In the dark of an early June morning in 1905, lightning struck the roof of Unity Church in the sleepy Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois, igniting a fire that would raze it to the ground within a few hours. The small Unitarian congregation suddenly needed a new home and turned to local architect Frank Lloyd Wright for a new approach. • Though Wright's radically modern design came as a shock to some in the church, a small handful of enthusiasts saw genius in what he was trying to do and supported his vision. Wright's plan for Unity Temple represented the culmination and realization of the ideas he'd been experimenting with for years. As he wrote later, "When I finished Unity Temple, I had it. I knew I had the beginning of a great thing, a great truth in architecture." • But the construction of Unity Temple did not go according to plan. What Wright promised would take one year took over four; what was supposed to cost $30,000 cost more than $50,000. The architect changed his design and altered detailsoften without telling his clients. The contractor disappeared for months at a time, never returned letters, and promised one thing while delivering another, all the while requesting more money to cover the rising costs of Wright's on-the-fly alterations. • Unity Temple, when completed in 1909, wasand is stillconsidered one of the landmarks of modern architecture. When asked, toward the end of his life, to pick his favorite work, Frank Lloyd Wright said simply, "Unity Temple is my contribution to modern architecture." And yet it's miraculous that it ever came to fruitionthat a group of patrons stood by their architect despite thenumerous problems, broken promises, and increasing financial burden placed on them to realize Wright's uncompromising vision. Author David M. Sokol, an art historian and Oak Park resident for more than 30 years, has poured more than 20 years of research into this book and uncovers a dramatic story of the creation of this seminal building in modern architecturemuch of which turns out to be at odds with how Wright himself described the construction. • Anyone with an interest in architecture or in Frank Lloyd Wrightor indeed anyone who's ever had an addition put on to their house or a kitchen remodeledwill be caught up in the story of the maddening, chaotic process the church and the architect endured and which comes to life in The Noble Room.