Book: "Insufficient Funds: The Financial Life of Frank Lloyd Wright"

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Tom
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Re: Book: "Insufficient Funds: The Financial Life of Frank Lloyd Wright"

Post by Tom »

Oh boy - this looks like fun.
Back cover says Wright never employed a "utilization rate". Uh?

Roderick Grant
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Re: Book: "Insufficient Funds: The Financial Life of Frank Lloyd Wright"

Post by Roderick Grant »

A utilization rate is basically billable hours. Lawyers live by it.

SDR
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Re: Book: "Insufficient Funds: The Financial Life of Frank Lloyd Wright"

Post by SDR »

I'm impressed that Mr Wright was willing to design and draw, and re-design and re-draw, as necessary, sometimes repeatedly, to please a client, without (apparently) any remuneration for the extra work . . .

S

Rood
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Re: Book: "Insufficient Funds: The Financial Life of Frank Lloyd Wright"

Post by Rood »

One of my first jobs at Taliesin was sorting out the voluminous Monona Terrace files, which at that point extended over 30 years ... from 1938 to 1967. Needless to say, the sorting out took weeks.

Monona Terrace wasn't constructed until 1997 ... 30 years later. After 60 years one can only imagine what the architect's time would have been worth, were it billed on an hourly basis

Roderick Grant
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Re: Book: "Insufficient Funds: The Financial Life of Frank Lloyd Wright"

Post by Roderick Grant »

When Teri Wolf (nee Steve Danforth) hired John Lautner to restore the Bergren House, Lautner charged $300/hour.

g.dorn
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Re: Book: "Insufficient Funds: The Financial Life of Frank Lloyd Wright"

Post by g.dorn »

Ive always wondered about the financial status of Mr Wright

The Chicago early period must have earnt his practice a fair dollar - enough to afford to build his own house, then extend it, have a practise office, extend his house again adding a practise studio, going off to Europe and Japan, purchasing Japanese treasures, building Taliesin 1, supporting a wife and 6 kids - having a mistress(s) on the side.

Sure the fire at Taliesin evidently cause him to lose alot of his archives, destroyed half the Taliesin timber structure, and burnt his prized Japanese print Collection, but he was still able to build again.

Then building a 3rd home in Arizona.

Its the lean years - of no projects that would have been the years of insufficient funds - I suspect - as it would be for any person in business - which I would find the most intriguing.

This book could be an interesting read.

I like the last comment of the back cover

"Frank Lloyd Wright is still in business"
G Dorn
Perth Western Australia
www.dornworks.com
think, design, build

Roderick Grant
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Re: Book: "Insufficient Funds: The Financial Life of Frank Lloyd Wright"

Post by Roderick Grant »

At one point in the 1890s, FLW owed the butcher ~$800 (~$26K today). When he got a check from a client, he chose to buy a grand piano instead of paying his debt.
Stranded in NYC without funds, he went to the Times where his cousin worked, and borrowed train fare back to Taliesin. Then, walking down Madison Ave., he spotted a Japanese print in a window and bought it. He then returned to his cousin for a second hit.
In the late 40s, he entered the Lincoln Continental showroom in Madison, pointed with his cane at the cars, said "I'll take that one and that one. I will send you specification to remodel the touring car." As he was leaving, he turned back and said to the salesman, "By the way, I won't be paying for either of them."
That's pretty much the way he operated throughout his life. Since he was always ready to give money away, he must have figured everyone was as indifferent about finances as he was.

UpOnGoblinHill
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Re: Book: "Insufficient Funds: The Financial Life of Frank Lloyd Wright"

Post by UpOnGoblinHill »

If I'm remembering correctly, Wright also borrowed from his long-time patron Darwin Martin an amount exceeding $20,000 dollars to construct Taliesin 1 and settle some of his debts in Europe. Which would be something around $250k today. Martin never truly saw a repayment for this loan.
"I might make something so extraordinary, that no one will ever see me again, but not because I am not there; Their eyes will simply glance off, blinded completely, by what I've made."

JimM
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Re: Book: "Insufficient Funds: The Financial Life of Frank Lloyd Wright"

Post by JimM »

UpOnGoblinHill wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:38 pm
If I'm remembering correctly, Wright also borrowed from his long-time patron Darwin Martin an amount exceeding $20,000 dollars to construct Taliesin 1 and settle some of his debts in Europe. Which would be something around $250k today. Martin never truly saw a repayment for this loan.
That's correct, Martin was told he was building "a small cottage up country" for his mother, and it wasn't too long after that Wright spent a number of the "lean" years making much more money procuring prints for some of the biggest collectors in the country, than from architecture. The Oak Park studio was primarily financed with an advance to do decorative patterns for the Luxfer Glass Prism Company in 1897.

Mark Hertzberg
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Re: Book: "Insufficient Funds: The Financial Life of Frank Lloyd Wright"

Post by Mark Hertzberg »

I have read that Martin wanted a copy of Wright's "An Autobiography." Wright is said to have told him he had only a few copies and could not afford to give one to DDM...this after all the money DDM lent him!

Mark Hertzberg
Mark Hertzberg

ndhayes
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Re: Book: "Insufficient Funds: The Financial Life of Frank Lloyd Wright"

Post by ndhayes »

A good friend's dad was a fine cheesemaker near Spring Green who supplied - even delivered cheese personally - to Wright despite a stack of bounced checks. Regrettable, the paper trail was lost when the cheese factory closed. Acclaim and reward are two different things.

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