Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

February 1992


Published in Great Plains Research 2:1 (February 1992), pp. 131-134. Copyright © 1992 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Used by permission.


This book by architectural historian Grant Hildebrand is a search for the special quality that makes Frank Lloyd Wright's houses so well liked, both by their owners and general public. Hildebrand calls this special quality a "pattern"-that is, a repetitive configuration of architectural elements that, although uniquely expressed in each house, is an underlying motif in all of them. Hildebrand believes that this pattern involves the spatial dialectic of inside and outside as expressed through repeated architectural parts-the entry, the fireplace, ceilings, solid and windowed walls, terraces, and openings from the house to the outside, especially immediate spaces. Hildebrand's aim is to establish the experienced qualities of this inside-outside motif as it is expressed architecturally. "I want to examine," he declares, "correspondences between Wright's pattern and the characteristics that we now believe human beings, preconditioned by nature, select in their habitations" (p. 28).