Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most famous architects who ever lived, called Madison home. His legacy can be seen far and wide on our skyline and throughout the region.

Wright was born in nearby Richland Center and moved to Madison in his middle and high school years. He went on to take engineering classes at UW-Madison. After years away, Wright spent his later years in nearby Spring Green as an architect and a teacher.

More than six decades after Wright's death, his architectural feats remain cornerstones in Madison's arts, culture and historical scenes. Many of his Madison works are available to visit, tour or as places to host an event. 

Jump around to learn more about Frank Lloyd Wright's work:


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 Wisconsin State Capitol and creating a civic center that would bring together the citizens of Madison.

The Monona Terrace spans 90 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). 

Guided tours of Monona Terrace are available Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The building, including the rooftop and gift shop, is open to the public throughout the week (check the Monona Terrace website for up-to-date hours and visiting information).

For the budding architect or Wright enthusiast, the Inspired By Wright experience offers a tour of Monona Terrace with an in-depth look at how the building's location influenced Wright's use of geometry when designing the space. You'll even walk away with a Wright-inspired piece of glass art.

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 from Wright's process in designing the building. This exhibit is free and open to the public.

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West of Madison in Spring Green sits Frank Lloyd Wright’s primary residence: Taliesin. The 800-acre estate includes buildings from nearly every decade of his career and an architecture school that taught up-and-coming architects for 88 years. In 2023, the estate was named one of Trip Advisor's Best of the Best Things to Do and in 2019 became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Taliesin is a sprawling campus dedicated to enriching education and culture beyond architecture. Workshops and classes are offered throughout the year on topics including food, wellness, photography, painting, writing and more. These events are largely inspired by Wright's commitment to holistic architectural training, which included appreciation of all arts.

variety of tours are available ranging in length, topics and age groups. Tours are available from April through November.

Don’t-miss moment: The oldest Wright-designed building in Wisconsin, The Romeo and Juliet Windmill, is located on the Taliesin estate. 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.

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As a proud member of the First Unitarian Society, and son of the organization's founders, Frank Lloyd Wright designed his church around the triangle which symbolizes strength and aspiration, two of the church's core values. The First Unitarian Society Meeting House was named to model simplicity and humility. It was nicknamed the "little church in the country" when it was built.

More than 50 years later, Madison has grown and the church is no longer in the country, but rather nestled just south of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve in the gateway to the city's west side. The surroundings have changed, but the building's striking pointed shape and stunning stature remains. The building was named a National Historic Landmark in 2004 and earned LEED Certified Gold recognition for sustainability in 2008.

The Meeting House is still a place for worship and community, but public tours are available most Sundays and with expanded days and hours April through October. Private and group tours are available upon request. The Meeting House also hosts several private event spaces.

Don't miss moment: The Landmark Auditorium inside the Meeting House is considered among the most innovative designs in church architecture. Services are held in the auditorium every Saturday.

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There are several houses and properties designed by Wright in the Greater Madison area. Although the majority are privately owned and cannot be entered, the exteriors provide insight into Wright’s various architectural styles. 

Robert M. Lamp House, 22 N Butler St, Madison, WI‎

Built in the early 1900s for a childhood friend of Wright's, this private residence reflects a mix of architectural styles from Wright and some of his employees.

Eugene A. Gilmore House "Airplane House," 120 Ely Pl, Madison, WI

The Airplane House, built in 1908, is known as an anomaly in Wright's prairie houses because of its vertical design, contrasting Wright's typical preference for horizontal alignments. The site remains a private residence today.

The John Pew House, 3650 Lake Mendota Dr, Madison, WI

Similar in design to Wright's Fallingwater, the John Pew House is a private residence located on the shores of Lake Mendota in the Shorewood Hills neighborhood. It was built in 1940 as a result of the Taliesin Fellowship.

Herbert and Katherine Jacobs First House, 441 Toepfer Ave, Madison, WI 

The first private residence Wright designed for Herbert and Katherine Jacobs is considered the first of Wright's "Usonian" structures. The term was coined for Wright's vision for affordable architecture inspired by American landscape rather than traditional European influences. The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2003.

Walter Rudin House, 110 Marinette Trl, Madison, WI

The 1959 home of two UW-Madison mathematicians was a result of Wright's fascination with prefab housing. His iterations of prefab housing became part of his total Usonian vision. The site remains a private residence.

Eugene Van Tamelen House, 5817 Anchorage Rd, Madison, WI

The Tamelen house is another of Wright's prefab, Usonian designs made in collaboration with Madison's Marshall Erdman. The site remains a private residence.

Herbert and Katherine Jacobs Second House "Solar Hemicycle," 3995 Shawn Trl, Middleton, WI‎

The second private Jacobs residence is known for its semicircular shape and use of natural materials and positioning to conserve solar energy. The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2003.

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From the Driftless Region to the shores of Lake Michigan, Frank Lloyd Wright left a lasting legacy in southern Wisconsin. The Frank Lloyd Wright Trail is your guide to finding all the major Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings along the way including stops in Richland Center, Spring Green, Madison, Milwaukee and Racine.

Don't-miss moments: Sign up for the Trail Tracker to track your progress and earn a digital Frank Lloyd Wright Trail Badge to share online once you've visited all the sites.

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