My Story

The Third Decade
Remaking What Is Under the Table...
Seeing the World As a System

The best qualification of a prophet
is to have a good memory

Lord Halifax
1633 - 1695

link: Supplementary Notes





What Do You Want?

A vision of the future. A triangular house - my last talk with Eichler. Apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin. Meeting Bruce Goff. The Cabin.

Design of hillside cantilevered studio based on Taliesin East grammar (project)

Design, with Jack Rapp, of Guest Cabin for Coffee Creek Ranch (unbuilt)






Working on the beach - Southern California. A Mega-City concept. The Hoover House. Finding RM Schindler. Kay and Xanadu.


Design of first Mega City Project for West Coast Beach Front (project)

Design of Hoover Residence (unbuilt)

Design of Matt Taylor Studio Project for Urban Setting (project)






My first mature works. The Cooper House. The wonderful world of banking. American Pool Building. A week with Bruce Goff.

I spent a good part of this year working as a foreman on a gunite crew - also tied steel and set tile. I was designing a building for the swimming pool company and wanted experience both of the business and of the material (gunite - sprayed concrete) the structure was to be make out of. The building was to be a composition of intersecting circular forms and constructed of gunite. This was my first practical experience in design with a material I was working with every day. It made the design process very sensuous.

I became expert at the architectural uses of gunite and, based on this, was offered my first partnership in an architectural firm which I turned down.

Design of American Pool Office Building

Design of Cooper Residence






“New York, new York - What a Wonderful Town!” Ayn Rand. FasTracking. Building a Country Club. The habit of Journaling.

I arrived at the New York City bus station with $17.70 in my pocket at two in the morning. It was Sunday morning. I knew no one, had no place to stay and had never seen a city this big before. With all the enthusiasm of youth, these facts did not bother me at all. When I walked out on the street, however, my confidence wavered a bit. I walked out into the most bizarre street scene I have ever seen. It was still going strong and seemed to me to be sporting every possible variant of human that was possible - and some that were not. To me at the time, it was like the bar scene in the first Star Wars movie which was several decades in the future. Until this moment, I had considered myself a worldly person. No knowing where to go, I headed for a coffee shop travel bag and drawings in hand. The warm coffee seemed to put the world back right until a very strange looking young man, noting that I was out of town, offered to take me home. Realizing that I was completely out of my league, I retreated back into the the bus station (the young man following behind me).

It now dawned on me that I might be more than slightly over my head.

I purchased the Sunday Times, parked myself in the center of the huge dome - as far away from anything or anybody as it was possible to get - and waited the dawn. I realized I had to find a place to live and work and in that order. The Times provided a lead to both. It did not take long to find a place called the Paris Hotel which was nicely situated at 96th Street and West End Avenue. It had the right price structure and was just off the Red Line and the Park (a design criteria - I had to live close to Central Park). One down.

The second search required a more sophisticated algorithm. I realized that I had to get a job right away. And, I had come to New York to learn to build - this meant a construction job despite the fact that I had little experience in it. My logic was simple: I found the company that was running the most adds for construction superintendents and engineers. My reasoning was, with all this construction going on, they had a place for me. My task was to convince them of this one basic fact.

Dawn did arrive, I called the hotel and got exact instructions - the Red Line Express a few stops and a short walk to the lobby. I marched to the counter, told them I had come to town to take a construction job and would require a long term room with a view of the park. They showed me the room - a steel casement corner window! - that looked out over the entire city skyline with the required view of the park. I told them it would do and that I would pay weekly as I received my paycheck and they said that was fine. The hotel, of course, was a full service with dining facilities so I had secured food that I could charge to my room. I unpacked - this took a few minutes - I was home. New York, a wonderful Spring Day, and not a care in the world. I put on my best coat and tie and took my first walk through park, shops, museums - I felt that I had finally discovered civilization.

Monday morning. Step two. THE Job.

A subway ride to corporate headquarters, a bit of persuasion (with only slightly false pretenses) and I found myself, drawings in hand, in front of the president of the Winston-Holdzer group. I showed him my work and explained that I had come to New York (where else!) to learn to build. I explained that I was (personally!) going to heal the breach between architects and builders. He said it was all very interesting but he saw no opportunity with his group and that he was busy and thank you for coming in. Fortunately the phone rang. While he talked I marshaled my arguments. I tried again. He said no - again. The phone rang again. This happened four times - I was never so grateful for busy phones. After the last, he hung up put up his hand and said “don’t say anything!” “It is becoming clear to me,” he said “that you are not leaving my office without a job.” Is that true?” “Yes sir,” I said. “Well, in the interest of getting some work done today, here is what I want you to do.” He wrote out an address on the East side of Manhattan (that even after one day in New York I knew was way up scale) and told me to arrive there at 7 am the next morning. Knowing a good deal when I saw it, I gathered my drawings and made a swift exit walking five feet off the ground. I had made it and architecture was never going to be the same again!

