Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright received a letter from 12-year-old Jim Berger in 1956. The young boy asked him to design a dog house for his labrador retriever, Eddie.
In 1956, 12-year-old Jim Berger from San Anselmo, California, wrote a letter to famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Among other projects, Wright has worked on iconic buildings such as the Fallingwater house in Pennsylvania and the Guggenheim Museum in New York. As it turns out, he also designed a dog house for the young boy. In the letter, Berger shared that he lived in a home designed by Wright on commission from his parents. The boy wanted a matching space for his labrador retriever, Eddie. The architect obliged and sent designs for the dog house for no charge, CNN reports.
Frank Lloyd Wright designed Dog House. (Cedar Siding of course) pic.twitter.com/yUTvyEz4gc— Tribal Space (@DarylMapson) June 10, 2022
"I would appreciate it if you would design me a dog house, which would be easy to build, but would go with our house," the letter from Berger reads. "The reason I would like this dog house is for the winters mainly." He added that little Eddie was "four years old or in dog life 28 years." The labrador retriever also measured "two and a half feet high and three feet long," according to the 12-year-old. He even offered to pay Wright with money he had earned over the years from working a paper route in his neighborhood.
Frank Lloyd Wright seems like a real stand-up fellow. https://t.co/PUlfLb3m6B— Amanda (@mostlyoblivious) July 6, 2022
Wright responded a few weeks after receiving the letter. He wrote, "A house for Eddie is an opportunity. Someday I shall design one but just now I am too busy to concentrate on it. You write me next November to Phoenix, Arizona and I may have something then." As he promised, the very next year, the architect sent Berger the plans for the triangular dog house, written on the back of an envelope and provided at no charge. The designs for the dog house feature signatures of Wright's work, including a low-pitched roof and exaggerated overhang. The dog house is now exhibited at the Marin County Civic Center; the center itself is the largest building ever designed by Wright.
Nonetheless, the dog house on display is not the actual one used by Eddie. Berger's father, Robert, and brother, Eric, built the dog house in 1963 when Berger joined the Army, six years after receiving the plans from Wright. Unfortunately, Eddie never made use of the dog house. Therefore, Berger's mother Gloria sent it to the dump in 1970, according to the county. Several years later, in 2010, Berger and Eric built another version of the dog house as depicted in Wright's plans for the documentary "Romanza," which revolves around Wright's life. In the year 2016, Berger donated the unique structure to Marin County. According to the county, it is the smallest structure he ever designed. Wright passed away in 1959, only two years after mailing Berger the design for his canine companion.