Travel: Taliesin

A summer trip to Wisconsin included a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin. 20130722-220547.jpgEmbarking on the estate tour, which suitably requires a lot of walking across Wright’s estate, the knowledgeable guide fully explained each aspect of the property, which includes many buildings conceived, designed, created and constructed by the world-famous architect and his teams early and at various later points in his career. Among the designs are a school where his Welsh, Unitarian aunts taught, a windmill named Romeo & Juliet, a barn, smaller homes and structures throughout the Spring Green, Wisconsin, estate and, of course, his home – which was burned down and later reconstructed – including his library, office, bedroom, dining room and the birdwalk he made for his companion. At left is the tour bus, which is comfortable. (All photographs copyright (c) 2013 Scott Holleran. All rights reserved. May not be used without express written permission).

Below is a snapshot of the home, which is located on a small hill, the terrace in the distance, where the tour group paused for a short refreshment. The picture shows the architect’s use of contrast on the house and Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic approach to design for living.

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin. Spring Green, Wisconsin. Photo by Scott Holleran Copyright (c) Scott Holleran 2013 All rights reserved.

Below is a view of Frank Lloyd Wright’s home at Taliesin. My personal tour highlight was being in the dining room where guides confirmed that writer Ayn Rand had dined with her husband Frank O’Connor at the table as a guest in Wright’s home. I also learned that a small bust of Thomas Jefferson was a gift from Gutzon Borglum, the man who made Mount Rushmore. The bust looked to me like it was Jefferson’s likeness at the Black Hills, South Dakota, national monument. To go from room to room in the home where the author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged dined with the man who made Fallingwater, the Guggenheim Museum and the Johnson Wax Building and see and inhabit the spaces, angles, shades and views created by the master artist was an exalted experience. I can’t recommend it more than that. I encourage visitors and tourists to ask the tour guide and interior attendants questions; they often have answers. It takes about 15 minutes to drive to Taliesin from the nearest resort. The estate tour takes about four hours – other tours are three hours and there’s a visitor’s center with gift shop and information – and, for more on this blog about Frank Lloyd Wright, please see my posts about homes in Oak Park, Illinois and the Hollyhock house in Los Angeles, California. [6/8/14: I’ve also visited Taliesin West].

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin. Spring Green, Wisconsin. Photo by Scott Holleran Copyright (c) Scott Holleran 2013 All rights reserved.

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The barn; the creamery tower’s top is not a cross; the guide explained that it is intended to symbolize a cow’s udder. Copyright (c) Scott Holleran 2013 All rights reserved.

 

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the wooden windmill Wisconsin native Wright was told would never work (it did, defying experts) named Romeo & Juliet for its distinctively, mutually supportive two-part design. Copyright (c) Scott Holleran 2013 All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

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Taliesin windmill by Frank Lloyd Wright. Copyright (c) Scott Holleran 2013 All rights reserved.

 

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Taliesin windmill by Frank Lloyd Wright. Copyright (c) Scott Holleran 2013 All rights reserved.

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the school Wright built for his aunts. Copyright (c) Scott Holleran 2013 All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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