Working With Wright
What was it like to build a house with FLW?
The common lore is that he was impossibly difficult to work with, with an almost facist imposition of his will on clients.
The truth appears different.
The average FLW client was an upper middle class, well educated person. Clients reported that he would meet with them personally and was a good listener. (Wright did less than 10 commissions with people who were truly rich.)
Wright's fees were standard: 10% of the cost of the project, including furniture. For a $12,000 Usonian home, his fee would be $1.200. Adjusted for inflation, FLW's fee for Sturges wold come to $21,000 today.
A researcher decided to separate fact from fiction by extensively interviewing and surveying 33 FLW residential clients-- and the results were surprising.
In summary the homeowners said:
-- Wright was charming and agreeable in consultation
-- Wright did not arrogantly dictate terms (although he was persuasive)
-- Wright would attempt to value engineer costs lower when construction bids came back high (and they often did)
-- Wright took way longer than promised to return plans
-- Wright's kitchens were much too small
-- Some of Wright's furniture was unlivable and homeowners would find reasons to remove it