Cliff Hickman Design & Construction
Santa Barbara, California (805) 308-4324
EMAIL: cliff





A Portfolio of Homes Influenced by the
Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright


"Let Your Watchword be Order
and Your Beacon Beauty"

Daniel Burnham, (1846-1912)

Shown on the following pages are examples of architecture influenced by such famous Frank Lloyd Wright designs as "Fallingwater" and "The Hanna House".

License #251747

Falling Dover

Santa Barbara, California

Rock Star George Michael Estate

Santa Barbara, California

First Cliff Hickman Residence

Santa Barbara, California

Second Cliff Hickman Residence

Santa Ynez Valley, California

Brick & Redwood

Santa Barbara, California

Mountain Dwelling

Santa Ynez Mountains, California

Hillside Ranch House

Santa Barbara, California

Skyline Drive

Laguna Beach, California

Ballard Canyon Project

Santa Ynez Valley, California


EMAIL: cliff


Fallingwater.gif (9431 bytes)

Fallingwater Museum,
Mill Run, Pennsylvania

The California Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright

All-Wright Site - Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings

A Young Man’s Introduction to the Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright 

From the time I first took 8th grade classes in mechanical drawing and woodshop, I wanted to design and build my own home.  I loved to build, and during summers in high school I worked with a local construction crew building homes, and I even built several projects on my own around the neighborhood such as a garages and additions.   During this time I had scarcely heard of Frank Lloyd Wright and saw nothing locally to stimulate my interest in architecture.  Nevertheless, after a year of engineering at Purdue I enrolled as a freshman in architecture at the University of Cincinnati.  There my first introduction to the work of Frank Lloyd Wright was NOT from the instructors as one might expect.  They seemed to be pushing the International Style, and with Frank Lloyd Wright safely in his grave, perhaps they thought he could finally be ignored!

My introduction to the work of Frank Lloyd Wright came later that year when I was browsing in the campus bookstore and came across a book on modern architecture.  The first section was devoted to Wright’s architecture with beautiful full-page black and white photographs of such masterpieces as the Robie and Coonley houses, the two Taliesins, the Johnson’s Wax building and of course, Fallingwater.  I cannot begin to describe the effect that these photographs had on me. I was absolutely astounded, especially when I saw the famous Hedrick-Blessing photograph of Fallingwater.  I had never before seen anything so beautiful.  Until then, only classical music had brought forth so much emotion in me.  Over and over I came back to look at the photograph of Fallingwater, the most illustrious of all Frank Lloyd Wright architectural masterpieces.  

My enthusiasm for Fallingwater was apparently not shared by my student friends and faculty members.  Their typical response was to dismiss it by saying, for example, “Oh everyone likes that!”  But I could not dismiss Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, or the Hanna House, or the Johnson’s Wax Building, or the two Taliesins.  In fact, I was so overwhelmed that I became discouraged, thinking that I could never go into a field where such amazing work was being created.  I soon quit architectural school and took a job as an engineering draftsman for Pratt and Whitney. 

A year or two later, I enrolled in DePauw majoring in art.  There I began to take books out of the library and actually read what Frank Lloyd Wright had to say about his work.  This time my reaction was far different than before.  As I read about Organic Architecture and the Natural House I became very excited!  It was as if Wright was putting into words exactly what I always felt but never expressed.  Suddenly I was no longer so intimidated about entering the field that Wright had so dominated.  I somehow KNEW I could create beautiful architectural designs of my own! 

I would like to point out that not all of Frank Lloyd Wright’s advice to the young man in architecture was sound!  He wrote of his contempt for formal education and since I was always impatient to get started, I was all too easily persuaded to join his bias.  I again quit school and headed out into the world to “learn by doing”.  I ended up in Santa Barbara, California where I worked first as a union carpenter and then as a draftsman.  But I was burning to build my first home, and found a beautiful lot with ocean and city views.  Before the property was even in escrow I made a topo and began designing my first house. 

In an emotional 2-1/2 day burst of energy and inspiration, the preliminary design was complete.  I was twenty-three years old.  It took me 4 years to complete the construction, doing almost all the work myself, and upon completion it was published in the L.A. Times “HOME” magazine as a “personal triumph”.  The results can be observed in the photographs on this website.  I doubt that any other first home design has more successfully incorporated the “style” of Frank Lloyd Wright than this one.  It was created almost 40 years ago and this design still remains one of my best proportioned compositions. 

Sometime during the construction of my home, I took some time off and made the pilgrimage to Bear Run to finally experience, in person, the masterpiece that had made such a profound impression on my life.  I dressed up in my Sunday best for the occasion because of my enormous respect for Frank Lloyd Wright and his creation.  It was a gray and drizzly winter day when I met the caretaker for the tour, but I was full of excited anticipation as we walked down the driveway through the precipitation to see the object that had been so much a part of my dreams and imagination.  We rounded a curve and there in the distance among the trees I finally saw for the first time the bold rectangular geometry of the horizontal parapets and vertical stone massing of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater!

[Home] [Falling Dover] [George Michael Estate] [1st Hickman Residence] [2nd Hickman Residence] [Brick & Redwood]

[Mountain Dwelling] [Hillside Ranch House] [Ballard Canyon Project] [Skyline Drive]