DISCOVER MR. WRIGHT
The 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birthday is in 2017, and you can celebrate by visiting one of his local masterpieces! Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Wisconsin, attended UW-Madison and spent many years of his life living in nearby Spring Green. Wright's Wisconsin roots helped define him as an architect and heavily influenced his work.
MONONA TERRACE® COMMUNITY AND CONVENTION CENTER
Frank Lloyd Wright’s largest contribution in Madison is the Monona Terrace® Community and Convention Center. Wright had a vision of connecting Lake Monona to the State Capitol and wanted to create a civic center that would bring together the citizens of Madison. The Monona Terrace® spans ninety feet out over the lake, with panoramic views and a walkway that links to downtown Madison. Visit this iconic building to learn more about Wright’s architectural style, his vision for the space, and why it took 59 years to build (he drafted the plan in 1938 but it wasn’t completed until 1997). Monona Terrace is open almost every day from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and tours are available without reservations. Learn more by visiting Monona Terrace’s tours page.
Don’t-Miss Moment: On the fourth level is “Beyond the Drawing Board: The Journey of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Monona Terrace,” a gallery that includes photos, videos and artifacts. This exhibit is free and open to the public.
About 37 miles west of Madison is the small town of Spring Green, home to Frank Lloyd Wright’s primary residence for 48 years: Taliesin. The 800-acre estate includes buildings from nearly every decade of his career, as well as an architecture school that still enrolls students. There are a variety of tours available, from a two-hour tour that weaves through bedrooms, living rooms and studios in Wright’s home, to a four-hour version that adds on the nearby gardens and hillsides that influenced his work.
Don’t-Miss Moment: On the Taliesin estate is the oldest Wright-designed building in Wisconsin: The Romeo and Juliet Windmill. This tower was designed to provide water to his sisters’ progressive boarding school that resided on the estate, known as the Hillside Home School. The windmill has a shorter section and a taller section, an ode to the star-crossed lovers’ embrace.
There are other houses and properties designed by Wright in the Greater Madison area. Although the majority are privately-owned and cannot be entered, the exterior provides insight into Wright’s various architectural styles. See the map below for more information on their locations.