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If Frank Lloyd Wright had LEGOs ...
Wisconsin State Journal ^ | May 30, 2009 | George Hesselberg

Posted on 05/30/2009 5:34:23 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin

Frank Lloyd Wright and LEGO would seem an unnatural fit: curve meets corner, prairie meets cube.

But like a red brick and a yellow brick, the worldwide trademarks are now joined with a blue brick, an Illinois company called Brickstructures, in creating and selling LEGO building block versions of Wright’s iconic creations, Fallingwater and the Solomon Guggenheim Museum.

Can Madison’s Monona Terrace be far behind? And how will the notoriously formal Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation handle its partnership with a worldwide company that also puts out a SpongeBob SquarePants model?

You’ll have to make your own LEGO Monona Terrace, said Adam Reed Tucker, an “architectural artist” and the imagination behind the kit versions being introduced this summer in conjunction with the anniversaries of the Guggenheim and Fallingwater.

Tucker, an energetic 37-year-old who took the Wright idea to LEGO three years ago, has developed the LEGO Architecture series, which now includes six models of recognizable buildings including the Sears Tower, the Seattle Space Needle and the Empire State Building.

The Wright Foundation — which keeps a tight fist clamped on designs by Wright, considered by many to be the greatest American architect — brought in more than $880,000 in licensing fees in 2007, according to tax records. The foundation claims to have “considered pursuing” an association with the 77-year-old LEGO company for “several years,” according to a statement from Doug Volker, director of licensing and product development.

Tucker would not speculate Friday on whether additional Wright designs would be included in the series, but he said he has already received “more than 100” suggestions along that theme. He said he is a fan of Taliesin in Spring Green, and e-mailed a photograph taken two years ago at Taliesin of him holding an early version of a LEGO Fallingwater model.

The Wright buildings idea was “three years in the making and 18 months in development,” Tucker said.

“I approached LEGO group in 2006 and then we formed a pilot agreement in 2007, a formal partnership in 2008,” he said.

The Guggenheim model, with 208 pieces, is marketed at $45 plus $10 shipping mail order from Brickstructures. The Fallingwater (a home in Pennsylvania) model will have 811 pieces — including a plastic waterfall — and cost $99.99.

Tucker already has heard criticism that the models are too simple, or not truly detailed enough as Wright models. He said that considering the criteria necessary, the versions are true to an art form.

When he was a boy playing with LEGOs, “I used my imagination to build on the side, in addition to what was pictured on the box. It is different today — there are some amazing sets but once the kids build them, they may not take them apart. I am trying to bring back that fundamental idea (to keep building). In these models I try not to use any specialized pieces,” he said.

The final product is a compromise that remains true to the Wright design, but not so specifically detailed that it would make the purchase prohibitive, he said.

“The criteria include the cost and price, and trying to figure out a comfort zone with sales. Sure, we could do some ... sets that might cost $300 to $400, but we want people of all ages to explore architecture. You can’t do that if you out-price yourself,” he said.

“I have tried as an architectural artist to capture the essence of the structure in a simplified manner, so people without architectural background can appreciate and understand these” pieces, he said.

Wright’s Monona Terrace appears to be way down the list when it comes to potential LEGO Architecture kits, so a master builder intent on recreating the convention center on the lake will have to rely on imagination, dauntless energy and a lot of curvy — rare for LEGO — bricks.

Spokeswoman Fran Puleo said Monona Terrace has hosted children’s contests to build models, but never had a LEGO model. Notice of the new kits may inspire such a contest, she said.

The Monona Terrace gift shop already is looking into carrying the new LEGO Architecture models, she said.

As of Friday, the Guggenheim kit was temporarily sold out at the Brickstructures Web site, and orders were limited to one per customer. The Fallingwater kit will be available later this summer, Tucker said.


TOPICS: History; Hobbies; Science
KEYWORDS: architecture; lego; science

Monona Terrace (Convention Center), Madison, WI. Some call it, "The Mistake on the Lake."

1 posted on 05/30/2009 5:34:23 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin
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To: Diana in Wisconsin; Slings and Arrows

Way cool!


2 posted on 05/30/2009 5:35:24 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
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Frank Lloyd Wright's "Fallingwater" -- a home in Pennsylvania -- is the other Wright design included in LEGO's Architecture line of products.

3 posted on 05/30/2009 5:35:30 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

4 posted on 05/30/2009 5:36:38 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

Frank Lloyd Wright’s son, John Lloyd Wright, was the man who created Lincoln Logs.


