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Marshalltown home built by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright

March 15, 2013

Frank Lloyd Wright built 532 homes, museums, and office buildings in his lifetime. Some have been demolished, but more than 400 FLW buildings still stand today, one of which is located in Marshalltown.

"Wright's legacy in Iowa is not as prominent as other states, but we possess not only his last remaining hotel, but two bank buildings and this range of private resident styles of his that evolved throughout his career," said Iowa filmmaker Garry McGee. "The Stockman House in Mason City was built prior to the Park Inn hotel and City National Bank, and decades later, his Usonian-styled Cedar Rock near Quasqueton (which is owned by the state of Iowa and open to the public) shows the other side toward the end of his career. And there are private Iowa residences built in-between those years as well. So we have the early, middle and later years which is interesting."

Wright's "Robert H. Sunday House," is located at 1701 Woodfield Drive. Built in 1957, this house is one of 12 Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in Iowa. In 1988, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. This house, and many others designed by Wright, is known for its Usonian style, a term Wright used in place of 'American' to describe the particular New World character in his architecture.

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture wasn’t just limited to Mason City. The “Robert H. Sunday House,” 1701 Woodfield Drive, is one of 12 Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in Iowa.

"Wright and the whole group of 'Prairie School' architects that came out of Chicago exemplified this "American" style-not copying or modifying various European influences which were all too common. I found that interesting," said McGee.

On March 21, the IVCCD Orpheum Theater Center will feature a special showing of The Last Wright, a documentary film about the Park Inn Hotel, the only surviving hotel designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Filmmakers Garry McGee and Lucille Carra use rare archival footage and period music to take a comparative look at famous Wright structures.

After the documentary, Historic Park Inn operator and head of the restoration construction project, Steve Noto, of Mason City, will lead a panel for discussion. He is the President and Founder of HPI Partners, LLC, the company selected as the Hotelier for the Wright on the Park project. HPI served on the architectural, interior design, tech systems, and construction management committees for the project.

"My interest in architecture began in third grade when I began drawing house plans," said Noto. "I've been a Frank Lloyd Wright fan for a while, and getting to know more and more about him every day." Noto is currently the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Stoney Creek Hospitality Corp., which manages 12 Stoney Creek properties throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa.

Showtime is at 7 p.m. for this special showing and admission is $7. Call 641-844-5919 to reserve your ticket. Limited seating available. For more information, go to

The Orpheum Theater Center is owned and operated by the Iowa Valley Community College District and is a member of the League of Historic American Theatres.



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