Frank Lloyd Wright’s dog house is back
When Jim Berger was 12 years old he asked Frank Lloyd Wright to do for his dog what the architect did for his dad — design him a house.
The boy asked Wright, in a 1956 letter, to design a house for his dog, Eddie, that ”would go with our house” — it too being a Frank Lloyd Wright design that his father spent 20 years building in San Anselmo, Calif.
Wright, in keeping with his cantankerous image, wrote back that he was “too busy,” but suggested the boy write him again next year.
Berger wrote back the next November, and this time Wright responded with a full set of working drawings for a triangular-shaped, four-square-foot dog house, to be built of the mahogany and cedar scraps left over from the main house.
According to Architects and Artisans, young Berger didn’t build the house. But, after he joined the army, his father and brother did, completing it in 1963. After his father died in 1973, Jim’s mother would dispose of it, dropping it off at the dump.
“Frankly, it’s the best story ever about Wright,” says Michael Miner, who’s taking a reconstructed version of the original dog house on a coast-to-coast tour to promote “Romanza,” his film on Wright’s work in California.
“People think he was this curmudgeonly old architect, but here he was, breaking down and doing something wonderful for a 12-year-old.”
Miner asked Jim Berger and his brother Eric to build the reconstructed version in 2010 — and they agreed. (Miner filmed the constuction process, and included it in “Romanza.”)
Miner says the original dog house never got much use — not by Eddie, or subsequent dogs in the Berger family. Eddie, he says, “didn’t like it – he liked to sleep by the warmth coming out of the front door.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, architect, architecture, art, california, cedar, design, dog house, doghouse, dogs, film, frank lloyd wright, jim berger, mahogany, michael miner, pets, reconstructed, reconstruction, romanza, traingular, triangle, wright