Master architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s deferred dreams can now be experienced as complete.
A diehard fan of the late great Wright has visualized his unborn plans in a set of mesmerizing software-made creations. He has also brought back to life three of Wright’s completed, but subsequently razed, works.
“I have always been in love with Wright’s architecture, and I thought it would be useful, from an academic point of view, to recreate those buildings that have been demolished or never built,” artist and architect David Romero told The Post of the inspiration for his “Hooked on the Past” series. He started with Wright’s Larkin Administration Building, a sprawling red brick structure in Buffalo, New York, that was completed in 1906 and torn down in 1950.
Halfway through digitally rebuilding the five-story behemoth, however, he realized he had “bitten off more than I could chew as the building was too big and complex.”
So he paused his work on that and instead began rebuilding Wright’s Rose Pauson House in Phoenix, Arizona, which existed for only a year before burning down in 1943. The endeavor took him six months, “and by the end of it I had already acquired enough knowledge to return to Larkin.”
Romero eventually published his reincarnated computer versions of the buildings on various online forums, where they got traction and eventually the attention of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Now, Romero publishes his recreations and blueprint conjurings in the foundation’s quarterly magazine.
The work is almost entirely a replica in tribute to the Wisconsin-born legend, who passed away in 1959, but the nitty-gritty features require some amount of educated guessing and imagination.
“In both Wright’s designs that were never built and those that were demolished, there are always aspects that I can’t get to know, no matter how much I research or discuss with experts on Wright’s work,” Romero reflected of determining such details as exact color and stone type. “That part is always the most complicated, but at the same time it is where I have some freedom to decide so it’s often the most satisfying.”
As for physically rebuilding Wright’s destroyed or unfinished works — a highly controversial proposition in the world of architecture — Romero understands both sides of the argument, and is content to pay homage in his non-contentious way.
“Virtual recreations offer us the possibility of seeing these buildings almost indistinguishable from a photograph and without any of [a physical recreations’ drawbacks],” he said.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.