At precisely 7 am, I knocked on the apartment door of Lester R. Windling, president of the Bayside Project - it was opened by the most beautiful woman I had ever seen dressed in the most incredible - and transparent - dressing gown I had ever seen. My mouth fell open and failed to operate. Graciously, she invited me in - both she and Lester seemed fully briefed and amused regarding my interview of the day before which apparently had been communicated virtually word-for-word. A maid served coffee as Lester explained that he was taking me out to the project so that I could interview with my new boss - an overworked construction superintendent with several buildings under way.

Lester went into his bedroom to finish getting ready while I surveyed the apartment, Mrs. Windling and, out the window, a waking New York city. I had never seen such understated wealth - wealth so naturally accepted as a normal circumstance. In my by now overheated youthful mind all of this seemed like landing in the right side of an Ayn Rand novel. THIS is what it is about! If Mrs. Windling noticed my highly agitated state she did not show it. If she had dropped that dressing gown to the floor I would have died on the spot - but I would have died happy. Of such small imaginings is youth sustained.

Lester came out and asked me if I could drive a stick shift explaining he needed to drop his car off for service. Of course I could. In the garage, he presented me with the keys to a pre-war Supper Swallow Jaguar fully restored and worth a small fortune even in the 60’s. It was in this machine that I experience my first - and last - driving in New York City rush hour traffic. I must have aged 10 yeras in the 10 minutes it took to get that car to the garage. Without any fuss, Lester completed his business and drove us out to Bayside explaining in great detail the project and the help the superintended required. He explained my duties, what and when I would be paid and all the other arrangements.

I spent the morning and early afternoon with Ronald (the super) getting further briefed on my duties, which were to start the next morning, and drove back with Lester in the early afternoon. I found out much later that he did not usually come in on Tuesdays and had done this in order to get me started. On the way back to the city he asked me if I was fully situated. I told him where I was staying and he said it was a good choice. I told him it would be some time before I would get my things from California and could use a small advance for work clothes and so on. Lester reached inside his pocket and completed my day of surprises by pulling out the biggest wad of 100 dollar bills I have ever seen before or since. He peeled off six of them and asked if that would do. “Yes, fine.” I “We will take twenty dollars a week from your paycheck” and that was the end of it.

I was in New York. I had my first job in construction. And as it turned out, I had found a patron in Lester who would help me as much as he could within the framework of his world view. I celebrated that evening by going to my first Broadway show.

It was a conversation with Lester that led to my formulation the Rate of Change Model [link: change in the rate of change], stimulated me to start thinking systematically about the future and ultimately lead to the my participation in the creation of MG Taylor Corporation and focus on what is the main Thesis of my work [link: a future by...]. I has been on the job a few weeks, enough time to polish my skills as a field engineer, so the company told me to come into Manhattan one day to establish the footings for a 33 story apartment building they were building. The site was close to Lester’s apartment so he walked over to see how I was doing late in the day. I had just finished and was packing up the transect when Lester and I got into a conversation about the building that was going to be erected. I critiqued it very forcefully and pointing out all it architectural defects. Lester took it quite well considering our relative ages, experience and position in the company. After about a half an hour he said “look Matt, let me give you a piece of information.” “From the time we bought this piece of property until we get return of capital, it will be 10 years.” Don’t you think that this is enough risk without building one of those crazy, round, triangular, articulated monstrosities of yours!” This set me back and I told Lester I would get back to him on the subject. I went home to a long night of thinking. Before this point, I had not thought of the economics of a building - just the budget and the requirement of staying within it. Even in the 60s, and even to a young man such as myself, a little thinking would reveal to anyone that ten years was designing a project in one economic era to reach maturity in another with totally different conditions. By the time Lester and his group got their return I was in Kansas City trying to understand how the world was changing so fast and what it all met.

Design of projects from The Fountainhead 




1962: The Nathaniel Brandon Institute. Max Stormes. The Alarm clock.
Design of Max Stormes House Boat




1963: Building

one floor a day. My first (and nearly last!) happy year of employed work.





1964: Renascence - First Try.

Design of Renascence project Studio

3 Houses (unbuilt)





1965: Phoenix. Starting a practice.

Design of Tract House Zoned House System (unbuilt)

Design/Build Porch Additions (2 executed)

Swimming Pool and Landscape Designs (40 projects over 65 - 70 - 5 extensive projects built)





1966: Landscapes, furniture and everything else.

CyberCon Concept




1967: Introduction to science. Bud Gilmore. CyberConn is born. An environment valve: Domicile and EcoSphere concepts. The Foundation Series. Several unbuilt houses.

Design of electronic Power Supply

Design of Domicile (project)

Design of EcoSphere (project)

The Garden Houses (unbuilt)

Design of Picture Framing Shop (built without supervision 1968)

GOTO The Fourth Decade
ReturnTo The Second Decade
Return To Index
The First Decade
The Second Decade
The Fourth Decade
The Fifth Decade
The sixth Decade
The seventh Decade
My Teachers
Matt Taylor
Hilton Head
June 5, 1999

SolutionBox voice of this document:


posted June 5, 1999

revised: May 22, 2005
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 note: this document is about 50% finished

Copyright© Matt Taylor 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005


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