Many buildings have been called designs by Frank Lloyd Wright, but have little or no connection to America's best-known architect. Many buildings by Wright's son, Lloyd, have this distinction. We have no intention to indicate every building known to us, but here are some of the most obvious. We will add to this site as time permits.

This posting September 2002

Materials in this & related web pages are copyright © MMII by William Allin Storrer

The house near the Four Presidents monument in South Dakota, shown in Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" is, in its long shot view, only a model. The clue is those triangular aluminum supports where Wright would have used a pure cantilever.


The Mueller house in Decatur, Illinois, bears similarity in its detailing to the Amberg house. It is known to be Mahoney's work.

The Amberg house in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The work is that of Marion Mahoney (pronounced by the family as MAH-honey) with possible help from Walter Burley Griffin. The house bears comparison to the Henry Ford Fairlane Estate projects in Dearborn, Michigan.

The Amberg house (top and bottom) and Mueller house.

Shorewinds Motel, Palm Beach, Florida. This is by Walter Burley Griffin.

The Moe house, Gary, Indiana, is most certainly a variation of Wright's Charles A Brown house, S.110, by Marion Mahoney. Wright was in Italy, Germany and France with son Lloyd at the time Mahoney defeated Wright's porch cantilever and replaced wood siding with stucco.

Do you see the OBVIOUS difference? Not the stucco versus board & batten, but the supporting element for the porch roof of the Moe house? One of the most basic principles of Wrightean Prairie-era design was the cantilever. The Brown house porch features a 10 foot cantilever. Whomever stole Wright's plan and altered it for Gary did not understand how to anchor the cantilever, so put in the" unnecessary" support. Perhaps one of Wright's office helpers? Or the local builder altering a Wright tract-house plan on his own cognizance? Since the exact date of construction and a construction permit is not available, we do not know who it might be. Mr Wright would never have approved a plan including this support.
This house, the Charles A. Brown house (S.110), in Evanston, Illinois, is by Frank Lloyd Wright.



The fact that a number of reputable institutions have sanctioned the Moe house in Gary, Indiana, as havng been designed by Frank Lloyd Wright does not mean that this is so.
A former chancelor of Long Island University (C W Post College, Brooklyn College, Southampton College) said the Sullivan Cottage (S.005) in Ocean Springs, Mississippi was not by Wright. That did not make it so. My researches proved that Wright had designed it under Sullivan's order.
A former and certainly well-respected president of the Society of Architectural Historians said that the Amberg house in Grand Rapids, Michigan and the Mueller house in Decatur, Illinois were by Wright. This did not make it so, despite his high reputation and scholarly credentials. I doubted the Amberg as soon as I saw it, and noted the similarity of style with the Mueller as well as some features shared with the unbuilt house for Henry Ford in my hometown, Dearborn. Eventually I was able to come up with a correct plan of the Amberg, did a quick geometric analysis, and determined that it could not be by Wright. Further research proved it and the Mueller to be by Marion Mahoney.
I am also the only person to have drawn a distinction between what Wright designed, and what Louis Sullivan designed, in the Charnley house (S.009) in Chicago.
So people may continue to argue that the Moe house is by Wright despite the fact that, tho it uses a basic plan copied from Wright's Charles A Brown house (S.110) in Evanston, it is of different materials and the porch roof is utterly different, requiring a support that is not needed in the properly cantilevered Brown unit. If people want to reveal their lack of understanding of Wrightean design principles that is their perogative . Until proof can be brought to me that Wright sanctioned these differences, I cannot consider the Moe building to be a legitimate Frank Lloyd Wright structure.

The Clubhouse at the Howe Military Academy, Howe, Indiana. Again, most certainly by Marion Mahoney while Wright was out of the office traveling in Italy, Germany and France, and a fine building for which she deserves credit.