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Frank Lloyd Wright Ginko


Parent tree location: Oak Park, IL

Distance from MOSI to parent tree: 1004 miles


Frank Lloyd Wright was a master builder, a rebel and a worshipper of nature. Wright introduced the word 'organic' into his philosophy of architecture as early as 1908. It was an extension of the teachings of his mentor Louis Sullivan whose slogan, "form follows function" became the mantra of modern architecture. Wright changed this phrase to "form and function are one," using nature as the best example of this integration.


The Frank Lloyd Wright Ginkgo stood in front of his home and studio in Oak Park, Illinois , until it succumbed to a storm in 1992. Cuttings are taken from second-generation offspring of the original tree.


Did You Know?

Florida Southern College in Lakeland has the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright structures in one place. The famous architect visited Lakeland often during the 25 years when his buildings were being constructed. Lakeland locals often saw the eccentric and aging Wright walking the campus and nearby areas decked out in suits of clothing that included a flowing cape, a pork pie hat and a walking stick.

Frank Lloyd Wright architecture at Florida Southern College, Lakeland, FL


Learn more about Frank Lloyd Wright and his Architecture in Florida

Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust: Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, Oak Park, IL 


Jurassic Garden

Frank Lloyd Wright, designer of the Florida Southern College campus in nearby Lakeland in the 1930s, popularized the Ginkgo biloba tree in modern landscapes. This fascinating tree is a living link to the Triassic period when dinosaurs roamed the earth; it has existed nearly unchanged for millions of years and the proposed plants will complement the prehistoric nature of this tree. Plantings include: Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta), Cardboard Palm (Zamia furfuracea), Horsetail (Equisetum hyemale), and Coontie (Zamia floridana).

Click here for more information on plants currently found in the Jurassic Garden. 

Kristen Gilpin: Artist Statement

I'm fascinated by history and how it reaches into the present. Modern ruins, ghost towns, lost graveyards and demolished places have a special draw for me. I enjoy researching and exploring these areas and using them as inspiration for my art.


This piece was inspired by the sprite sculptures and a sketch of a mural that appeared at Midway Gardens in Chicago. Midway Gardens was an indoor and outdoor entertainment complex that was designed by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Decorating the inside and outside of the complex were sculptures entitled Garden Sprites. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and sculpted by Alphonso Iannelli, these statues were angular and beautiful men and women. Some playful, others thoughtful, some victorious, the Sprites of Midway Gardens were paired with wall murals to create an otherworldly and beautiful space. 


Midway Gardens changed hands and names several times in the brief years of its existence. In 1929 Midway Gardens was demolished and the rubble was bulldozed into Lake Michigan. The demolition included not only the building, but the hundreds of pieces of statuary that had been used at the site. In the mid 1940's several of the sprites were found damaged but intact in a field in Wisconsin, apparently having been saved from demolition. These few were restored and put on display.


Midway Gardens now exists only in black and white photographs, design sketches, memory and these few remaining intact and broken pieces of the sprites. I am glad I could help find a new garden home for the memory of Midway Gardens and the Sprites.


About Kristen: Kristen Gilpin is a historical reenactor, maker of butterflies, artist, calligrapher, gardener, adventurer and history enthusiast who resides in Tampa, Florida. More of her art can be seen at her art blog:




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