A boy asked Frank Lloyd Wright to design him a dog house — and he did

Published by Zoe Sottile, CNN

Famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright intended iconic structures like the Fallingwater dwelling in Pennsylvania and the Guggenheim Museum in New York — and he also designed a dog property for a 12-calendar year-previous boy who despatched him a letter.
Jim Berger grew up in a San Anselmo, California, home that his mothers and fathers experienced commissioned Wright to design, according to Marin County. In 1956, when Berger was 12 decades aged, he despatched a letter to Wright inquiring for strategies for a matching dog house for his labrador retriever, Eddie.

“I would value it if you would layout me a pet house, which would be easy to create, but would go with our dwelling,” wrote Berger in the letter. “The purpose I would like this pet house is for the winters primarily.”

The letter Berger wrote Wright.

The letter Berger wrote Wright. Credit score: COUNTY OF MARIN

He supplied Eddie’s age, “four years previous or in canine life 28 many years,” and dimension, “two and a 50 % feet large and 3 ft prolonged.”

He available to pay the architect for the structure with income from his paper route.

“A home for Eddie is an option,” wrote Wright in his reply, dated June 28, 1956. “Sometime I shall design and style 1 but just now I am far too fast paced to focus on it. You produce me future November to Phoenix, Arizona and I may perhaps have some thing then.”

It wasn’t until eventually the following 12 months that the architect despatched Berger the ideas for the triangular pet residence, created on the back of an envelope and supplied at no cost. The layout features signatures of Wright’s work frequently and of the Bergers’ house, like the minimal-pitched roof and exaggerated overhang.

Architecture admirers can see the pet dog property for them selves at the Marin County Civic Center, wherever it was put on everlasting screen on May possibly 26, in accordance to the county. The civic center alone is the most significant creating ever designed by Wright.
The dog house at the Marin County Civic Center.

The dog property at the Marin County Civic Middle. Credit rating: COUNTY OF MARIN

The puppy property on exhibit, however, isn’t really the true pet house utilised by Eddie. Berger’s father, Robert, and brother, Eric, constructed the dog household in 1963 when Berger joined the Army, six many years just after obtaining the strategies from Wright. But the family’s labrador did not use the pet residence, and in 1970 Berger’s mom Gloria despatched it to the dump, according to the county.

In 2010, Berger and Eric designed one more edition of the pet home from Wright’s designs as element of a documentary, “Romanza,” about Wright’s lifetime. And in 2016 Berger donated the distinctive composition to Marin County.

The doggy household is the smallest composition Wright at any time intended, the county claims. The architect died in 1959, just two years soon after mailing Berger the layout for his canine companion.