Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
Trip End Oct 14, 2011

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Bel-Aire Motel

Flag of United States  , Wisconsin
Saturday, September 17, 2011

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I went to Taliesin in Spring Green, WI today. Taliesin was the home, and later summer home, of Frank Lloyd Wright. It's one of the most famous residences in the country and a National Historic Landmark.

Wright chose this area because this was where he grew up and many family members lived in the area. In addition to the main house, which was also an office, there are a number of other buildings on the estate that are also sometimes collectively referred to as Taliesin. Most of the other buildings were built for family members and were some of his earliest commissions.

I wanted to take their Estate Tour, the most complete tour offered, but it was sold out by the time I called. Instead I took the House Tour, which tours the main house only, and the Hillside Studio & Theater Tour, which tours a building that was originally built as a boarding school and was later converted into an architectural school lead by Wright. This combination of tours covered about two-thirds of what I would have seen on the Estate Tour. One of the things I missed was a trip to the Unity Chapel and Wright's grave, which I was able to visit on my own following the tours.

Taliesin is very impressive. The Hillside Studio, originally built in 1911, still looks amazingly contemporary for a building that's 100 years old. It must have been seen as revolutionary when it was new. The main house is also stunning. Unfortunately, none of the buildings at Taliesin seem to have been constructed as permanent structures. It seems that Wright thought of them all as works-in-progress, which they were when he was alive since he was constantly remodeling them to try out new ideas. As a result, the buildings are difficult to maintain and not in the best of shape. I recommend seeing them, if you have the opportunity. They may not last forever.
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