Architecture of Place
The Lake Tahoe Summer Colony
In 1923, Wright began crafting plans for the Lake Tahoe Summer Colony, a large-scale, multi-unit retreat situated on the banks of, and floating on, Lake Tahoe’s famed Emerald Bay. He presented the owner of the 200-acre property—Jessie Armstrong—with meticulously detailed plans for a series of naturalistic cabins built into the rocky terrain, floating barge cabins and a large inn that would be constructed over the bay and linked to the mainland by a network of piers.
Charged with creating architecture as an extension of the landscape, or as Wright described it, "Architecture of Place", he proposed several cabin types that would emulate their natural surroundings. The present lot is a set of three drawings for the Fir Tree type cabin, a design which evokes the evergreen in both overall form and detail.
Ultimately, Wright could not convince Armstrong (or his investors) to proceed with the project, and the Lake Tahoe Summer Colony was never realized. Today, extensive plans and information surrounding the extraordinary project can be found in the archives of The Library of Congress.
The true basis for any serious study of the art of architecture is in those indigenous structures, the more humble buildings everywhere, which are to architecture what folklore is to literature or folksongs are to music...All are happily content with what ornament and color they carry, as naturally as the rocks and trees and garden slopes which are with them.
Frank Lloyd Wright