Only in the Marin Independent Journal do we get such stories... Novato resident Jim Berger, a Marin native, grew up in a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in San Anselmo. His father, a college professor, took 20 years building the home, and in 1956, a 12-year-old Jim wrote to the elderly Wright to ask that he design a dog house for his beloved black lab, Eddie. You know, just so that the aesthetics of the structure didn't clash with Wright's house design.

Wright wrote back to the boy, initially saying that he was too busy that year but to try him again the following year. Berger did, and Wright sent him plans for a little triangular dog house which he eventually built, and which Eddie never particularly liked.

The original doghouse got trashed by Berger's mother, but now, due largely to interest in the story from a documentary filmmaker, Berger rebuilt the house from the original specs, though he was not able to use the "scraps of Philippine mahogany and cedar [leftover] from the main house" as Wright instructed.

The house and the letters are featured in the new film, Romanza, by Michael Miner, which recently had its Los Angeles premiere. It centers on Wright's California buildings, of which 25 were built. The trailer, below.

[Marin IJ]