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Year: 2008

Classification: Exempt - Ronin Recommends: G

Runtime: 52 min

Produced In: USA

Directed By: Lucille Carra

Produced By: Garry McGee, Lucille Carra

Language: English

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By 1908, Frank Lloyd Wright was considered the most innovative architect in Chicago. He travelled to Mason City, Iowa, to design a unique business block - a bank and an adjoining hotel, facing a park. Soon, scandal and tragedy would ruin his career, but the Park Inn Hotel would remain, one of his last Prairie style structures. THE LAST WRIGHT addresses sustainability issues as we compare the Park Inn with other Wright masterpieces in various states of preservation. The film also highlights an extensive collection of Prairie houses in Mason City, including designs by Wright's colleague, Walter Burley Griffin, completed before he left for Australia.

We trace the life, death, and possible rebirth of a Midwest downtown through the prism of Frank Lloyd Wright's last standing hotel. From 1909 to 2008, the Park Inn witnessed alterations and downgrading, while Mason City dealt with a Dillinger Bank robbery in the 1930s, the loss of industry in the 1960s, and the label 'Porn City' in the 1970s.

While the city struggled to fund renovations of the Park Inn in the 1990s in an effort at heritage tourism, it also attempted an economic revival with a 20 million dollar tribute to the musical comedy, 'The Music Man,' based on Meredith Willson's boyhood in Mason City.

As a last resort, the city decided to place the Park Inn on Ebay. Which vision of Mason City will prevail? Through an intoxicating blend of rare archival footage, period music and a first look at stunning Wright masterpieces in the Midwest and Japan, THE LAST WRIGHT offers a provocative, ironic tapestry of an American century.

"Visually stunning, smartly filmic." - WLUW, Chicago.

"An emotionally powerful argument about sustainability." - The Washington Post.

  • BEST DOCUMENTARY AWARD! Iowa Motion Picture Association


Iowa group to renovate Frank Lloyd Wright hotel - follow this link for updated news on Wright's Park Inn Hotel in Mason City -

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