The time that Frank Lloyd Wright wanted to build a subway line in rural Montana

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May 28, 2019
I don't know exactly which forum this belongs in, but I think it will be interesting to some people here who are interested in rail history, and architecture as well. Just the subject line hopefully piqued some interest!
In 1905 the Bitterroot Valley in Western Montana (just south of Missoula), was developing quickly, and some land developers had the idea that they could turn it into a apple orchard growing area, and a resort destination for people from the east. And to do this, they hired Frank Lloyd Wright to design several projects. At the time, Frank Lloyd Wright was already a prominent architect, but he was still developing his style. One of the projects he designed, the Alpine Meadows, is still there, and can be rented---for a price.
But somewhere near Stevensville, Montana, he did something that I think was unique in his career: he designed an entire town. A hotel was actually built, but along with that, Wright planned a train station for a subway line through town (I am unclear whether this is the same train that would bring people from Missoula, or a separate subway line just for the small town). He also included a library, a school and an opera house.
Apparently, the land developers that Wright staked his ideas on were perhaps a little shaky in their financial planning and perhaps their ethics, and except for the hotel, this never got built. The hotel burned down, and today the site of what was going to be an entire Frank Lloyd Wright designed town is now...a country T-intersection with a few houses around it. Although Wright was quite innovative, it seems he was going a bit outside of his job description---I don't know if he could have been a subway designer.
Still, this is fascinating for people interested in the history of American architecture!

The Bitter Root Inn | Frank Lloyd Wright Trust