No doubt that many of us know Frank L.Wright, one of the most true visionary architects of the first half of the 20th century, and late 19th. Apart from his famous work and philosophy, his smallest and perhaps most unusual project came in 1956. Interestingly, the client of this project was a 12 years old kid, Robert Berger’s son, an engineer that some years ago had bought the plans for his house to the architect. Jim, the child, asked Frank Lloyd Wright to design a house for his dog Eddie, a black Labrador. The child promised paying for the materials and the plans using what he earned delivering newspapers. In the beginning, the architect rejected the project because he was very busy. But after a second try of the kid, Wright agreed and supplied a full set of drawings for “Eddie’s House” the next year.
Construction on this tiny piece of architectural history was eventually completed by Jim’s father in 1963, it was a hexagonal house that has been built using cedar wood and mahogany from the Philippines, with minor changes to the original drawings to make the house portable. Here’s how the little boy asked Wright for the doghouse design, and received it !
June 19, 1956
Dear Mr. Wright
I am a boy of twelve years. My name is Jim Berger. You designed a house for my father whose name is Bob Berger. I have a paper route which I make a little bit of money for the bank, and for expenses.
I would appreciate it if you would design me a dog house, which would be easy to build, but would go with our house. My dog’s name is Edward, but we call him Eddie. He is four years old or in dog life 28 years. He is a Labrador retriever. He is two and a half feet high and three feet long. The reasons I would like this dog house is for the winters mainly. My dad said if you design the dog house he will help me build it. But if you design the dog house I will pay you for the plans and materials out of the money I get from my route.
A house for Eddie is an opportunity. Someday I shall design one but just now I am too busy to concentrate on it. You write me next November to Phoenix, Arizona and I may have something then.
June 28th, 1956
Dear Mr Wright
I wrote you June 19, 1956 about designing my dog Eddie a dog house to go with the house you designed for my dad. You told me to write you again in November so I ask you again, could you design me a dog house.