Sunday, June 13, 2010

Frank Lloyd Wright Week (part 5)

The Price Tower gave me my first proper introduction to practical - and magical - geometry. Although this structure is not one I'd call "pretty," it is one of the most beautiful buildings I've ever witnessed. It simply comes alive.

When I visited the newly remodeled Price Tower Arts Center a couple of years ago, I couldn't get enough of it. While my wife and her high school classmate (and amazing PTAC exhibition curator) Scott Perkins chatted over drinks in the 15th floor Copper Bar, I spent a couple of hours scaling the building several times on the 30/60/120 degree exterior stairwell. It was visceral! I could touch the pressed patina-green copper exterior. And the views! Wow - Bartlesville! Other than the aliveness of it all, I hardly noticed the cold swirling January winds.

I've also linked a couple of posts to what I call Price Tower's "Baby Daddy." Frank Lloyd Wright designed a progenitor of the Price Tower in the 1920's for St. Marks in the Bowery in New York. The proposed design would have manifested a series of apartment towers around the church as income producers. Alas, they were never constructed. But as a trial run for Mr. Wrights skyscraper opus, they proved immensely valuable.

In addition to the Art Center, the newly renovated tower offers hotel accommodations. This is a can't miss for Wright fans. Plan a trip to the Inn at Price Tower for an experience you won't soon forget.


Price Tower (part 1)
Price Tower (part 2) details
St. Marks in the Bowery (part 1)
St. Marks in the Bowery (part 2)

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