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Buffalo at the CrossroadsThe Past, Present, and Future of American Urbanism$
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Peter H. Christensen

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501749766

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501749766.001.0001

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“In the Thought of the World”

“In the Thought of the World”

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Larkin Administration Building

(p.89) Chapter 4 “In the Thought of the World”
Buffalo at the Crossroads

Jack Quinan

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the Larkin Building, which is firmly entrenched in histories of architectural modernism, such as Henry-Russell Hitchcock's Modern Architecture: Romanticism and Reintegration of 1929. It cites Hendrik Petrus Berlage's Amsterdam Stock Exchange, Peter Behren's AEG Turbine Factory, and Otto Wagner's Post Office Savings Bank as buildings that rival Frank Lloyd Wright's Larkin commission for architectural distinction at the turn of the twentieth century. It also reviews the origins of Wright's Larkin Building in the company's history, its material characteristics, and its principal functions. The chapter weighs the Larkin Building against similar considerations of three European buildings in order to identify the ideas and qualities that all four architects shared while also demonstrating characteristics in Wright's building. It describes the Larkin Administration Building that was modern in the abstractness of its blocklike forms and its many innovations.

Keywords:   Buffalo, Larkin Building, architectural modernism, abstractness, Frank Lloyd Wright

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