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Qwiz5 Quizbowl Essentials: Frank Lloyd Wright

A native of Oak Park, Illinois, Frank Lloyd Wright is one of the best known American architects of the 20th Century. He is well-known for his public buildings like New York’s Guggenheim Museum and Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel as well as numerous private residences built in his “Prairie Style”, like Robie House.

Frank Lloyd Wright's "Fallingwater". Part of the Qwiz5 series by Qwiz Quizbowl Camp, written to help quiz bowl teams power more tossups!

By analyzing questions, you can see patterns emerge, patterns that will help you answer questions. Qwiz5 is all about those patterns. In each installment of Qwiz5, we take an answer line and look at its five most common clues. Here we explore five clues that will help you answer a tossup on Frank Lloyd Wright.


Fallingwater is the name of a house that Frank Lloyd Wright designed for Edgar Kaufmann in Bear Run, PA. The house is notable for its concrete cantilevered terraces. It’s designed over top of a waterfall and has part of the stream running through the house.


Wright designed the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. The hotel was built in the Maya Revival style and was designed to “float on mud”. This design allowed it to survive the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 - one of the few buildings in Tokyo to do so.


Wright named his home and study Taliesin after the ancient Welsh poet. As he had principally built Taliesin as a hideaway in which he and his mistress, Mamah Borthwick, could live in relative peace, the press branded it theLove Castle”. Wright’s relationship with Mamah was considered scandalous at the time -- she was the wife of one of Wright’s clients, and both left their spouses to live together. In 1914, a disgruntled servant, Julian Carlton, burned down much of Taliesin and murdered six people - including Mamah Borthwick. The original Taliesin was built on his family’s ancestral property in Wisconsin, but he later built Taliesin West in Arizona for use during the winter.


Wright designed the company headquarters for S.C. Johnson Wax in Racine, WI. The structure is divided into the Research Tower and the Great Workroom, the latter of which is notable for its use of “dendriform” (or “lily-pad”) columns.


Wright also designed New York’s Guggenheim Museum. The museum’s design, sometimes referred to as an “inverted ziggurat”, is also notable for its use of a large spiral ramp in the interior.


Quizbowl is about learning, not rote memorization, so we encourage you to use this as a springboard for further reading rather than as an endpoint. Here are a few things to check out:

* Shortly before his death, Wright revealed plans for “The Illinois”, a mile-high Chicago skyscraper that would feature nuclear-powered elevators. It was never built, but you can read more about it HERE.

* Read more about Wright’s design for the SC Johnson Wax Company building HERE.

* Read about the link between Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel and MesoAmerican pyramids HERE.

* From the Smithsonian Channel, an interesting video about the murders at Taliesin:


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