Demolished Frank Lloyd Wright buildings get new life with photorealistic renderings

Architect David Romero recreated the Larkin Administration Building and the Rose Pauson House with detailed, fully colored renderings.

March 06, 2017 |

The Rose Pauson House. Rendering courtesy of David Romero, Hooked on The Past

Defending Frank Lloyd Wright buildings from demolition has become a popular subgenre of preserving historic buildings. In the recent past, the Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative has been hard at work defending some of Wright’s structures from being reduced to piles of rubble and attempting to get others that were already demolished rebuilt.

The Initiative has found success, but, unfortunately, it isn’t feasible to try and rebuild all of Wright’s structures that have been demolished. That doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t still be brought back to life, however.

Architect David Romero has taken two Wright buildings that no longer exist and created detailed, fully colored renderings of them. The exteriors and interiors, down to the furniture and subtle architectural details, of the Larkin Administration Building and the Rose Pauson House have been recreated in a photorealistic way to relive the architecture as it once was.

Wright designed the Larkin Administration Building for the Larkin Soap Company in 1903. It was built in 1904 and was demolished in 1950, despite editorial protests from around the country, after the Larkin Company’s business began to decline and the building was foreclosed on in 1945 for back taxes.

 

The Larkin Administration Building. Rendering courtesy of David Romero, Hooked on The Past.

 

The 200-foot-long 134-foot-wide red sandstone building was the first fully air-conditioned building and had stained glass windows, built-in furniture, and suspended toilet bowls. It stood at 680 Seneca Street in Buffalo, N.Y. and had ornamentation provided by Richard Bock.

 

The Larkin House. Rendering courtesy of David Romero, Hooked on The Past.

 

Romero also recreated the Rose Pauson House, which was designed by Wright in 1939 and built between 1940 and 1942 in Phoenix, Ariz. However, just one year later, in 1943, the building burned down when an ember from the fireplace ignited a nearby curtain.

The ruins of the foundation and walls were all that were left after the fire and became known as the Shiprock ruins. The ruins were later removed in order to extend 32nd Street through the site. The chimney was preserved and moved for use as a permanent monument marking the entrance to the Alta Vista subdivision.

 

The Rose Pauson House. Rendering courtesy of David Romero, Hooked on The Past.

 

Romero’s recreation features a detailed look at the exterior of the structure as it once stood, rock and wood that, like so many of Wright’s buildings, seem to be a natural component of the surrounding landscape. The interior, infamous curtains and all, was also recreated in great detail to appear as it would have while the structure was inhabited.

In addition to these two demolished buildings, Romero also created renderings of Trinity Chapel, a Wight building that was never constructed. Like with the two demolished buildings, Romero’s renderings are photorealistic and capture the intricacies of Wright’s original design.

 

Trinity Chapel. Rendering courtesy of David Romero, Hooked on The Past.

 

 

The Larkin Administration Building. Rendering courtesy of David Romero, Hooked on The Past.

 

The Larkin Administration Building. Rendering courtesy of David Romero, Hooked on The Past.

 

The Larkin Administration Building. Rendering courtesy of David Romero, Hooked on The Past.

 

The Rose Pauson House. Rendering courtesy of David Romero, Hooked on The Past.

 

The Rose Pauson House. Rendering courtesy of David Romero, Hooked on The Past.

 

The Rose Pauson House. Rendering courtesy of David Romero, Hooked on The Past.

 

Trinity Chapel. Rendering courtesy of David Romero, Hooked on The Past.

 

All of Romero’s work for, what he has dubbed, his “Hooked on The Past” series can be viewed on his website.

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