Cover image for Frank Lloyd Wright and Midway Gardens
Frank Lloyd Wright and Midway Gardens
Kruty, Paul Samuel.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
xx, 262 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm
Corporate Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library NA6212 .K78 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



Built in Chicago in 1914, and demolished in 1929, Frank Lloyd Wright's Midway Gardens was a concert garden that included an indoor restaurant and dance hall, a five-tiered, outdoor summer garden with band shell, a tavern, and a private club. In this lavishly illustrated volume, the first to focus solely on Midway Gardens, Paul Kruty traces the project's history. 218 photos. 20 linecuts.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In this exactingly researched historical and architectural reconstruction of Wright's long-destroyed masterpiece, the Chicago concert garden of 1914, Kruty argues that the early loss of Wright's brilliant urban fantasy owes more to financial mismanagement than to faults of program or design. Indeed, Midway Gardens was an initial success, with tout Chicago gathering for fine dining, classical music, dancing, and on one occasion watching Pavlova perform. The building's decorations have no specific iconography other than that of fantasy and festivity, but that they had in plenty, encapsulating in art the larger architectural and human spectacle. Kruty analyzes some of Wright's forms and proposes a shift from his earlier work in terms of private and public imagery. He describes Wright's relation to the European Secessionists and he proposes an Expressionist strain in American architecture for which Midway Gardens serves as a fountainhead. Kruty's sparingly rendered insight that Wright himself might have been as stunned by his creativity as we are is especially memorable. This is an event in Wright scholarship and necessary reading for Chicago's cultural historians. Copiously illustrated and accessibly written, it will also be enjoyed by general readers who are serious fans of Frank Lloyd Wright. Graduates through professionals. E. Weiss; Tulane University

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