26 February, 2012

Villa Turicum - The Wright Way

"Sommer-Wohnsitz für Herrn Harold McCormick, Lake Forest, Illinois -- Ansicht vom Michigan-See / Frank Lloyd Wright." (Summer residence for Mr. Harold McCormick, Lake Forest, Illinois - view from Lake Michigan / Frank Lloyd Wright.) -1910

I encourage you to click on the above image in order to get some extraordinary detail. What you are looking at is Frank Lloyd Wright's 1910 rendering for Villa Turicum that was rejected in favor of a plan created by Charles Platt.

Many are familiar with this tale; of how Wright, disgusted with the loss of the commission fled for Europe while Charles Platt executed his plan in the Italian style - which was very much in vogue at the time. This is best put forth within the Villa Turicum website:

"In 1907 Harold McCormick bought a 260 acre site, including a 70-foot bluff on Lake Michigan in Lake Forest, IL. McCormick hired an architect named Frank Lloyd Wright (b. 1867) to make a design, which was done. However, Wright was dismissed when McCormick’s wife, Edith Rockefeller McCormick (the daughter of John D.) decided to move in a different direction and create an Italian style villa, the supreme style of the higher echelons of society."

Few have been able to see Wrights actual plan, which I am most happy to present here this evening as I recently acquired my own copy. I certainly introduces a lot of questions, the primary one being; had the McCormick's accepted Wright's plan over Platt's, would the fate of Villa Turicum been altered? One can only wonder.

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