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Hear Me Now: My WNYC Comments on MoMA’s Frank Lloyd Wright Show

Barry Bergdoll, acting chief curator of architecture and design, Museum of Modern Art, with model of Frank Lloyd Wright's San Francisco Call Building Project, c. 1940 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives Photo by Lee Rosenbaum

Barry Bergdoll, acting chief curator, architecture and design, Museum of Modern Art, with model of Frank Lloyd Wright’s c. 1940 model for San Francisco Call Building (unbuilt), Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives
Photo by Lee Rosenbaum

Below is the audio for my New York Public Radio (WNYC) commentary (click the arrow) on the Museum of Modern Art’s just opened Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs.Dispersal (to June 1). It’s the first exhibition drawn from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives, which MoMA jointly acquired with Columbia University’s Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library.

Here are the two models for projects that I mentioned in my remarks:

Broadacre City Project, 1934-35 Photo by Lee Rosenbaum

Broadacre City Project, 1934-35, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives
Photo by Lee Rosenbaum

H.C. Price Company Tower (now a hotel), Bartlesville, OK, 1952-56 (model c. 1952) Photo by Lee Rosenbaum

H.C. Price Company Tower (now a hotel), Bartlesville, OK, 1952-56 (model c. 1952), Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives
Photo by Lee Rosenbaum

One drawing I wish I had mentioned was Wright’s no-longer-so-outlandish concept for the “Mile High City” (my apologies for the reflections of lights, at top):

The Mile High Illinois, Chicago, 1956,  Photo by Lee Rosenbaum

The Mile High Illinois, Chicago, 1956, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives
Photo by Lee Rosenbaum

At the press preview, the show’s curator, Barry Bergdoll, MoMA’s acting chief curator for architecture and design, mentioned that Wright’s concept of an improbably narrow, vertiginously tall skyscraper, outlandish at the time, has now become reality in other parts of the world. (Think The Shard in London and Burj Khalifa in Dubai.)

What he didn’t mention was the 1,050-foot tall building expected to break ground later this year, right next door, in connection with MoMA’s next expansion:

54 W. 54th St,, designed by Jean Nouvel

Rendering for 53 W. 53rd St,, designed by Jean Nouvel

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