Letter 111, pg. 1

Though not extensive, Ayn Rand’s correspondence with Frank Lloyd Wright covered twenty years, from 1937 to 1957. The two met a number of times, and Ayn Rand and her husband spent a weekend at Wright’s summer headquarters, Taliesin East, in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Two major projects involving Rand and Wright never materialized: Wright’s designing the buildings for the 1949 movie of The Fountainhead (his price was too high), and Wright’s building a home for the O’Connors, canceled when the O’Connors decided not to move out of Manhattan. Wright’s drawing of the “Ayn Rand house” appears in several Wright collections, including the cover of the 1994 weekly calendar produced by Taliesin Associates.

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173 East 74th Street,
New York, N. Y.

December 12, 1937

Mr. Frank Lloyd Wright,
Taliesin,
Spring Green,
Wisconsin.

Dear Mr. Wright,

I am writing a novel about the career of an architect; not an essay or historical treatise, but a novel. I should like to have the privilege of meeting you and discussing it with you. I do not seek your help or collaboration, nor do I wish to impose any work upon you in connection with it. I would like only to see you and to hear you speak. If you do not consider this request a presumption on my part, please grant me permission to come to Wisconsin for an interview with you.

I do not suppose that you have heard my name, since I am not that famous—as yet. My first novel, “We the Living”, was published in 1936. My second [Anthem] will be published this coming spring or fall. My third—the one about architecture—is contracted for by Macmillan in America and by Cassels in England. I am mentioning this only to show that I am not a beginner who proposes to take up your time on a dubious undertaking.

My new novel, to put it very briefly and dryly, is to be the story of an architect who follows his own convictions throughout his life, no matter what society thinks of it or does to him. It is the story of a man who is so true to himself that no others on earth, nor their lies, nor their prejudices can affect him and his work. A man who has an ideal and goes through hell for it.

So you can understand why it seems to me that of all men on earth you are the one I must see. My hero is not you. I do not intend to follow in the novel the events of your life and career.