Curbed National: 21 First Drafts: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hillside Home School

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First Drafts is a series exploring the early work of our architectural icons, examining their careers through the lens of their debut projects. Occasionally unexpected but always insightful, these undertakings represent their initial, finished buildings as solo practitioners. While anecdotes accompany the work of all great builders, there’s often more to learn about their first acts.

The curriculum at the progressive Hillside Home School was based upon Unitarian and transcendental precepts. The original photo was bent, hence the line. Image courtesy Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University)

Frank Lloyd Wright

Hillside Home School in Spring Green, Wisconsin

Date completed: 1887

Getting the Gig:

The year was 1887, and a budding young architect without a degree was finding that the job market in Chicago wasn’t to his liking. After five firms and five rejections, Frank Lloyd Wright, who was living with relatives in Oak Park, decided to look up a family friend in hopes that he could find steady employment.

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