In the most recent edition of Architectural Record, an editorial was written of the Larkin Administration Building, titled “Soap Opera”.
The magazine, which had covered Frank Lloyd Wright’s work since 1904 had mixed feelings about the building when it was first reviewed, actually the very conservative Russell Sturgis even said, “it was ugly.”
Almost every Buffalonian knows the story about FLW’s work in Buffalo, coming to design this building for the Larkin Company, also designing the Martin Complex and the Heath House in very short order. He later designs the Davidson House and Graycliff, and even later the Blue Sky Mausoleum.
The magazine recognizes that Buffalo is partially responsible for putting FLW on the map, and raising the eyes of east coast companies towards Wright, actually the Administration Building was FLW’s first sojourn into commercial architecture. Nonetheless, Architectural Record is aware of its part in leaving this very forward-thinking design unappreciated, and setting Frank Lloyd Wright back for a few years. Today, though over 100 years later, the LAB is finally getting its due from the Record, potentially also telling many architects about Buffalo’s role in the furthering of modern architecture.
The Larkin Plan – Factory to Family
It is still nice to see a piece by a reputable architectural magazine touting this city’s architecture, especially as this city is so very proud of it.