5 posted on 05/30/2009 5:37:25 PM PDT by Charles Henrickson (The Wright Stuff.)
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To: Jet Jaguar

FLW stuff is very dated, to my eyes at least.


6 posted on 05/30/2009 5:38:47 PM PDT by omega4179 (Boycott all fascist run corporations,,,, for America.)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

This is very cool. Let’s hope the LEGO versions are more structurally sound than the originals.


7 posted on 05/30/2009 5:40:28 PM PDT by Adams
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To: Charles Henrickson

Really? I didn’t know that. I thought Abraham Lincoln invented them...it had his face on the box when I was a kid, LOL! ;)


8 posted on 05/30/2009 5:40:40 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: omega4179
LEGO has some great stuff. They have stuff like this.


9 posted on 05/30/2009 5:43:44 PM PDT by Jet Jaguar
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To: omega4179

I’ve been in many of his homes and buildings. They are absolutely breath-taking to behold, but you don’t want to live in one.

The maintenance and upkeep is astronomical with all of those flat roofs and straight lines, especially in Snow Country, and they really aren’t very energy efficient or comfortable to be in, temperature wise.

I appreciate the art of it, but they were not practical in any way, shape or form, IMHO.


10 posted on 05/30/2009 5:46:41 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

Get some acute angle LEGOs and build some I. M. Pei.


11 posted on 05/30/2009 5:51:30 PM PDT by NonValueAdded ("Tyranny is always whimsical." Mark Steyn 3/9/2009)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

Wow!


12 posted on 05/30/2009 5:54:47 PM PDT by LiteKeeper (When do the impeachment proceedings begin?)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

FLW was never about comfort, you are so right. But he did love beauty. He fit buildings into the enviroment, not the environment into the building.

There is a house for sale now in the suburbs of Chicago. People know it as the “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” house. It has hints of FLW and Phillip Johnson, but it was built by architects A. James Speyer and David Haid. The house is on sale for $2.3 million, and in this sad real estate market, people are betting that is going to go for more.

It may not be comfortable, but it IS beautiful. And in the FLW tradition.


13 posted on 05/30/2009 5:55:19 PM PDT by Free State Four
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To: Diana in Wisconsin
I love me some Lego!
14 posted on 05/30/2009 6:00:52 PM PDT by RushIsMyTeddyBear (Obama. Clear and Pres__ent Danger.)
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To: RushIsMyTeddyBear

http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=cj60k&s=3


15 posted on 05/30/2009 6:01:13 PM PDT by RushIsMyTeddyBear (Obama. Clear and Pres__ent Danger.)
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To: Free State Four

One of the most beautiful homes I’ve ever been in was in Acapulco in 1976 or so. A girlfriend and I took a vacation after HS Graduation and we were invited to a party that was filled with (future) Movie Stars and all sorts of ‘beautiful people.’ (We WERE pretty cute in those days; they must’ve thought we were Rich American Girls with Rich Daddies to back movies or something, LOL!) This was near where John Wayne had his house in Acapulco.

The house was built INTO a cliff, and the pool seemed to ‘float’ out over the cliff and Acapulco Bay. There were hardly any walls in the place; the house just seemed to levitate on the mountainside; it was pretty cool.

I’ll never forget it.

So yes, architecture is about beauty and not about practicality. It started to rain later in the evening, and it was quite wet & windy right there in the living room, LOL!


16 posted on 05/30/2009 6:05:32 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: RushIsMyTeddyBear

That’s pretty cool! :)


17 posted on 05/30/2009 6:08:22 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

Wright is over-rated. Never really liked his designs. Monona Terrace, not impressed. Looks like space ships landed on the lakeshore.

Hey! How ‘bout that Doyle budget! Vicki M says if it all passes, we’ll be worse off than California!

Any idea if there is an Independence Day tax revolt rally at the Capitol Square? I’ll be there if there is one planned. Already have a friend who wants to go with.


18 posted on 05/30/2009 6:09:57 PM PDT by TheConservativeParty ("Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force." George Washington)
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To: TheConservativeParty

I think there’s one planned for July 4th. Vicki will keep us informed. :)

Wisconsin IS going into the fiscal cr@pper. Count on it. Hopefully Scott Walker can pull us out of it next time ‘round. ;)


19 posted on 05/30/2009 6:12:45 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin
Damn. I grew up an hour from there, and never once saw it. I think I'm going to have to make the effort the next time I'm home.


20 posted on 05/30/2009 6:14:33 PM PDT by Viking2002 (This tagline for rent.)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin
The roof will leak. His designs were ahead of the available technology. (I'm being polite there.)

