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Taliesin in Spring Green - Most Stunning Frank Lloyd Wright House to Visit in Wisconsin

8 Most Stunning Frank Lloyd Wright Houses to Visit in Wisconsin (2024)

First, if you are an American, second, if you are an Architectural enthusiast, the name Frank Lloyd Wright will read you familiar. Even after over seven decades of his demise, the public is insane about Wright’s architectural discoveries. And today, this craze has transformed several of his homes and buildings in Wisconsin into a tourism attraction. Especially when it comes to his birth state, the love for Wright’s architect knows no boundaries. Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Richland Centre, while he spent his childhood in Madison and Spring Green, town and cities in Wisconsin. Once a grown adult, Wright travelled across the west and created over 1000s of masterpieces. However, he also returned to his home state and blessed it with some splendid pieces of architecture.

Wright originally designed 150 architectural pieces for Wisconsin, of which only 60 came to life. Today 17 of them belongs to the administration, and 43 are privately owned. While the ones with administration operate for tourism fluently, the privately-owned ones too offer a few tours once in a while. The best part is, there are even a few you can spend a night at and brag about it for the rest of the time.

8 Most Stunning Frank Lloyd Wright Houses To Visit In Wisconsin

So why wait? Let’s get into the virtual tour of Wright’s wonderful homes in Wisconsin.

1. Taliesin in Spring Green

Wright’s former home and the most prized possession is the Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin. It isn’t just a single building but a 600 acres estate comprising of homes, studio and shops, cafeterias and grounds and other structures. The entire estate overlooks the Wisconsin River and is a pleasant and gorgeous site. During the mid-19th century, the estate was home to Wright’s maternal family and now is open for public tours. The buildings here you see today are renovated and reconstructed after the 2 devastating fires. However, the places still hold much of their originality and authenticity. Today guests can choose from 6 different tours from May through October. You may fall short of days but the estate will never fall of Wright buildings. Taliesin is also listed as a World Heritage site and one of Wright’s top works.

2. The Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center in Spring Green

To all the tours you book in Taliesin, each of them will begin and end at the Frank Lloyd Wright visitors’ centre. This visitors centre was once a restaurant named Riverview Terrace. It has a novel bridge-like design that spans over two hills right beside the Wisconsin River. No wonder why the restaurant was named Riverview Terrace. For guests who are short with time, exploring the visitors centre alone can gather an experience. Here you can sit and sip on some coffee or buy yourself some souvenirs while admiring the architecture. From books to household items and puzzles, they have multiple things related to Wright apart from his architecture. You can either sit and read or enjoy the virtual affairs. Though the items here are a little expensive, the building still is timeless and a must-visit in Wisconsin.

3. Monona Terrace in Madison

When Wright proposed the design for Monona, he also predicted that it wouldn’t come to life until his death, and his prediction proved correct. Though the design was introduced in 1938, the World War II brought the project to a halt. The project finally came to life in 1997, about 37 years after Wright’s demise. The building you see today was completed by architect Anthony Puttnam, Wright’s apprentices who stayed true to the original vision. The entire exterior you see today stands true to what Wright imagined and penned in his blueprint. Visitors currently can either book a tour to explore the building from inside. If not that, either directly access its rooftop or book a Kayak on Lake Monona and get the most beautiful view of the building from the waters.

4. The Airplane House or the Eugene Gilmore House in Madison

Atop the hill in Madison is a monolithic-looking structure and one of the most stunning works of Wright in Wisconsin. It is one of his earlier designs in Wisconsin. In contrast to Wright’s common horizontal prairie homes, this has a vertical feel. The garden outside the building is known for the splendid Madison to overlook. However, with Wright’s thoughtfully placed principal living rooms on the second floor, the views come even more closer. Standing at its window, one can observe a bird’s eye view of Madison and the surrounding 4 Lakes. The Airplane house isn’t far away from a splendid home, designed by Louis Sullivan, Wright’s mentor. Thus, on a drive, you can observe and appreciate the architectures of both.

5. First Unitarian Society Meeting House in Madison

The most famous Wright’s building in Wisconsin, the First Unitarian Society Meeting House, is a must-visit. The meeting house is a design by Frank Lloyd Wright and a creation by Marshall Erdman. It is listed as a national historic landmark and the most innovative example of church architecture in the world. The building comprises of Usonian-style meeting house, a pitched copper roof, an iconic prow of interlacing wood and glass and a deep-red concrete floor. During the month of May to June and August to September, guests can tour the building from inside. It also holds regular services inviting thousands of guests from across the nation.

6. Seth Peterson Cottage in Baraboo

One of the most stunning Frank Lloyd houses in Wisconsin; the Seth Peterson Cottage is simply splendid. This two-room lakeside cottage comprises 880 square feet of space. It sits on a secluded yet picturesque property on Wooded hill overlooking the popular Mirror Lake. Tours here operate one Sunday every month, drawing a considerable crowd. Every single detail here will recall one or the other things Wright was famous for. Be it the piano hinges on closet doors or the chains on the rain downspouts. The best part is, along with touring it, visitors can even stay here overnight. Imagine spending a night amidst wood with only glass walls all around, weird yet an experience on its own.

7. Unity Chapel in Wyoming

Unity Chapel isn’t Wright’s architectural project, but he was an interior designer for the same. This was one of his very first projects, which he worked upon when he was just 19 years old. The Chapel was originally designed for one of Wright’s uncles, and today the building is listed as a National Historic Landmark. Frank Lloyd Wright was originally buried in the Chapel graveyard; though, later, his wife decided to move him to the Taliesin West in Arizona. However, the graveyard still is home to the remains of several Wright relatives. Today guests can either visit here to attend an event or simply tour the site.

8. Tan-Y-Deri

Tan-Y-Deri or Under the Oaks is another Wright’s wonder for his sister. The building was originally designed for Wright’s sister’s family to overlook their ancestral valley. Tan-Y-Deri is a part of the Taliesin estate, and it is one of five Wright-designed buildings and also a National Historic Landmark in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, a lot of original details are demolished or disappeared today. Though the reconstruction went through using photography, drawings, and 3D modelling, ensuring the initial look could be maintained. Visiting here is advisable during the Winter Festivals or through the Estate tours. In the basement of Tan-y-Deri, the School of Architecture at Taliesin classes are held as well.

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