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Opening Reception and Lecture: Frank Lloyd Wright - Designs on America’s Greatest City

Join us to celebrate the opening of Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior with a lecture by co-author Debra Pickrel who explores Frank Lloyd Wright’s fascinating final years, a time when he was a legendary architect and New York was reveling in postwar prosperity. Based on her book Frank Lloyd Wright in New York: The Plaza Years, 1954–1959, recipient of the 2008 Independent Publishers Book Awards’ Gold Medal in Architecture, Debra will discuss a momentous five-year period when one of the world's greatest architects and greatest cities dynamically coexisted.

Bringing each of these characters to life, her talk will explore the fascinating contradiction between Wright's often-voiced disdain for New York and his pride in living in a great Manhattan landmark: the Plaza Hotel. From his suite, or "Taliesin East,” Wright supervised construction of the Guggenheim Museum and negotiated an astonishing array of exchanges with the city's architects, artists, journalists, editors, celebrities, power brokers, and bureaucrats, many of which will be revealed.

The book can be purchased here, and Ms. Pickrel is happy to sign books following her lecture.

About the Co-author

Debra Pickrel, principal of Pickrel Communications, Inc. in New York, has written on architecture and design for Architectural Record, House Beautiful, Metropolis, and Preservation. She is also the co-author The Luxembourg House on Beekman Place: Three Portraits in Time; author of A Day in Turtle Bay, a walking tour of her Manhattan neighborhood with a foreword by Walter Cronkite; and the editor of numerous books. A former executive board member of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, Pickrel holds a B.A. from the School of Media & Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received her M.A. in Historic Preservation from Goucher College. A long-time New Yorker, she is a native of Richmond, Virginia.

About the Book

Recipient of the 2008 Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY)—Gold Medal, Architecture, this book relays a social and cultural history that unfolds during the last five years of Wright’s life, when he was a Plaza Hotel resident. Originally published to coincide with the hotel’s 100th anniversary, it examines a momentous five-year period when one of the world's greatest architects and greatest cities dynamically coexisted. Bringing each of these characters to life, the book explores the fascinating contradiction between Wright's often-voiced disdain for New York and his pride in living in a great Manhattan landmark. From his custom-designed Plaza Hotel suite, or "Taliesin East,” Wright supervised construction of the Guggenheim Museum and negotiated an astonishing array of exchanges with the city's architects, artists, journalists, editors, celebrities, power brokers, and bureaucrats. The book features a foreword by Mike Wallace of CBS News/60 Minutes fame, whose seminal interviews of Wright in the 1950s were two of his career favorites. The title’s 10th anniversary paperback printing (2017) includes a postscript relaying the losses, gains, and alterations to Wright’s work in New York City since the original publication.

This program is presented in association with Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior, organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC, in cooperation with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Scottsdale, AZ, on view through September 6, 2019.


This project has been funded in part by a grant from the Dorothea DeSchweinitz Fund for the District of Columbia of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.