Friday, May 16, 2014
I read an interesting review of the MoMA exhibit on Frank Lloyd Wright's Broadacre City planning scheme. The article quite reasonably concluded that Wright was "anti-city" and that his notion of low density suburbs dominated by cars was a prototype for what actually happened in the post war housing boom. I agree to an extent, but where that thesis is weak is in the generous lot sizes Wright allotted for people. A one acre building lot is the exception rather than the rule in suburban development. Builders prefer higher density lots--4000 to 7000 s.f. What Wright's plan has in common with modern paradigms is a reluctance to intersperse commercial and social architecture within suburban neighborhoods. Commercial development, whether by virtue of zoning or economic logic, tends to concentrate near suburbs, and rarely accessible by anything but a car.