Frank Lloyd Wright’s Original San Francisco Office Rebuilt In PA

ERIE, PA — A piece of architectural history has been rebuilt in Pennsylvania.

Legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright is best known for his Pennsylvania house Falling Water in Mill Run. Now, his original San Francisco office has been rebuilt in Pennsylvania, at 356 W. Sixth St in Erie.

Visitors can walk through the rebuilt office starting July 17, when the Erie County Historical Society-Hagen History Center reopens.

Wright’s 1930 Cord L-29 Cabriolet will also be on display along with a 17-foot model of his The Butterfly Bridge. That’s a structure that was designed to connect San Francisco and Oakland across the bay with a monumental reinforced concrete bridge, proposed in 1949.

“The office is a permanent exhibit, but the Cord is on loan only until October, and the bridge will be here for at least a year,” Erie County Historical Society-Hagen History Center Executive Director George Deutsch said. “We’re looking forward to sharing the original office where Frank Lloyd Wright worked with his associate Aaron Green. This is exactly as it was more than 60 years ago. When visitors enter, they will feel they walked into the office when the staff stepped out for lunch. Wright also used the office as the original location for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.”

While many recognize Wright’s homes at Taliesin in Wisconsin and Taliesin West in Arizona as his primary studios, Wright used the office when he tended to Bay Area projects from 1951 until his death in 1959.

Green continued to use it as his own office, and it was later moved to the Heinz Architectural Center at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, but there, it was behind glass and visitors were not permitted to walk through.

The office came to Erie through the generosity of Hagen History Center benefactor Thomas B. Hagen, who purchased the office from Jim Sandoro, owner of the Buffalo Transportation Pierce Arrow Museum.

The office will be immediately added to the list of public Wright sites around the world.

Hagen History Center will hold several interactive discussions regarding Wright’s architecture in the coming months with national and local speakers.

During the grand opening weekend of July 17-18, visitors can tour the campus for free. Scheduled, guided tours are encouraged after the opening to comfortably accommodate all visitors.

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