October 10, 1946
Dear Frank Lloyd Wright:
The house you designed for me is magnificent.[*] I gasped when I saw it. It is the particular kind of sculpture in space which I love and which nobody but you has ever been able to achieve.
Most personally: Thank you for the fountain. That was as if you had autographed both my house and my book. This house is one of the greatest rewards an author can ever receive.
I was not very coherent when I told you what kind of house I wanted—and I had the impression that you did not approve of what I said. Yet you designed exactly the house I hoped to have. The next time somebody accuses you of cruelty and inconsideration toward clients, refer them to me.
I love the version with the top studio floor—and that is the one I want to have. My workroom alone on the top floor is my ideal of a place to write in. The double-corner-windows of glass are wonderful.
There are many things I would like to ask you about the details of the house. My first two practical questions are:
1. Is the stairwell in the studio an open one, or is it closed? It would have to be closed for me, because I need absolute privacy, silence, and the feeling of being cut off from everything, when I write.
2. Are you harsh on our future servants? The servant’s room seems too small for anyone to live in. If I read the plans correctly, it looks like a bedroom and bathroom combined. So I wonder whether the space marked for a den can be used for the servants’ quarters?
Page 2 Mr. Frank Lloyd Wright 10-10-46
I should like to discuss the details with you in person. When you come west, may I come to see you in Arizona? Or, if you are in Los Angeles, I should love to invite you to visit us—if this is convenient for you.
What is the next step in the birth of a house? Can one start on working drawings—or does that have to wait for the site? Is there a particular kind of hill with a particular kind of grade which I must find to fit the dimensions of the house? (I want it to be in Connecticut.) What will the house actually cost to build—and what do I owe you so far?
There are many, many things I want to ask you. (Just practical questions—not esthetic ones. I want the house to be as you want it. I really practice what I preach.) Please let me know when I may see you.
Gratefully and reverently,
No, I have not read “The Tragic Sense of Life” by Unamuno, but I shall get it and read it.
*For more about the genesis of Wright’s design, see the “Wright and Rand” issue of JTF (Journal of the Taliesin Fellows), Spring 1997.