Frank Lloyd Wright Houses in Wisconsin to See in 2023
Another year of unforgettable adventure is upon us, so why not make the most of it and travel around the diverse and fascinating state of Wisconsin, staying at top-rated Bed and Breakfasts in Wisconsin along the way? Given that Frank Lloyd Wright was from Wisconsin, it makes sense that there are several surviving and gorgeous Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Wisconsin.
One great way to see this exciting state is to travel along the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail, marveling at the form, function, and beauty of the many Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Wisconsin. The Frank Lloyd Wright Trail was established in 2017 and offers a self-guided tour for visitors interested in seeing some of the most remarkable Frank Lloyd Wright houses. Though there are a total of 43 Frank Lloyd Wright buildings around the state, the trail showcases nine of the most impressive examples of his unique architecture along the trail.
Most of the Frank Lloyd Wright houses featured on the trail are found in southern Wisconsin, near towns like Rochester Center, Spring Green, Madison, and Milwaukee. While navigating the state and admiring Wisconsin's gorgeous architecture and scenic beauty, you'll need a friendly, welcoming place to stay. There's truly no better place to stay in Wisconsin than one of our top-rated Bed and Breakfasts in Wisconsin. Book your room with us today!
The Top Frank Lloyd Wright Houses in Wisconsin
Frank Lloyd Wright is considered the preeminent American architect. He was born right here in Wisconsin, in the town of Rochester Center, and throughout his career, he designed more than 1100 buildings, with 532 of them completed. The defining feature of Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Wisconsin, not to mention buildings in nearby Chicago and across the rest of the country, is the marriage of form and function between home and the land it sits upon. His designs were well ahead of their time and changed the way we build homes and live in the world.
Frank Lloyd Wright was inspired by the rolling hills and dramatic bluffs of his native Wisconsin Driftless Area, with many of his designs featuring low-pitched roofs, deep overhangs, and long rows of casement windows. The purpose of his designs was to emphasize the natural surroundings of his buildings. In his later years, in response to the Depression Era, Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Wisconsin and elsewhere once again changed form. They became much more about affordability and utilitarian designs.
Below, you'll find eight of the most impressive examples of Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Wisconsin, all located along the self-guided Frank Lloyd Wright Trail. The ninth, Taliesin, will be featured in more detail below as it is the most famous of the Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Wisconsin.
- The AD German Warehouse in Richland Center, where the architect was born, is one of the earliest examples of his work on the trail. This building was completed in 1921 and represented one of his few significant public buildings built at the time. It also provides a wonderful example of his work in sculptural ornamentation. Though it was once used to store commodities like flour and sugar, today, this impressive building serves as a small theater and features exhibits and murals about the architect's life work.
- Another example of public buildings that Frank Lloyd Wright designed is the S.C. Johnson Administration Building in Racine. The building was completed in 1939 and has been called one of the top 25 buildings of the 20th century. Wright designed every aspect of this building, including the furniture. One of the most outstanding features of this building is the 43 miles of glass windows throughout. The research tower located here is also one of the world's tallest cantilevered buildings. You'll definitely want to take a tour of his campus!
- Once you've toured the S.C. Johnson Administration Building, head to one of the nearby Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Wisconsin, Wingspread. This Prairie-style home was built in 1937 for the company's third-generation leader and today serves as a conference center. It's also open for public tours.
- Head north of the Racine area towards Milwaukee, and you'll find another fantastic example of Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Wisconsin to visit. Model B1 (aka the Burnham Home) is an example of the architect's American System-Built Homes that were popular in this area. There were 16 built in this area, and they emphasized affordability for the typical American family. Only 6 of these Frank Lloyd Wright houses still stand on West Burnham Street and Layton Boulevard, with this model open for public tours.
- From Milwaukee, head towards Madison, where you'll find two more examples of Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture. The first is the First Unitarian Society Meeting House, completed in 1951. This stunning building is one of the architect's most famous commissions and features a pitched copper roof, a deep-red concrete floor, and a prow of interlacing wood and glass.
- The next, Monona Terrace, was built after Frank Lloyd Wright's death. It's a stunning civic center that frames Monona Lake and serves as a space for public meetings, community programs, and more.
- Another project completed after Frank Lloyd Wright's death is the Seth Peterson Cottage. This gorgeous space overlooking Mirror Lake was the architect's final project, and it's now part of Mirror Lake State Park and can be rented.
- Finally, head towards Spring Green, Wisconsin, and you'll find the Wyoming Valley School Cultural Arts Center. This impressive building is only three miles from one of the most famous Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Wisconsin, Taliesin. The Arts Center was built in 1957 and was designed and donated by Wright to provide space for workshops, performances, and education for the community.
Bed and Breakfasts in Wisconsin near these Frank Lloyd Wright houses: Cream Pitcher Bed and Breakfast near Rochester Center, Sheer Memories Guest Cottage and Silver Star B&B Inn near Spring Green, Ringling House Bed and Breakfast and the Inn at Wawanissee Point in Baraboo, The Speckled Hen Inn, The Livingston Inn, The Buckingham Inn, and Hotel Ruby Marie in Madison, and The Inn on the Olde Homestead, The Muse Gallery Guesthouse, and Sheridan's Bed and Breakfast in Milwaukee.
Taliesin is the Most Famous Frank Lloyd Wright House in Wisconsin
No visit to Wisconsin is complete without visiting one of the most famous Frank Lloyd Wright houses, Taliesin, near Spring Green. Fans of the architect's work consider this spectacular home the architect's crowning achievement, and it's easy to see why. Taliesin is an impressive 37,000-square-foot home that sits on a gorgeous 800-acre estate overlooking the Wisconsin River. Taliesin was completed in 1911, but since then, it has been reconstructed and renovated to maintain its historical integrity. In 2019, Taliesin was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Taliesin is just one of the buildings on this expansive estate, with Frank Lloyd Wright houses and buildings spanning nearly his entire career from the 1890s to the 1950s. You can take five different tours of Taliesin, including a 2-hour house tour, a 2-hour highlights tour, a comprehensive 4-hour estate tour, and a Driftless landscape tour. Though the property is open year-round, the public tours resume this April again and run through November.
Though the star of any visit to this estate is the spectacular Frank Lloyd Wright houses, there are also trails around the property that offer visitors a fully immersive way to experience the land as the architect did. There are also several events held at the Taliesin estate each year, including summer camps, art & cultural programming, outdoor programming, community events, and more.
Visiting Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Wisconsin is a beautiful journey and will change how you look at the world around you. Start planning your adventure to see these nine incredible Frank Lloyd Wright houses and buildings, and include a stay at one of our top-rated Bed and Breakfasts in Wisconsin. Book a stay today!