original c. 1906 frank l. smith bank varnished oak wood interior standing desk

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Availability: In Stock

UR #:: UR-6464-10

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Product Description

c. 1906 original varnished oak wood standing desk, designed by architect frank lloyd wright for the frank l. smith bank located in dwight, il. the finely crafted freestanding desk with an overall simplistic design and clean lines remains sound and largely intact. the frank l. smith bank, also known as the first national bank of dwight, is a bank building in dwight, illinois, united states that was designed by american architect frank lloyd wright. wright's earliest designs for the building date to 1904, but it was constructed in 1905 and opened in 1906. wright designed the bank building to house the real estate office and bank of frank l. smith, a prominent local citizen and baseball player who once faced ty cobb. smith had decided that his real estate clients needed a simple and convenient way to obtain financing, so he founded the bank and hired wright as the architect. the bank opened for business in 1906. wright was closely involved during design and construction, even down to the smallest details. letters, exchanged between wright and smith, show that wright was directly involved with the design of the interior and furnishings. the letters show that wright's final decision was implemented in most cases, though some of his changes caused delays. the building has undergone at least two renovations. during the 1950's the building was modernized: the biggest change was the lowering of the original skylight to allow installation of air conditioning, but the work also involved covering much of the interior limestone and removing the oak trim. during the 1960's the first national bank of dwight, the present owners, remodeled the building once again. this remodeling removed wright's originally designed partition which divided the building into bank and real estate offices. the later renovation also recreated the original skylight, uncovered the interior stone, and utilized the original plans to reincorporate the oak trim. the building, as designed and constructed by wright, has a 60 foot, storefront facade. the design specifically rejects typical bank building designs and their classical influences. the cut stone facade gives an air of simple dignity and solidity. the bank's design and location parallels wright's belief that a bank should convey its own, unique character rather than "put on the airs of a temple of worship." the building's most distinctive architectural feature is the fireplace, uncommon in office buildings, and the structure's only feature to incorporate roman brick. the present-day structure consists of one open, interior space, while wright's original design divided the building into two sections. one section was used as smith's real estate office, the other as the bank. wright also designed a full set of furniture for both offices, although much of it has been sold over the years. one of the pieces of wright-designed furniture in the building was a round-backed chair. the chair was at least the second attempt at a round-backed chair by wright; an earlier, more successful attempt was completed in the darwin d. martin house. the chair has a bent-wood back, and rounded seat and stretchers. the total integration of the design is less successful than that used in the martin house. other interior features include a now electrically lit skylight, oak trim, and exposed stonework.