|TO BE FRANK: Architect David Webster George would destroy you in a model-building contest.
photography by Ally Hulsey/Hal Samples
David Webster George, 85, recently attended the 75th reunion of the Taliesin Fellowship at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona. Though there were some 300 fellows in attendance, George was one of a handful of fellows who had actually lived and studied directly with Wright. As a young man, George was a supervising architect for the Wright-designed Kalita Humphreys Theater on Turtle Creek. His own notable career includes the Horseshoe Bay resort in Marble Falls, and he is currently working on a U-shaped house with continual views of a clover-shaped pool and tall live oaks in the Preston Hollow area. With eight decades in the rearview mirror, George likes to say that he’s “just getting going,” and there’s no twinkle in his eye as he says it.
THE WRIGHT STUFF: “I was studying architecture at the University of Oklahoma after World War II and had one year to go. I was in Spring Green [Wisconsin], and dropped by to visit Taliesin. The secretary invited me to stay for awhile while Mr. Wright finished his afternoon nap. He favored Midwestern and Southwestern people, and he invited me to be an apprentice on the spot.”
AS NATURE INTENDED: “My buildings are organic. It’s Mr. Wright’s word. It means of the earth, of nature, of the site. Its form and function are compatible with nature. I still design that way today.”
UNEASY BEING GREEN: “I don’t like to use the word ‘green,’ but I’ve been trying to do passive solar, energy-efficient design, honoring the sun and the site. I’ve always behaved myself on trying to be energy-efficient, not being too imposing. Now everyone else is coming around to that.”
THE FUTURE IN THE PRESENT: “I’m currently working on developing an idea I call ‘places to be.’ It’s a resort, refuge, resource, and habitation. I don’t want to have to drive into a high-rise tower and be stacked up on top of people to work. It would be better to sit in a nice atmosphere where you can do all your work with easy access to the airport, telephones, computer, and communications. It’s all available today.”