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Today’s Note: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Dog House

March 13, 2012

Today’s Note recaps a Washington Post article about Frank Lloyd Wright and a dog house he designed. Yes, I know. It’s not big news. But the story is interesting and worth a moment.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s doghouse: Fallingwater for Fido?” by Maura Judkis, recounts an effort by the famed architect to answer a boy’s request for dog house plans. The article opens this way: “If you find yourself in the doghouse, you can hope it would be as charming as this one: Architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s design for a child’s doghouse has been reconstructed, and is touring the country as the subject of a new documentary.” [all italics are added by me and denote a quotation from the article]

The story is really very engaging, and it is somehow compelling to think of young Jim Berger writing a letter to Wright about a dog house. Judkis describes it with these words:

When Jim Berger, now 68, was 12 years old, he wrote to Wright and asked him for a design for his black Labrador, Eddie, offering to pay for the work with money from his paper route, according to the Associated Press.

“I would appreciate it if you would design me a doghouse, which would be easy to build, but would go with our house…,” read the letter dated June 19, 1956. “(My dog) is two and a half feet high and three feet long. The reasons I would like this doghouse is for the winters mainly.”

The article is enhanced by several photos, including one of the letter Berger wrote, and another of a recreation of the dog house using the plans. There is also an embedded video clip. Judkis writes and blogs about Art and Culture related topics for the Washington Post. She can be followed on Twitter at @maurajudkis. The article is well worth the few minutes it will take to read. The embedded video about Wright’s California work is about 3 minutes and filled with excellent images of Wright work.

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