Renowned architect and Wisconsin native Frank Lloyd Wright left an incredible legacy, from several notable homes near Chicago to New York ’s Guggenheim Museum. But in Spring Green you can visit Wright’s own rambling 37,000-square-foot home and his original architecture school, an estate he tucked among the rolling hills of his childhood.
Wright espoused the importance of designing in harmony with the surroundings and using local materials. Taliesin is the embodiment of Wright’s tenets, its wings of limestone, wood, and glass meandering along the contours of the landscape. The name “Taliesin” is Welsh for “shining brow,” reflecting the home’s location along the “brow” of the hillside—enveloping, rather than overpowering, the site.
Wright lived at Taliesin for more than 30 years and trained his apprentices here. He moved to Arizona and established Taliesin West in the mid-1930s, but many leading architects and Wright aficionados consider the Spring Green property his finest work.
Taliesin Preservation offers immensely popular tours of the 600-acre complex, which includes several Wright buildings, providing an intimate look at the flowing interiors. Cuides point out the architect’s meticulous attention to detail and also indulge visitors with a few anecdotes of his legendary caustic and controlling personality. He banned Holstein cows from Taliesin in favor of buff-colored Jerseys, for instance, because he felt the Holsteins’ black-and-white hides didn’t blend well with the pastures.