Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth house, on the banks of the Fox River in Plano, Illinois, is widely considered to be an extraordinary piece of modern architecture. The elegant simplicity and cleverness of the glass box suspended above the grassy riverbank site by eight slender white steel columns is widely recognized around the world. For all this architectural recognition though, the client for whom it was built was far from happy with the finished product. Dr. Edith Farnsworth was a single, financially secure doctor who worked as a successful nephrologist at a large hospital in Chicago, fifty miles from the houses site on the river. Farnsworth met Mies in 1945 and the two soon became friends, how close is unsure. Friends, relatives and journalists vary in their reports of what the relationship between the two was, be it a close friendship, affair or romance. Whatever relationship the two had, it soon turned sour soon after the houses completion. The pair fought a vicious war in the media and legal system that turned into a long-winded media debate on many of the issues.

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