While Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings across the world, many of his most iconic structures are in his home state. Here’s to discovering the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail.
Discover America’s most famous architect on the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail
When it comes to architecture, no one else in American history has left a legacy as large as Wisconsin-born Frank Lloyd Wright.His iconic designs still make Frank Lloyd Wright a well-known name more than 60 years after his passing.
You can find prime examples of organic architecture, a concept coined by Wright that seeks harmony between nature and structures, by touring the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail.This 200-mile route through southern Wisconsin features nine Wright-designed sites.The trail includes everything from a corporate campus and a civic building to gorgeous homes, including his own personal estate.
Traveling the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail makes for a perfect summer road trip. The sites along the route are independently owned and operated, so check their websites for tour times and availabilities.
Start your journey at the SC Johnson campus in Racine County
To kick off your tour of the trail, visit the SC Johnson campus in Racine. This is the only Wright-designed corporate campus that’s still in use today.You can tour both the Administration Building and the Research Tower, which make up two of the nine stops along the trail.
In the Administration Building, you’ll be wowed by the remarkable Great Workroom. Artfully designed columns rise up throughout this grand space, resembling massive lily pads supporting the ceiling.
The SC Johnson Research Tower reopened in 2013 after extensive restoration work to the structure.The stunning tower is wrapped in Pyrex tube windows, the 15 stories alternate between square floors and round mezzanine levels, and the innovative design makes the entire tower appear at ground level to just hang in the air.
See Wright’s impact on civic institutions in Dane County
In Madison, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail includes two iconic buildings to visit.
You’ll want to tour the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center for a more modern take on Wright’s vision.Monona Terrace is inspired by the architect’s initial designs to connect the State Capitol to the shores of Lake Monona with a grand civic center.Opened in 1997, Monona Terrace brought Wright’s vision to life decades after his passing.
Once you’ve toured Monona Terrace, head over to the First Unitarian Meeting House to experience how Wright’s connection to nature and his own spirituality translated into a sacred space for the church he personally attended.The location is recognized as a National Historic Landmark and one of the architect’s most important structures.You’ll find triangular shapes throughout the design that are meant to symbolize structural strength and aspiration.
Visit his home, studio, school and agricultural estate in Spring Green
Perhaps the most iconic stop on the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail is the place he lived, worked and taught others — Taliesin.Because of Frank Lloyd Wright’s contributions to 20th century American architecture, Taliesin is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Start the experience at the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center before exploring the extensive grounds and buildings of Taliesin. In the summer months, tours are offered seven days a week. You can choose between tours ranging from 1-4 hours. Preservation efforts reflect how it would have looked in the 1950s, the last years of Wright’s lifetime.
These aren’t all the stops on the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail, so be sure to work in the other destinations as you take in the life and legacy of America’s most famous architect.
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