Every hour on the hour (11am-2pm) listen to a reading of Moxie the Dachshund of Fallingwater by Cara Armstrong. Learn about one of Wright's most famous homes through the eyes of Moxie the dog! Join us after the story for hands on play

This is a free, drop in program open to all ages. This program is made possible by Dr. Lawrence Spinelli. In addition, the Museum Shop has special discounts on Wright-themed products for Museum Members. For more programs related to Frank Lloyd Wright's 150 anniversary, visit

Image: Portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright, by Vlad Zabavskiy.


This event does not require an RSVP. Registered users can request event reminders.