A buyer had commissioned "Falling Water". Time passed and the buyer became concerned about Wright's apparent inactivity. He called and announced that he would be driving to Taliesan to view the drawings. Wright agreed..and drew what had been brewing in his mind since viewing the site while the buyer was en route.

21 posted on 05/30/2009 6:21:58 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: NonValueAdded
"Get some acute angle LEGOs and build some I. M. Pei."

K'nay!

22 posted on 05/30/2009 6:23:48 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

Grew up about 3 blocks from a FLW designed home.

Went to Wichita State University, the Education Dept. is an a FLW designed building.

This is cool stuff!


23 posted on 05/30/2009 6:34:12 PM PDT by Kansas58
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To: Free State Four; Diana in Wisconsin
He fit buildings into the enviroment, not the environment into the building.

I grew up hearing this my whole life, and I took it at face value.

Then one day I finally went to see Fallingwater: for the life of me, I couldn't understand in what universe this vaguely Mediterranean pinkish-peach (!) rectangular monstrosity was said to have "blended into the natural environment." It stuck out and stuck out hideously--and the fact that it was weirdly perched over the stream didn't give it any points in my book.

All around where I grew up in Eastern PA there are old farmhouses built out of native stone, some from the 1700s. Every last one of them, IMHO, harmonizes better with its surroundings than Fallingwater. I ain't an architect, but I think I know the natural surroundings of my home state...and I don't think FLW captured them very well at all. Just my two cents. :)

24 posted on 05/30/2009 6:35:37 PM PDT by Claud
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To: Diana in Wisconsin
FLW designed the Marin County (CA) Civic Center

The Marin County Civic Center was also the scene of this outrage.

Marin County Courthouse Shootout

August 7, 1970. In an attempt to free his brother, imprisoned Black Panther leader George Jackson, 17-year old Jonathan Jackson entered a courthouse in Marin County, California with an arsenal of weapons. After storming into a room where a trial was taking place, Jackson armed defendant James McClain, who was on trial for murdering a prison guard, and two fellow convicts who were participating in the trial as witnesses, William Christmas and Ruchell Magee.

The four armed men then took the judge, a district attorney and three jurors hostage, and marched them out of the courthouse into a waiting getaway van.

As they attempted to flee the scene, a shootout broke out between the hostage takers and Marin County Sheriffs deputies providing security at the courthouse. By the end of the gun battle, Jackson, McClain, Christmas, and judge Harold Haley were killed. According to the other hostages, Haley was executed by the hostage takers with a shotgun that had been taped to his throat.

Magee was severely injured, but survived the battle and was sentenced to life in prison. One Juror and the D.A. were also wounded. One of the weapons used by Jackson was later traced to Black Panther icon Angela Davis, who was later tried (but acquitted) for participation in the crime.

Deaths: Suspects: 3; Hostages: 1

Ah, to have the black radicals in the forefront again! Fight the power ! /s

25 posted on 05/30/2009 6:39:13 PM PDT by csvset
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

Hey, have you heard the theory that Doyle is a “gov. gone wild” with this budget, because he is not running for re-election? Makes sense to me. He doesn’t care who he ticks off, because he’s getting an Obamination appointment to some cushy job in Washington. Sounds plausible. He is so bad! Recently, democrats I know have said they hate him. Even my liberal neighbor proclaimed he thinks Doyle is a dork. Looks good for Walker in 2010.

See ya at the Capitol on the 4th of July! I’ll be wearing a Freeper t-shirt. Probably holding the flag the hubby got from the Air Force. Me and my one and only real conservative friend will be there, one on each end of the flag.


26 posted on 05/30/2009 6:41:00 PM PDT by TheConservativeParty ("Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force." George Washington)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin; AdmSmith; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; ...

Not nearly as interesting as the Escher in Lego stuff, but pretty cool lookin’.


27 posted on 05/30/2009 7:52:17 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/____________________ Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

I hope the Lego model is more structurally sound than the original. It would have already fallen down if it had been originally built to Wright’s specs; even so, it has required millions in structural reinforcement.


28 posted on 05/30/2009 8:43:24 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: Charles Henrickson

My grade school teacher (this was in Yankeeland) said that they marketed them in the South as “Pioneer Logs.”


29 posted on 05/30/2009 8:54:36 PM PDT by Erasmus (Barack Hussein Obama: America's toast!)
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To: NonValueAdded

Or get out the blowtorch and build some Frank Gehry.


30 posted on 05/30/2009 8:56:33 PM PDT by Erasmus (Barack Hussein Obama: America's toast!)
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