Frank, Howard, and I

When I first met Howard, found him an individualistic romantic. His ideological egoism prompted repulsion but his romantic realism captivated my attention to the extent of letting my senses free dive into Ayn Rand‘s The Fountainhead. Howard Roark, characterized in King Vidor‘s film by Gary Cooper, represented in my mind the righteousness, clarity, and determination that my professional surroundings were lacking at that time. Howard introduced me to objectivism, libertarianism, Joseph Conrad‘s brilliant romantic realism, and to the heroine Dominique Francon. But, as well, he re-introduced me to Frank Lloyd Wright, to uncompromising and individual creativity through arts, and to organic architecture.

Enthusiastically I set mind beside Howard and accompanied him throughout the streets of New York City, into Monadnock Valley, and to Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Ohio states. I stepped on Stoddard Temple construction site, gazed over The New York Banner gate in search for Dominique, and even witnessed the Cortland housing project explosion. I was living Howard‘s intense life.

Fallingwater, by Frank Lloyd Wright

Fallingwater, by Frank Lloyd Wright

I opened my eyes to a sunny day, disrupted by a bump on the dirt road pothole while cruising a green forest on the passenger seat of a Japanese sedan. I glanced around looking for references and found a road sign indicating three miles to the Bear Run Nature Reserve. I asked the driver about our location and learned that I had just awaken in Pennsylvania. Before being able to fully acknowledge my disorientation, the road opened to a parking lot associated to the Kaufmann Residence. At that point my brain processed all the information temporarily hibernated and I relished having finally arrived to Frank Lloyd Wright‘s masterpiece. The Fallingwater house was my favourite of Lloyd Wright’s works, and highlight of his organic architecture. Edgar Kaufmann, wealthy Pittsburgh businessman, commissioned the architect in 1935 to build a Summer house in the forest, over the Bear Run. The result was a splendid symbiosis between man and nature through architecture. Its structural vigour respected the beauty of the Bear Run and made efficient use of the natural resources without causing harm.

I was cheerful to find myself in such setting. To savour Frank Lloyd Wright‘s heritage through Howard Roark risky venture. I was privileged to capture those moments, through motion picture and personal observation. But I was far more fortunate to learn the immense legacy that both Frank and Howard left behind, influencing architects who developed their ideas into projects located steps away from my home.

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