Unity-Temple und Unity-Haus, Oak Park, Illinois
Frank Lloyd Wright ( American, 1867 - 1959 )
Marion Mahony ( American, 1871 - 1961 )
Why not, then, build a temple, not to God in that way—more sentimental than sense—but build a temple to man, appropriate to his uses as a meeting place, in which to study man himself for his God’s sake? A modern meeting-house and good-time place. —Frank Lloyd Wright Built as a Unitarian house of worship, Unity Temple today remains widely recognized as one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most iconic buildings. A radically modern structure of cast concrete, Wright’s design is reminiscent of his Larkin Company Administration Building in its use of corner piers, enclosed cubic mass, and ornamental geometric “capitals” and detailing. The left building in the lithograph serves as the place of worship; the attached smaller unit to the right is a meeting space, with a kitchen, a sewing room, and spaces for gathering. The building was completed in 1909 and quickly became a key structure in Wright’s oeuvre, admired for its bold form by European modernist architects, including Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, among others.