(Reminder: this post is being published well after our visit, we are currently in Portland Oregon until Sept 4th)

Frank Lloyd Wright’s first commission was a windmill in 1896 for his two aunts located on his family’s farm near Spring Green Wisconsin. This was followed by a school for them. Later in his life, he moved on an adjacent plot with his mistress (later wife #2) where he used the building built for his aunts as the school for his students and built a house for himself and his mistress. He named his compound Taliesin as a nod to his Welsh heritage. It means Shining Brow.

Below are pictures of the school, which was built in the early 1900s.

The school includes a theater added later. All of these and the studio are still in use by architecture students.

Nearby is the house and office where FLW lived and worked. The title photo of this post is from the balcony outside the bedroom wing. The structure in the foreground was built for birdwatching. As with most of his houses, it included carports which were a new invention.

Between the house itself and the wing which housed Mr Wright’s office (and his secretary’s apartment) is the beautiful courtyard shown below.

As with all of his work, (and of all great Architects) it is the attention to detail that astounds me. The gold leaf on the ceiling to reflect light and warm the space or the beautiful stone work made to resemble the natural way the rock is found in nature. Just incredible…especially given how innovative it was for the time.

Our last stop (and our first) was of course at the gift shop. The foundation uses what was FLW’s last design as the tour’s visitor’s center. The building was originally built as a restaurant and was completed after his death. Today it has a small cafe as well as the ticket desk and gift shop.

We did a drive by of Spring Green and it is easy to see FLW’s influence in a number of buildings including this bank and it’s drive through.

So ends (at least for now) our FLW tour. We leave Spring Green headed to Condon Montana to visit s long time friend from Raleigh, Gail and to meet her new hubby. Hope you’ll join us for the drive which will include corn (some people call it maize), bears, waterfalls and SNOW!

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