Thoughts on thoughts and images of beautiful things

Tag Archives: architecture

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesen – Spring Green, WI



My parents and I took a mini summer vacation a couple weeks ago to Spring Green, WI to see Frank Lloyd Wright‘s Taliesen. The complex consists of his home and studio, as well as some boarding residences for students in his architecture school. We like to see as many FLW houses as we can because my dad is an architect and teaches architecture, and my mom and I are art lovers. I also did an internship with the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust in Chicago, so it’s always interesting for all of us. After having seen many of his homes in the Chicago area, what struck me about Taliesen was the beautiful setting in the hilly Wisconsin countryside. The integration between interior living space and the natural world that surrounds it outside, which is a central design concept for FLW, is very present at Taliesen. From the courtyard-like feel in front of the entrance to the house (perhaps inspired by his trip to Italy), to the wall of windows and doors opening out to a balcony on the other side of the house, which overlooks a series of hills, the beautiful Wisconsin countryside setting is very much felt both within and outside the house.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Asian influence also makes a statement in both the home and studio, as large Japanese silk tapestries take center stage on various walls. The room I liked the most was the living room because it felt so spacious with open space in the center of the room and built-in seating/benches along the walls around the periphery of the room. Apparently FLW had dinner parties every Friday night, complete with musical entertainment (for which he designed a music stand that could accommodate three musicians). He also designated a chair for his daughter who played the harp. His affinity for his daughter is also evident in her “little apartment” upstairs, which is accessed either through a lofty space above the bedroom he shared with his wife, or by its own separate staircase off the great room. The intention behind this was that she could perform puppet shows for him and his wife anytime she wanted.

There are different tours that one can take at Taliesen and the one we took was two hours long. Very comprehensive! We had a sweet and knowledgeable tour guide, but my favorite part may have been the resident cat who followed us around for part of the tour 🙂 I leave you with some wise words to live by from good ol’ FLW himself.





Vampire Weekend – Step


I love the focus on architecture and form in this video. Not to mention the quirky lyrics…

Newport, RI & the Gilded Age



I just took a trip to Newport, RI, home of many grand mansions from the Gilded Age and my are they beautiful. We toured seven of them in three days. Their initial grandeur, although mesmerizing, loses its effect as you tour the houses and hear the stories of those who lived in them. Realizing what it took to run a house so ostentatious can be disheartening if you don’t belong to the same socio-economic circle. However, they can also be appreciated for their pure architectural beauty and genius. Most of them modeled after castles or chateaus in England and France, they helped spread the culture and intellect of Europe to the U.S. Who would have thought…a small town on the coast of Rhode Island acts as a miniature European city.


For anyone who likes Downtown Abbey or is interested in the social structure during that time, touring these mansions is a real treat. The tours are very informative and interesting, detailing the home-owners’ daily lives, parties, marriages, relationships with their servants, clothing, budget, etc. The kinds of families that lived in these mansions are the likes of the Vanderbilts. In fact, various family members built more than one house in Newport. The mansions are now preserved and shown to the public by the The Preservation Society of Newport County. It’s shocking to think that some of these mansions could have been torn down in the 60s, but thanks for The Preservation Society they are still standing and thriving. I would definitely recommend a visit to Newport, RI to see these stately mansions and learn more about the Gilded Age.