Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day’s work.
I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain.
Frank Lloyd Wright
You don’t have to be an architect to enjoy visiting the homes built by Frank Llyod Wright. A friend who lives in Minnesota and I decided to check out his home in Spring Green, Wisconsin. She is a photographer and I am a writer.
Frank Lloyd Wright was born in 1867 and died in 1955. He was a genius who forgot to pay the bills most of the time. He was one of the biggest collectors of Asian art. If he had money, he would buy art before he bought food for his family.
Frank Lloyd Wright lived in three places, Taliesin, Taliesin West, and Oak Park outside of Chicago. He built his first house for his growing family of six kids in Oak Park. Mr. Wright built homes referred to as Praire Style and Usonian. His designs included great rooms (large living rooms) equipped with pianos, cushions of various colors, and Asian art.
Location: Spring Green, Wisconsin
Services: Two hotels, seven restaurants, two bakeries
Activities: Not much. Small, quaint, downtown. Visit Taliesin ten minutes away.
Admission Fees: House and Hillside Studio and Theater tours are separate.
The House Tour: Adult – $54 Student, Senior & Military – $49
Children (including infants) under the age of 10 are not permitted on the House Tour.
Duration: Two hours
Hillside Studio Tour: Adult – $22, Student, Senior & Military – $17, Children 4-9 – $7
Children under 3 – FREE
The tour of both the House and Studio cost $90 for adults and $85 for students, seniors, and military.
Duration: 1-hour walking
If you are staying in Spring Green for a day, ask for the city guide. The guide includes a self-walking tour of various buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Have dinner at a bank. There aren’t many restaurants in Spring Green. You will have to wait about 30-45 minutes. Don’t fret. Take the time to explore the town. It’s not very big. A small bookstore is about a block down on the corner. Souveniers and books of all genres line the shelves. They sell coffee and pastries.
A bank designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
A Sprite in the garden next to the dentist office
In order to see the house, park in the parking lot of the visitor center and take a small tour bus to the house. The visitor center and the house are not connected. A restaurant in the visitor center is a school for students studying cooking. The food is very good and the service is friendly.
Taliesin was built in 1911 as the living quarters for Mamah Borthwick, Frank Llyod Wright’s girlfriend, wife of Edwin Cheney one of his clients. His first wife Catherine (Kitty) would not give him a divorce. The house was burnt down by a disgruntled employee in 1914. The house was destroyed and Mamah and her two daughters died. It was rebuilt in 1914 and destroyed for the second time in 1925 by an electrical fire.
The bedroom at Taliesin
Taliesin shows its age. The house is in constant repair. The windows are positioned to let the natural light in. The windows allow the view of the countryside, green hills, and blooming flowers. It was raining in the second half of our tour.
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Services: Many hotels, restaurants, stores, bakeries
Activities: Museums, clothing stores, bookstores, restaurants, parks, and hiking
Night Light Tour- Friday/Saturday, June- August 6:30-7:00 p.m. $45 for adults only
Details Tour- 11:30 a.m. (2 hours) Monday/Thursday $40, Friday/ Saturday/Sunday $45
Insight Tour- Sunday- Monday 8:45 a.m. Monday- Thursday $28 for adults and $16 for youth 6-12
Student Desert Shelter Tours- Students of the School of Architecture at Talisen lead tours at 11:15 during the months of November to March. Check the site for correct dates. Students live in the desert in the winter time and design their own homes. All of the money goes to the students. Don’t wear sandals and be able to walk for two hours. You will be richly rewarded.
Most popular tours are Monday-Thursday $35 for adults, $25 for students 13-25, and $19 for 6-12 years old. Friday/Saturday/Sunday $40 for adults and $19 for youth
Taliesin West is located on the same property as the visitor center. There is no restaurant on the property. During the months from September to the end of May, there is a small coffee shop on site. It sells homemade sweets, granola bars, coffee, and tea. TaliesenWest is located in the desert. It is very hot from the end of June to the middle of September.
Taliesin West was built in 1937. There has never been a major fire at Taliesin West. Frank Lloyd Wright called Taliesin West his desert laboratory. A place to test his organic architecture. He used sand, stones, and quartzite. These were the natural elements in the desert. He lived in AZ from October to May and in Wisconsin from May to October. He was one of the first snowbirds.
Desert Organic Architecture (The Vault)
TaliesenWest is much younger than Taliesen. It is in good shape because of the weather. There is no snow or massive amounts of rain to lead to disrepair. The windows are positioned to let in as much natural light as possible. The view of the desert is not as expansive as Taliesin. There are neighborhoods popping up around Taliesin West. There is a view of the mountains and the city of Phoenix in the distance.
The only wife/girlfriend who lived at Taliesin West was Mr. Wrights last wife, Olgivanna, a Montenegrin dancer of Serbian origin. She was thirty years younger than Mr. Wright. She had a daughter from a previous marriage and they later had a daughter together.
Frank Llyod was an interesting character. A chance to visit his homes should not be passed up.
Important note: It is highly recommendable to have a reservation. If you arrive and the tours are full, you must wait for the next available one. No refunds are given on any of the tours.
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