Frank Lloyd Wright - Wit and Wisdom of the Master Architect

Quotes Attributed to the Most Famous Architect in America

Portrait of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867 - 1959) as he laughs, one hand to his head, 1956
A laughing Frank Lloyd Wright, c. 1956, nearly 90-years-old. Photo by Susan Wood / Archive Photos / Getty Images (cropped)

Many of the most famous architects were born in June, including America's Frank Lloyd Wright, born in Wisconsin on June 8, 1867. He died in 1959, at the age of 91. That long life gave him ample time for writings, lectures, and attributable quotes. Here are some of Frank Lloyd Wright's most notable quotations—and our favorites:

  • "So here I stand before you preaching organic architecture: declaring organic architecture to be the modern ideal..."
    In An Organic Architecture, 1939
  • "'Think simples' as my old master used to say - meaning reduce the whole of its parts into the simplest terms, getting back to first principles."
    In Barnes & Noble Book of Quotations, by Robert I. Fitzhenry, 1987
  • "All fine architectural values are human values, else not valuable."
    The Living City, pt. 3, "Recapitulation" (1958)
  • "An idea is salvation by imagination."
    In The Speaker's Electronic Reference Collection, AApex Software, 1994
  • "Clear out 800,000 people and preserve it as a museum piece."
    On Boston; in NY Times, 27 Nov 55
  • "Early in life I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose honest arrogance and have seen no occasion to change."
    In The World's Best Thoughts on Life & Living, compiled by Eugene Raudsepp, 1981
  • "Get the habit of analysis—analysis will in time enable synthesis to become your habit of mind."
    In Barnes & Noble Book of Quotations, by Robert I. Fitzhenry, 1987
  • "I feel coming on a strange disease—humility."
    In Correct Quotes for DOS, WordStar International, 1991
  • "I find it hard to believe that the machine would go into the creative artist's hand even were that magic hand in true place. It has been too far exploited by industrialism and science at expense to art and true religion."
    The Living City, pt. 5, "Night Is but a Shadow Cast by the Sun" (1958)
  • "I hate intellectuals. They are from the top down. I am from the bottom up."
    In The Ultimate Success Quotations Library, 1997
  • "If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger."
    In Correct Quotes for DOS, WordStar International, 1991
  • "No stream rises higher than its source. What ever man might build could never express or reflect more than he was. He could record neither more nor less than he had learned of life when the buildings were built."
    In Correct Quotes for DOS, WordStar International, 1991
  • "TV is chewing gum for the eyes."
    In Quote Disk 1,2,3, by DBUG, 1991
  • "The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes. If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life."
    In The Ultimate Success Quotations Library, 1997
  • "The physician can bury his mistakes, but the architect can only advise his clients to plant vines."
    New York Times Magazine (4 Oct. 1953)
  • "The present is the ever moving shadow that divides yesterday from tomorrow. In that lies hope."
    Closing words of The Living City, pt. 5, "Night is but a Shadow Cast by the Sun" (1958)
  • "The scientist has marched in and taken the place of the poet. But one day somebody will find the solution to the problems of the world and remember, it will be a poet, not a scientist."
    In Simpson's Contemporary Quotations, by James B. Simpson, 1988
  • "The screech and mechanical uproar of the big city turns the citified head, fills citified ears—as the song of birds, wind in the trees, animal cries, or as the voices and songs of his loved ones once filled his heart. He is sidewalk-happy."
    The Living City, pt. 1, "Earth" (1958)
  • "The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen."
    In My Favorite Quotations, by Norman Vincent Peale, 1990
  • "The truth is more important than the facts."
    In The Speaker's Electronic Reference Collection, AApex Software, 1994
  • "Youth is a quality, not a matter of circumstances."
    In The Ultimate Success Quotations Library, 1997

Note: Frank Lloyd Wright® and Taliesin® are registered trademarks of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

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