The Sowden House
Lloyd Wright, son of America’s greatest architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, built the Sowden House for friend and photographer John Sowden in 1926. The home reflects Wright’s philosophies as a landscape architect, emphasizing the elements of nature in an open floor plan where every room communicates via the central courtyard. Hand-cast, sand colored concrete blocks emblazoned with images of the harvest, water, clouds, and sun are stacked in homage to the pyramids of ancient Mayan civilization, while the pillared courtyard with multiple entries makes clear architectural reference to such Yucatec Mayan temples as Sayil and Uxmal. Originally, two massive 'water organs,' destroyed in a 1930’s earthquake, stood at the end of the courtyard like murmuring Pagan stelae. Today the courtyard is taken up with a large pool fed by a hot tub, part of a thorough renovation of the house in 2000 which enhanced the building’s air of almost savage spectacle and glamour with a sleek, modern edge.