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The Disappearing City.
New York: William Farquhar Payson,, 1932. Oblong octavo. Original green cloth, titles and design to front board in black. With the dust jacket designed. Photographic frontispiece and plates. Light rubbing to ends and corners, partial tanning to spine and along the joint, tanning to endpapers, otherwise a sound copy in very good condition, with the dust jacket tanned and a little spotted, chipped at the ends and corners with some loss to around the head, a few other small closed tears and chips along the edges. First edition, first printing, in the scarce jacket, presentation copy inscribed by the author to the clients of his groundbreaking Malcolm Willey House in Minneapolis, "To Mr and Mrs Willey - from their architect - Frank Lloyd Wright." Malcolm Willey was an administrator at the University of Minnesota, and after reading a copy of Wright's Autobiography, commissioned him in 1932 to produce a "creation of art" - the product, which Wright named "Gardenwall", was completed in 1934, and is now considered a bridge between Wright's earlier Prairie School and his later Usonian style. It was also one of the first of his houses to push towards an open plan, moving away from the tradition of compartmentalising domestic functions and spaces into different rooms. Though undated, the inscription was almost certainly made during the period of this commission, and hence at or around the time of publication. The Disappearing City is a characteristically utopian tract by this great visionary of modern architecture, envisioning "the intelligent use of the machine" leading to gradual deurbanisation "end[ing] the illogical congestion and destruction of manhood in big - or little - cities". The book is scarce in the jacket, very scarce inscribed, and highly appealing with such a fine architectural association.
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
Last Found On: 2017-02-28           Check availability:      Biblio    

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