Lincoln Logs, take a seat in the back

Photo credit, National Trust for Historic Preservation

This aint no ordinary building. In case the smooth lines, ordered space and airy perspective didn’t lead on, this masterpiece building is one of many by world-renowned architect and designer Frank Lloyd Wright.

Built in 1939, the Pope-Leighy House is now a museum. It is literally a three minute drive from my front door and this weekend I took the family there to visit.

It wasn’t until we paid for admission (a small price, but at a separate location) that we realized it was a guided tour on schedule every hour.

Most of the fellow patrons were older. And none, smartly, had their kids with them. My wife and I knew that our two-year old wasn’t going to make it. He was already starting to walk around and fuss as the small crowd of well-dressed visitors gathered just outside the house before the tour started.

So my wife decided she and he would tour the nearby gardens and grounds instead, while our 5-year old and I stayed for the house tour.

Although it wasn’t posted anywhere, in hind sight, I’d say an architectural tour is probably an 8-year-old-and-up tour.


Still, even at five, Philo hung in there. He asked alot of interesting questions and took in a good part of what the tour guide said. And I think he got it, you know, actually being in a house built by a world-famous builder and artist.

If not, I’m sure he will someday.

What he did ask though, several times after we left, was about a very small and obscure Lincoln Log cabin that was set up on a table in the far corner of the living room. I wondered about it myself, though neither of us asked the guide.

Because they are from a much older generation, and he never saw Lincoln Logs before and wanted to know what they were. That was easy, and I told him.

But I wondered why they were there, intentionally, as decor amidst the masterpiece.

In any case, he now wants Lincoln Logs and I think it’s cool that when he gets some, he’ll associate them with a house that Frank Lloyd Wright made.

Of course, I was and still am, over the moon from the visit. I have always been a patron of the arts – and when it comes to architecture, there are few if any that surpass the creative genius of Wright. There are really no words to describe the sense of pure artistry and excellence found inside one of his spaces. Experience is the only way.

The full span of his work stretches across five countries and 37 U.S. States. Check this complete list of works to locate – and hopefully visit – a masterpiece near you.

I hope to see many, many more myself … when the boys are older, of course.

Meanwhile, we’ll be shopping for those Lincoln Logs.


One Response to “Lincoln Logs, take a seat in the back”

  1. elevenafter Says:

    Good day Luke,
    I came across your posting while looking for a desktop image of the Pope-Leighey house which I’ll be visiting next weekend. Nice story, I’ll bookmark and some of your other stories later..
    I have been a fan of FLW since I was first introduced to his work in 8th grade Art class (1993-ish) I’m working in the Architectural field now and have a good collection of his books. I have toured Fallingwater (highly recommended) and took a stroll around Oak Park in Chicago as well as the Robie house on the University of Chicago campus (all recommended actually). I have a 10 year old son and bought a set of Lincoln logs for him when he was five.. and he still plays with them, just last week in fact. I had always been a fan anyway, and you may know this by now, Lincoln Logs were invented in 1916 by John L. Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright… I imagine that may be part of the reason they were on the table.
    Another gift to look into for your children are the Froebel Gifts, (Frank Lloyd Wright was given a set of the Froebel blocks at about age nine, and in his autobiography cited them indirectly in explaining that he learned the geometry of architecture in kindergarten play, writing “For several years I sat at the little Kindergarten table-top . . . and played . . . with the cube, the sphere and the triangle—these smooth wooden maple blocks . . . All are in my fingers to this day . .)
    Enjoy your day!

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