There are a few good reasons architecture buffs should turn their attention to Wisconsin — whether you’re visiting and looking for an architecture-centric itinerary or you’re considering moving to a new state and appreciate good craftsmanship. And of course, Wisconsin happens to be the home state for America's most iconic architect: Frank Lloyd Wright.
Visitors and residents alike can go on a self-guided architectural adventure and learn about how Wright's architecture is woven in Wisconsin’s DNA via The Frank Lloyd Wright Trail, which spans nine counties in southern Wisconsin. Highlights include Taliesin, Wright’s 800-acre estate in Spring Green; the curvilinear Monona Terrace in Madison, which was Wright’s lakeside “dream civic center”; and a docent-led tour of Burnham Street in Milwaukee, which has the largest concentration of American System-Built Homes the famed architect built between 1915 and 1917. Read more here.
Emma Krupp of TimeOut writes, "Chicago isn't called the city in a garden for nothing. Home to more than 8,800 acres of green space, the city's rich tradition of landscape architecture—pioneered by the likes of Daniel H. Burnham, Jens Jensen, Frederick Law Olmsted and more—provides pockets of nature even in the densest urban corridors. And if you take a peek into some of the best Chicago parks, you'll find gardens of all shapes and sizes, teeming with flowers and plant life native to Chicago and (far) beyond. Whether you're an amateur naturalist or you're just looking to explore some new Chicago attractions, take a minute to unwind in these beautiful gardens throughout the city."
Among Emma's list is the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool. "If you're reminded of Frank Lloyd Wright wandering through this quiet garden and lily pond, know that the effect is intentional—landscape architect Alfred Caldwell designed its limestone-studded features in the 1930s in the Prairie School style pioneered by Wright. The garden boasts an abundance of prairie wildflowers and other native plants beloved by local wildlife, making it an ideal destination for birdwatchers and other amateur naturalists."
Find the entire list of favorite gardens in Chicago here.
Alden B. Dow Home and Studio in Midland, Michigan is acknowledged as a masterpiece of 20th century architecture. The quality and originality of Dow's work, as well as his association with Frank Lloyd Wright, have earned him lasting national recognition. The Alden B. Dow Home and Studio is offering daily public tours, 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday. In addition, it is also offering single party private tours at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., Monday through Friday. All tours must be registered. The Home and Studio are unable to accommodate walk-up guests. Public tours will have a maximum capacity of nine guests with one tour guide. Single party private tours will have a required minimum of four guests up to a maximum of nine guests with one tour guide. More details here.
The rich tumultuous tale of Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahoney Griffin has more to give to Canberra, according to Dr David Headon, the History and Heritage Adviser for the Centenary of Canberra and a distinguished historian.
While the legacy of their groundbreaking Canberra design is well marked, Headon says we have missed a crucial element in the social, intellectual and cultural story of the remarkable American pair. And, he believes, there’s an opportunity to build enduring links between ourselves, Chicago and Lucknow in India, all key parts of the Griffin story. Read more here.
To those with a passing knowledge of architecture, the name Joseph Eichler is synonymous with the iconic mid-century modern homes that help define the suburbs in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Between 1949 and 1964, the developer’s eponymous company built some 11,000 tract homes for middle-class Californians. With their open floor plans and indoor-outdoor living designed around central atriums, “Eichlers,” as they are colloquially known, remain very much in demand today.
Eichler’s work was also groundbreaking in another way: He was one of the first major developers to take a stand on housing discrimination. A recent story in Dwell magazine highlighted Eichler’s little-known commitment to undoing racist housing policies. He was one of the first builders to sell a home to anyone who could afford it — regardless of their race, ethnicity, or religion.
Eichler was born in New York City in 1900, the son of German Jewish immigrants. He “was raised in a politically liberal family that revered Franklin Roosevelt, and grew to maturity in the culturally diverse community of New York City.” In 1940, Eichler, his wife and two sons moved to California. There, they rented a Frank Lloyd Wright home — which inspired him to launch a career building similarly spacious, open-plan homes. More information on Joseph Eichler here.