The Frank Lloyd Wright Project is finally being brought to life.

Frank Lloyd Wright built more than 1,100 buildings during his lifetime. However, more than half of them–a staggering 660 buildings–remained unbuilt or unknown. This figure does not include the demolished work of the architect. Thanks to the collaboration between Spanish architect David Romero and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation (Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation), Wright’s unbuilt and demolished projects can now be viewed in 3D renderings. It looks as though they were built or rebuilt. Romero and The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation first collaborated in 2018 to bring six unbuilt projects to life. They recently teamed up again to create three renderings for The Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly, a print magazine by The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

In 2018, AD president Stuart Graff stated that while we won’t experience the natural feeling of seeing an unbuilt Wright design in person, renderings can give a better sense of space and light than drawings alone. Romero’s latest renderings focused on Wright’s unbuilt skyscrapers. This included his dream for a Chicago mile-high tower. AD looks at the nine structures that Wright designed, giving us a glimpse into an architectural world that never came to fruition.

The Illinois (Chicago, Illinois)

Illinois, Wright’s most famous project, would have been the tallest building in the entire world if it had been built. The skyscraper, which would have a mile high, would almost double the height of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Wright boasted at the time that the Empire State Building would look like a mouse. He had 528 stories in mind, and the building would cover more than 18,000,000 square feet. Wright was undoubtedly ahead of his time, but he had yet to find a site or client for the project.

Crystal City (Washington, DC).

Wright’s original design for a mixed-use development, known as Crystal City, was canceled due to miscommunication and clashes between Washington, DC’s Zoning Authorities. The towers were designed in the late 1940s and ranged in height from 140 to 265 feet. They had a U-shaped shape. Wright was unaware of the strict size and used restrictions in the city. The developer Roy S. Thurman kept Wright ignorant about the battles over regulations. The National Capital Park and Planning Commission (NCPPC) voted unanimously against the project.

National Life Insurance Building (Chicago, Illinois)

Wright could have created the National Life Insurance Building in Chicago. The structure, which was 25 stories high, could be described as a glass fortress. It was also very innovative for its time. Many buildings at the time were built with historic revival details.

Butterfly Wing Bridge, San Francisco, California

Frank Lloyd Wright-designed this bridge in 1952. It is a beautiful crossing over San Francisco Bay. Wright believed that a quieter design, more in harmony with nature, would be a better choice for San Francisco, which was considering replicating its famous Bay Bridge. Unfortunately, the plans for the bridge, which featured two pedestrian paths and a lushly planted garden with views over the San Francisco Bay, were scrapped after the Transbay Tube was revealed.

Gordon Strong Automobile Objective, Sugarloaf Mountain (Maryland)

To create this rendering, Romero used photographs from Wright’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. The structure was designed to be a tourist attraction and house a planetarium, a restaurant, and a scenic overlook. Unfortunately, it was not built. Romero says that if it had been made, it would have been one of his most famous designs.

Larkin Administration Building (Buffalo, New York)

The Larkin Administrative Building in Buffalo was Wright’s first public project. It was built in 1904. The redbrick five-story building, which was five stories high, was demolished by Wright in 1950. It now lies in the Ohio Canal Basin near the Buffalo River. Romero’s reconstruction of the structure features highly detailed renderings, which showcase elegant interior features such as a skylit courtyard measuring 76 feet high.

Rose, Gertrude Pauson House (Phoenix, Arizona)

The Rose and Gertrude Pauson House is unique. It was constructed in contrast to other buildings on the list. However, like many Wright Buildings, it succumbed to fire in 1943 after a fireplace ember ignited curtains. The house’s foundation, walls, and chimney remained intact until 1979.

Roy Wetmore Car Repair and Showroom Detroit, Michigan

Wright was appointed to renovate Roy Wetmore’s car dealership and service station in 1947. It is believed that Wetmore’s daughter was involved with one of Wright’s apprentices. Although plans were drawn up and Wright’s team completed some work on the station’s interior, it has yet to become a reality. It is still open to visitors who are aware of its architectural importance.

Trinity Chapel, Norman, Oklahoma

The Wright-designed chapel features red walkways and a distinctive green-shingled roof spire. It also has stained glass windows. Fred Jones, a car dealer, and the project owner, wanted to gift it to the University of Oklahoma. Wright and his client discovered that Wright needed to understand the plans. The chapel was meant to be an adjunct to the university but not a standalone structure. Wright eventually abandoned the project.

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