There was much more to the initial design however. If you look at the Guggenheim, it is an inverted cone—a concrete tornado if you will. Like the Great Pyramids, the paintings of the Tower of Babel describe a flat bottom.
To Wright, that shape seemed dull and stagnant. His wish was for the museum to imply action, and with modern technology, he felt that he could make his building simulate motion and activity, by design alone.
To a degree, the architect won this battle. On one of the biggest conceptual points he had, though, we all lost. Wright’s idea was that an elevator would take visitors to the top of the interior, where they could leisurely walk down the ramps, admiring the pieces on display. At the floor level, we would all be reunited afterwards—making the whole experience much more social than idly working one’s way up, then back down.
It is typical of one of the many reasons people revere the designs of the man. As thoroughly modern as the Guggenheim still looks, the impetus was as populist as the Midwestern (Wisconsin, to be exact) origins of Frank Lloyd Wright. Over 100 years ago, he developed what came to be known as the Prairie House. These were the small, 1,500 square-foot, single-level houses that sprang up like wildfire in the Post-WWII era. They represented affordable housing for blue-collar families, with an emphasis on relative ease of maintenance.
The entire country is filled with tracts of this type. These fifties-era fading suburbs may be a cliché now, but the Baby Boom would not have happened without them. It is little wonder that the American Institute of Architects named Frank Lloyd Wright "The Greatest American Architect Of All Time” in 1991.
The man was a genius. Learning about his most famous building with the Guggenheim Museum DVD is a fine place to start. Then you can get into how his ideas have probably been felt (or lived in) by just about every American born in the past 100 years, and you will get an idea of why I respect him so much.