Frank Lloyd Wright’s highly active urban imagination could be interestingly wrong, or just plain wrong. Samuel Medina’s recent review of Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal at the Museum of Modern Art covers both aspects of Wright’s thinking, but especially the latter. The ensuing dialogue in the wake of the MoMA exhibit begs important questions about the value of Wright’s Broadacre City concept. If Wright was wrong, does he leave us with anything interesting? In my view there is plenty to learn by looking at Wright’s scheme in a contemporary context.
In case you missed it, the MoMA displayed Wright’s Broadacre City model as the centerpiece of its recent exhibit, a kind of prairie metropolis that silos various civic, transportation, and recreational functions across a town that lacks any center. Medina’s review reminds us that implementing Broadacre City or anything like it would have been a disaster.