Frank Lloyd Wright was known to be in complete control of every element of the structures he built. He'd design the house, the furniture, and even a place for a family's Black Labrador Retreiver, it seems.
Yes, Mr. Wright built a dog house in the backyard of a home he had been commissioned to design in Northern California in the mid 1950's.
But the dog house wasn't built on the instsence of the enigmatic architect, it was commissioned by the homeowner's 12-year old son.
The son wrote to Wright, asking for a house for his black lab “which would be easy to build and would go with our house.” How could Wright resist a request from a boy who obviously responded to Wright's aesethic? In his own time (he was not known to keep to timetables) Wright developed a full set of working drawings for a triangular-shaped dog house of four square feet, to be built of the mahogany and cedar scraps left over from the main house's construction.
The original house is long gone, but its story and design are being revived for a coast-to-coast tour to promote "Romanza," a film on Wright’s work in California. “Frankly, it’s the best story ever about Wright. People think he was this curmudgeonly old architect, but here he was, breaking down and doing something wonderful for a 12-year-old,” says says Michael Miner creator of "Romanza."
Like many owners of Wright's structures, the black lab found the triangular-shaped hut somewhat difficult to relax in. “He didn’t like it." says the dog's owner, and like many of Wright's designs, the dog house would regularly leak when it rained.
It was, it seems, a perfectly Wright structure.