Taliesin is best known as the home of Frank Lloyd Wright, famous architect. But it was far more than a home. On my recent visit to Taliesin, just as each curving hill revealed a different building on the estate, each space provided a new story–and not necessarily the one I expected. Here I’ve collected a list of 5 things that surprised me and I hope they’ll surprise you, too.
- Taliesin has a barn… designed by the best-known architect of the 20th century! Frank Lloyd Wright didn’t just build a house at Taliesin, he built a whole farm complex. And even the barn is Wrightian.
- Wright’s sister had a house next door, and Wright didn’t like her house. Wright had designed the house for a magazine and didn’t think it was suited to the landscape at Taliesin, but his sister insisted and Wright relented.
- Taliesin features a bird walk. What’s that? It’s a walkway that juts out from the second-floor porch and provides stunning views. Wright constructed it using an old truss from the nearby Wisconsin River bridge.
- There is still an architecture school operating out of Taliesin. They use the building Wright originally designed for his aunts’ Hillside School. They do not, however, run the farm–which is what they did when Wright was in charge.
- There’s a visitor center. It’s designed by Wright. Why? Wright originally designed the building as a local restaurant but of course he knew that those visiting would be inquiring about Taliesin. It is only fitting that the building now operates as a visitor center. They also still have a lunch menu and serve local fare.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s barn. That weather vane, though!
Wright’s sister’s house. What do you think? Does it fit with the landscape? (Yes, Wright designed that windmill, too.)
The fabled “bird walk.”
Where the architecture happens. Still true, today!
The visitor center, originally a restaurant designed by Wright.
Sources and Further Reading:
Interested in Wright? Check out some of my other blogs under “Wright” on my Explore page.
The official website for Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin in Wisconsin. I did this tour and it may sound like a lot, but it was worth every minute!
You can read a history of Taliesin on Taliesin’s website, here.
6 thoughts on “5 Surprising Things About Taliesin”
Thank you. You seem to hear more about Taliesin West so this is lovely to see. Great setting.
Thanks! I agree Taliesin West seems to get more press. That may be why I was so surprised and impressed by Wisconsin’s Taliesin. It’s such a beautiful place and an interesting time in Wright’s career.
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I went there last summer! And I just went to the SC Johnson building and Wingspread in Racine this past weekend! The SC Johnson building is spectacular…
I so agree about SC Johnson, it is amazing! Wingspread was closed when I visited, I’ll definitely have to make another trip.
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