1939: Frank Lloyd Wright Reinvents Office Building


johnsons wax modern mechanix photo

Modern Mechanix calls them "golf tees" - Wright called them lily pads. The building inspectors called them illegal under the codes because of tapered shape, and required a test where they were to be loaded with twelve tons. They piled on sixty tons before it broke, falling and cracking a watermain 30 feet underground. He got the building permit.

johnson wax interior photo

TreeHugger things we like: lots of natural light, radiant floors, fresh air from "snorkels." What we think was not a step forward: no front door (it was designed for cars and you entered through the parking garage), no windows.

But it is still in use by (TreeHugger advertiser) S.C. Johnson and still a demonstration of what happens when an enlightened client gives enough rope to a great architect. ::Modern Mechanix

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