Dated 12 December 1918, this letter was written by Chicago architect Louis Sullivan to Austrian architect R.M. Schindler, who had moved to the U.S. in 1914 after he was introduced to the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Schindler lived in Wright’s Oak Park Home & Studio for a number of years, even though Wright had moved to Wisconsin by then. But he continued Wright’s American operations while Wright worked in Japan. Schindler later followed Wright to Los Angeles but the relationship completely broke down by 1931 and they never reconciled. Schindler was already working on his own at the time, like the modernist Lovell Beach House for example. This letter was found amongst Schindler’s possessions when he died in 1953.

Interesting to note Sullivan mentions in the letter that he will “take the Oak Park L and get off at the Oak Park Station.” Also, Sullivan sought refuge at the Cliff Dwellers Club, then at the top of Orchestra Hall, as he received no important commissions the last twenty years of his life.

(Sources: Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians and UC-Santa Barbara Art Museum)


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