How right was Wright?

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A half-century after his death, Frank Lloyd Wright is still considered the greatest architect America has produced, and all but indisputably the greatest architect of the 20th century. But how well have Wright's ideas stood the test of time? Wright has long been faulted for placing aesthetics above practicality. Such carping has died down over the years, since in retrospect uncomfortable furniture or a cramped kitchen seems a minor price to pay for an architectural masterpiece. But it's also worth noting that Wright was the product of a time in which the most practical spaces in an upper-class home -- kitchens, bathrooms and the like -- remained the domain of servants. Nor did his almost uniformly wealthy clientele give him much cause to change this view. There's no doubt that Wright pushed contemporary building technologies far beyond their usual limits (hence his unenviable reputation for leaky roofs). Witness such dramatically innovative structures such as Tokyo's Imperi...