View Full Version : A Visit to Frank Lloyd Wright's Auldbrass

11/14/2007, 06:31 AM
I had the opportunity a couple of weekends ago to visit Auldbrass in South Carolina - I thought some others here might be interested. It also might be a great place for a VX meet as there was a vintage car club from Atlanta in attendance so it inspired me (unfortunately it's only open to the public every other year for the tour - no harm in planning in advance though!). I wrote about it a bit with links to images in one of my blogs:


Let me know what you think. The place was really spectacular.
Direct link to images here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/14338634@N02/sets/72157603003163021/

-- John

11/14/2007, 07:08 AM
very cool, did he design all the furniture for the house too? I went out to Falling Waters (house built on a waterfall) that was designed by him, all the furniture inside the house was designed by him specifically for the house too, was really cool, three legged chairs because of cobblestone type floors (sounds weird.. but was really cool) and some of the desks had openings in them to allow floor to ceiling windows to be opened like a door really cool stuff, not to mention there was a set of stairs in the house that allowed you to walk into the river! the two remind me a lot of each other.. which i guess they should since it was the same architect lol

Thanks for sharing!

11/14/2007, 08:26 AM
Looks like a fun visit! I have never seen a FLW design I didn't like... until now. :( Auldbrass just doesn't do it for me for some reason. I am glad you posted though, I love seeing this kind of stuff - even the less pleasing designs give new ideas for current or future projects. We are trying to come up with some water wall designs, 40' fireplaces, and other things for the Arizona casino we are designing. Go to the past to get new ideas - strange.

11/14/2007, 08:54 AM
Most of the furniture in the house was either a reproduction from original plans, an adaptation of furniture for other FLW structures (adapted to use the 80 degree angle), or design by a Wright Fellow or descendent (John or Eric). This particular plantation really needs to be seen in person - I don't feel like my images do it justice. The detailing is really amazing, and the restoration is top notch.

If you like those images, try my other flickr albums for Robet Green - the Copeland house is the best Usonian style house in the southeast (and Robert Green is the only tie Georgia has to Taliesin). I'm going to pay a weekend visit to Joe Black and hope to tour the college in Lakeland - that site features the largest collection of FLW buildings anywhere.

For that casino, look at the lobby in the Grove Park Inn - those massive fireplaces would look great in a large structure.

-- John

11/14/2007, 09:02 AM
You had me jealous there for a second. When I saw Frank Lloyd Wright and South Carolina, I thought you may have been referring to a tour of the FLW in Greenville, SC, Austin House.

It's privately owned though (and fairly non-descript - you really have to be looking for it to find it), so all a person can really do is drive through the neighborhood and check it out from a distance. That's what I did anyway when I was in Greenville earlier this year visiting friends.

Who am I kidding though, I'm still jealous. :)

11/14/2007, 09:12 AM

Thanks for the post, I had never seen pictures of Auldbrass before. It looks great.

When I was in school, one of my professors was an FLW NUT, and he would drive FLW design into our heads. He was always expounding on the virtues of FLW. FLW this, FLW that. ARGH! I got so sick of hearing about it that I didn't want to have any thing to do with Frank Lloyd Wright. I figure; heck the dude was designing way back when, so what does it have to do with me and the modern world. I couldn't have been more WRONG.

A few years ago, I got a chance to visit Fallingwaterand the only way to describe the experience is "religious". I went in winter, and the contrast of the very linear house to the organic forest was stunning. The siting of the house was perfect, and the design (of everything) was inspiring. The house STILL looks modern by todays standards, and it was originally designed in the 1930's.

I'm not saying the man was a god, or that all of his designs are great, but he truly was ahead of his time and pushed architecture in a direction that we're still expolring today.

11/14/2007, 10:51 AM
I'm constantly hearing about the very much deserved virtues of FLW (usually from those with little knowledge of him beyond Fallingwater but that doesn't detract from his obvious talent) and occasionally I hear about his being insignificant and not a big deal - it's funny but even though many of his designs are quite significant (look at the Guggenheim or the Johnson Wax building, for instance), I feel his largest contribution is in the Wright Fellowship, Taliesin and his apprentices. I'm on some design forums and he is constantly being diminished as unimportant and compared to other modern architects like Lautner, then someone points out that John Lautner was indirectly one of his apprentices and it becomes a foot-in-mouth moment for the detractor.

If you're into architecture and design, for the record FLW had 263 apprentices (1932-1959, not all of whom went on to practice architecture) whom he directly taught (plus many more at Taliesin after his death, who were taught by his apprentices). His influence on architecture and design is really quite obvious when put into that perspective.

-- John