Meyer May Chronology
In its Victorian neighborhood, the Meyer May house defied convention. In the context of Wright’s career, it was an expression of ideas that grew bolder over time. In the context of contemporary architecture and design, Wright’s impact is still being defined.
Explore the blended history of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Meyer May House in the Chronology below.
1900 Musée d’Orsay Architect Victor Laloux Paris, France
1902 Flatiron Building Architect Daniel Burnham New York, New York
1902 William Ward Willits House Highland Park, Illinois
1903 The Larkin Building Buffalo, New York
1904 The Darwin Martin House Buffalo, New York
1905 The Unity Temple Chicago, Illinois
1906 Casa Batillchitect Antoni Gaudi Barcelona, Spain
1907 The Avery Coonley House Riverside, Illinois
1908 Meyer and Sophie May commission Frank Lloyd Wright to build their home on Madison avenue.
1908 The Robie House Chicago, Illinois
1909 Construction on the May home is completed. Wright leaves his family and practice, traveling in Europe with Mamah Cheney.
1910 Casa Mila Architect Antoni Gaudi Barcelona, Spain
1910 George Niedecken, Wright’s Milwaukee-based associate, adds finishing touches to the May house interior.
1911 Wright builds Taliesin, a new home and studio in Spring Green, Wisconsin.
1913 Woolworth Building Architect Cass Gilbert New York, New York
1913 Midway Gardens Chicago, Illinois
1914 Harriet May is adopted.
1914 Tragedy at Taliesin. A servant murders Mamah Cheney and others, and sets the building on fire.
1915 The Imperial Hotel Tokyo, Japan
1916 Richard May is adopted.
1917 Sophie May dies of influenza, December 10, age 38.
1921 Meyer May marries Rae Stern, a Chicago widow with two children (divorced 1929).
1922 Wright marries his second wife, Maud Miriam Noel (divorced 1927).
1922 Addition by Osgood & Osgood adds new space, including two bedrooms upstairs & servants’ quarters on the main floor.
1923 Ennis-Brown House, Los Angeles, CA Wright develops a new style pre-cast Textile Block houses.
1925 Wright sells the Oak Park Home and Studio.
1928 Wright marries his third wife, Olgivanna Lazovich.
1935 Edgar J. Kaufmann House (Fallingwater) Bear Run, Pennsylvania
1936 S.C. Johnson Wax Company Administrative Building Racine, Wisconsin
1936 Meyer May dies, November 7, age 65. The house remains empty for the next six years.
1937 S.C. Johnson Wax Furniture Racine, Wisconsin
1939 Talesin West Scottsdale, Arizona
1942 Charles Helmer family purchases the house. Remaining Wright-designed furniture is included in the sale.
1945 The Newcomb family buys the home. Over the next 40 years, carports and apartment entrances are added.
1956 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York, New York (Completed in 1959)
1959 Wright dies at the age of 91.
1965 Charles Newcomb dies, age 91. Mrs. Newcomb rents apartments in the 1922 addition.
1985 Steelcase purchases the home and extensive restoration research begins.
1986 Restoration to the original design is underway.
1987 Restoration is complete, and the house is opened to the public.
2009 100-year anniversary is celebrated.