Tour offers glimpse at Wright’s architecture

By Tom Owens

Frank Lloyd Wright has been recognized as one of this country’s greatest architects because of his revolutionary designs.

To explore the architecture and heritage of Wright, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences department of external programming is offering a “TraveLearn” study program. The tour is going to Taliesin, Wright’s Wisconsin home.

The tour will be this weekend and will include an overnight stay at a Victorian bed and breakfast.

The tour will be enhanced by Richard Cooler, professor of art, who will add commentary to the architectural sights and contrast the different types of architecture from the period.

Concerning the tour, Cooler said, “The main goal of the tour is to re-examine Wright’s architecture in regard to present day architecture, the ranch house.”

Steve Johnson, director of external programming, said the tour is not only of Taliesin but also other architecture from the period.

These other destinations are the Unitarian Chapel in Madison, Wis., the Allyn Mansion Inn (1885) in Delavan, Wis. and the Pettit Chapel (1907) in Belvidere, Ill. The lodging for the trip will be provided by the Allyn Mansion Inn located in Delavan, Wis.

The Allyn Mansion Inn is a Victorian bed and breakfast which was the recipient of the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Certificate of Preservation because of its exceptionally thorough and meticulous restoration.

This Victorian building is the only piece of architecture on the tour which was not designed by Wright. The reason the tour is stopping there is to compare the conventional architecture of the day with the revolutionary architecture of Wright.

Cooler said Taliesin comes from the Welsh word meaning “shining brow.” As a result of the building being burnt several times in its history, the home became Wright’s workshop for perfecting his revolutionary designs.

Built into the brow of a hill overlooking the Wisconsin River, the house commands a sweeping view from every approach. Robert Campbell, the architecture critic of the Boston Globe, said, “Taliesin belongs on everyone’s short list of candidates for the greatest single work of architecture in American history.”

The tour is a perfect way to spend a cool fall weekend. If you can not make this current tour, check into the “TraveLearn” study program being offered in December which is visiting Wright’s Dana-Thomas House.

There are a limited number of spaces available. To register for the tour call 1-800-345-9472 or 753-0277. Rates for the tour are $195 dollars per person or $135 dollars per person for full-time students.

For specific information on Taliesin call (608) 588-7948 or for the Allyn Mansion Inn call (414) 728-9090.