June marks the 150th anniversary of Wisconsin native son and pioneering architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s birthday. Our neighbor to the north is home to 45 Wright-designed structures, the most in any state. So how better to celebrate the Prairie school maestro’s sesquicentennial than to take in seven Wisconsin highlights (six Wright notables, plus one exhibit)—doable in a weekend, with overnight stays in Milwaukee and Madison.
Click the map above to see it full-size.
Wyoming Valley School Cultural Arts Center
Through November, tour Wright’s only school project, a nonprofit arts center built in 1957 as an homage to his mother (a former kindergarten teacher).
Wright lived here for 48 years, even after his mistress and half a dozen others were killed by a servant who set fire to the original home in 1914. Today you can roam the 800-acre campus and rebuilt structure with drinks and hors d’oeuvres at twilight ($100).
First Unitarian Society Meeting House
As a member (and son of two founders) of the First Unitarian Society, Wright accepted this commission when he was 80. Tours of the church, with its striking prow-style copper roof, are free on Sundays.
Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center
Construction of Wright’s “dream civic center,” conceived in 1938, was defeated by a single vote. Thanks to referendums, it was completed in 1997 on the eastern side of Madison’s isthmus. Tours are $5.
Milwaukee Art Museum
Check out Wright’s early portfolio designs, furniture, textiles, and stained glass in Buildings for the Prairie ($17, July 28 to October 15), an exhibit at the city’s crown jewel museum.
American System-Built Homes
Wright’s bold vision of working-class housing—using an innovative assembly system that saved waste and wages—is reflected in a cluster of 1916 residences (tour one for $15) along Milwaukee’s Burnham Street.
SC Johnson Administration Building
Wrapped in 43 miles of glass tubing, the 1939 structure replaced a planned building deemed “too typical.” The free tour includes the 15-story Research Tower, one of the world’s tallest examples of cantilever construction.
Stay:Milwaukee: Book the Kimpton Journeyman Hotel (from $219) in the trendy Third Ward for its thriving rooftop scene. Madison: Try the new terrace-equipped AC Hotel Madison Downtown (from $224), featuring views of the capital city and its lakes.
While You’re There:Nab seats for A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the American Players Theatre outdoor amphitheater in Spring Green, next door to Taliesin (from $49, through October).
4 months ago
6 months ago