Crimson Beech Partial - Staten Island - Frank Lloyd Wright - Untapped Cities - NYC-001The Crimson Beech in Staten Island, one of the Marshal Erdman Prefab Houses. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Many know Frank Lloyd Wright as the legendary architect and mastermind behind several vast, important buildings (including the Guggenheim Museum) around the country. However, he also built houses for middle-class Americans in the mid 1900s. While we’re used to his grand creations, you can actually go to Staten Island to see one of these other constructions: The Crimson Beech.


guggenheim secrets .org 3 -NYC-Untapped CitiesImage via guggenheim.org

Few buildings in New York City strike a more iconic silhouette than the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. A concrete spiral and one of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright‘s most notable creations, the museum sees just as many visitors seeking to appreciate its architecture as it does visitors coming for the art. Built in 1959, the story of its conception and construction married Wright’s avant-garde design instinct with Solomon R. Guggenheim’s taste for art that pushed boundaries. The building, which was renovated in full in 2005, is one of the most popular destinations in the city’s art scene even eighty years after its opening day. Here are the top 10 secrets we found about the place.


stmarks-towers-frank-lloyd-write-glass-tower-untappedWright’s towers surrounding St. Mark’s Church. Source: Architizer.

In 1927, architect Frank Lloyd Wright began plans for three to four all-glass apartment towers in the East Village at 11th Street and 2nd Avenue. The unprecedented buildings, which would have been the first all-glass ones in New York, were commissioned by the Reverend William Norman Guthrie of St. Mark’s Church. Though the modern structure would have towered over the revered church, rent from Wright’s apartments would have provided a much-needed influx of funds for the church. This wouldn’t have happened today though–in 1966 the church was landmarked and in 1984 the St. Mark’s Historic District was extended to include the row houses on 10th Street that would have been demolished with Wright’s plan.  (more…)

Hoffman Auto Showroom-Frank Lloyd Wright-Park Avenue-New York-Untapped CitiesPhoto by Ezra Stroller (1955) via Metropolis Mag

In April of 2013, Frank Lloyd Wright’s auto showroom on 430 Park Avenue quietly disappeared and will soon be replaced by a TD Bank. The Hoffman Auto Showroom was home to the latest and greatest imported cars for nearly sixty years, but even more importantly, was one of the three remaining Wright design commissions in New York City (the other two being the Guggenheim Museum and Cass House on Staten Island).


Never Built LA Preview Party Untapped Cities

Never Built: Los Angeles,” an upcoming exhibit at the Architecture and Design Museum, will explore the “what if” of the city of LA through a compendium of spectacular projects—museums, parks, transportation, buildings and more—that never made it past the drawing board. The exhibit strives to tackle the question: “Why is Los Angeles a mecca for great architects, yet so lacking in urban innovation?” and will feature designs by innovators and architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright.


A freeway in the middle of the ocean, thousands of acres of interconnected parks, LAX under a glass dome, and Disneyland: Burbank. These are just a few of the projects that would have changed the landscape of Los Angeles, that is if they were ever built.

“Never Built: Los Angeles” is an exhibit opening at the Architecture and Design Museum of Los Angeles on July 27th.  Using a collection of blueprints, maps, models, and plans, “Never Built” will explore what the past hoped for the future of Los Angeles. Due to a myriad of issues, including politics, bureaucracy, citizen unrest, and money, these grandiose plans never came to fruition. The exhibit tells the story of Los Angeles; a city of freedom, a city of imagination, and a city divided.  By examining the well-worn roads (and abandoned housing projects) of the past, we can begin to answer the question of what does the future of Los Angeles hold.

The brainchild of co-curators Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin, both architecture writers and urban planning enthusiasts, “Never Built” was conceived with help by the Getty Center, Clive Wilkinson Architects, and a kickstarter campaign that raised over 43,000 dollars.

We sat down with Sam Lubell at a place that, thank the heavens, was built; Langer’s Deli in Los Angeles. We discussed the beginnings of “Never Built,” the most ambitious projects he’s come across, a Disney Marine Park in Long Beach, and the future of Los Angeles urban planning.