Saving the best designs for last

Part 1: Octogenarian architecture

"The four stages of man," Art Linkletter once observed, "are infancy, childhood, adolescence and obsolescence."

While this bromide may well describe the lives of media stars and child prodigies, I’m happy to report that it seldom applies to architects. While many may grow old, few, it seems, grow irrelevant. In fact, most great architects hadn’t even hit their stride until midlife, and many kept going strong into their nineties.

Frank Lloyd Wright is of course the poster child for architectural longevity, yet there were surely times in Wright’s life when he doubted his own relevance.