A little known fact about real estate (at least in my country) is the government owns the land and merely let’s people use it to profit from their labors. In fact, the origin of every property can be traced back to the ownership of the Crown (King/Queen of England).
Ever doubt this fact, just try to stop paying your property tax one day and see how fast the Government takes it back from you.
It’s a weird and sort of useless fact, but one that resonated with Frank Lloyd Wright when he was conceiving what was to be known as Broadacre City.
FLW HATED cities…
…and in short, Broadacre City was to be Wright’s solution to urban sprawl.
Currently, If each man, woman and child owned one acre of land (an acre is a plot approximately 200 Feet X 200 Feet), the entire population of the US and Canada would fit inside Nevada, California and Texas. So that would leave 47 states and 10 provinces empty.
That’s a lot of land!
In the US, if we took the average number of persons living in one dwelling as 2.41 (in 2009), then placed every family dwelling on one acre of land, it would fit into Texas alone…with 30 million acres left over.
Back in the time Wright was designing his utopian house (Usonian House) he conceived of a city full of Usonian homes, each different than the next, each on a one acre plot of land that the owners could build their Usonian dream houses and generate their income (make a living) from that land. In addition, there would be common parks, shops, central government and ‘architect’ offices.
The concept was largely based off Wright’s beliefs of organic architecture and self-sustainability he had modeled at Taliesin in Wisconsin and Taliesin West in Arizona.
Wright was quoted as saying;
“Land, by whomever held, is to be made the most of, by human strength, and not defiled, nor left waste. But since we live in an epoch assuredly of change, and too probably of revolution, I affirm the one principle that each man shall possess the ground he can use — and no more — USE I say, either for food, beauty, exercise, science, or any other sacred purpose… That each man shall possess for his own, no more than such portion…”
When I first read that line, I gained the greatest understanding of the Usonian lifestyle and Usonian Home up till now. I’ve lived in cities were the size of the lots were 30 Ft X 100 FT and KNOW where he was coming from.
I did understand a lot more when I received my next book that was actually written by Frank Lloyd Wright titled, “The Natural House”. It was the one book that resonated strongly with artisans, entrepreneurs and creative people of the 1930′s, 40′s and 50′s (Wright’s Usonian clients) and now resonated with my wife and I….