June 2016– Spring Green, Wisconsin – Our 12,600 km journey would not have been complete without the visit to Taliesin, the home of Frank Lloyd Wright. The property was developed on land that originally belonged to Wright’s maternal family. The story of Frank Lloyd Wright and Taliesin is filled with intrigue. Fire seems to be a reoccurring theme. Frank Lloyd Wright used the property and structures as a laboratory for translating his thoughts from paper to reality. Many of the buildings were built and rebuilt by his students, testing materials and details. We toured the site including the Hillside School (first built in 1902), the “Romeo and Juliet Windmill” (1896), his sister’s house (1907), the Midway barn and his house, the “house on the hill”. The word Taliesin is from a welsh bard and translates to “shining brow”, or “radiant brow”, and was originally selected to describe the house that was to grow out of the hill. The entire farm complex became known as Taliesin.
The barn on the property is called “Midway” barn as it is midway between the Hillside school and the house. To construct the Midway Barn, Frank Lloyd Wright moved his uncle’s rectangular stable up the hill from the river, to become the Horse Stable and Poultry Barn. A long two storey wing perpendicular to the stable and areas with shed roofs were added. There was a Milking Tower and Dairy area of the barn, with a round tower constructed of the same indigenous stone that was used for the foundation. He is said to have said: “Regard it just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral”.
Our day at Taliesin was filled with observing the space: the outside extending inside, the void between the buildings, the landscape and the horizontal.