Art Doghouse of the Day: In 1956, world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright had just finished designing the home of then-12-year-old Jim Berger’s family, when he received a letter from the kid asking him if he could design a doghouse to go with it.
“I would appreciate it if you would design me a doghouse, which would be easy to build, but would go with our house,” Berger wrote to Wright on June 19th, 1956. “(My dog) is two and a half feet high and three feet long. The reasons I would like this doghouse is for the winters mainly.”
Wright agreed, but turned down Berger’s offer to pay for the design with money from his paper route.
He completed the dog house blueprints several months later. The plan, however, went unrealized until 10 years later. By then, Eddie, the dog it was intended for, had passed on, so the house was instead occupied by Eddie’s successor.
It ended up in the garbage some years later, after the house’s utility had run its course. Berger, now 68 and a cabinet maker by trade, recently rebuilt the doghouse with the help of his brother and Wright’s plan.
The structure — a 3’ x 5’ x 3’ triangle with a sloping shingled roof — was constructed using Philippine mahogany and ended up weighing 250 pounds.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s asst. director of archives Oskar Munoz believes it is the only doghouse designed by Wright. “My feeling is that I’d like it to go to a museum because it is a historical monument,” said Berger.