Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Crystal Heights complex - Frank Lloyd Wright


The Crystal Heights apartment complex, designed for Washington DC in 1938. The complex included shops, a theatre, twenty-four apartment towers and a 1000-room hotel, but it was never built. Too radical, declared the planners, and -- they decided -- insufficiently classical for Washington's mausoleum-like government centre.

Crystal Heights never got off the drawing board because the area was zoned for residential use only, said Neil Levine, professor of art and architecture at Harvard University and an expert on the project.

Mina Marefat, a Washington and Wright scholar, believes Wright's imperious attitude offended Washington's bureaucracy, including the zoning and planning boards whose support he needed to change the rules. Building Museum curator Chrysanthe B. Broikos located a letter from Wright to the client, Roy Thurman, complaining of "difficulty getting the necessary permits."

I can't help thinking this or something like it would look good down at Auckland's Tank farm -- but sadly it would probably be killed by the same sort of people that killed it in DC.

LINKS: Big tower on the prairie - Washington Post
Auckland's Tank Farm - Not PC
New Urban Design Commissar for Auckland - Not PC

TAGS: Architecture, Auckland, Urban Design

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