As one of the country’s most famous architects, Frank Lloyd Wright has deep roots in Wisconsin. Born in Richland Center, in the Driftless Region, in 1867, he later made his home at Taliesin, the sprawling 800-acre property in Spring Green. Many of his projects are throughout the state, including the Madison and Milwaukee areas, Wausau, Racine and Delavan.
Wright in Wisconsin organizes an annual tour each summer in a region within Wisconsin, spotlighting a mix of Wright-designed properties along with those inspired by his portfolio (hence the “Like” in the tour name). The last time it was in Milwaukee was in 2017.
This year’s tour is Saturday, July 29, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and focuses on the communities of Bayside, Fox Point, River Hills and Shorewood, allowing participants to travel independently by car between the nine different homes. Three of the homes were designed by Wright and six by architects inspired by his work. The Wright homes are the Joseph Mollica House in Bayside, completed in 1959 and an example of a Pre-Fab by Marshall Erdman; the Elizabeth Murphy House in Shorewood, only discovered to be one of Wright’s American System-Built Homes in 2015; and Burnham Block, where two of the six American System-Built Homes on Milwaukee’s South Side will be open for tours.
When Murray Griffin’s grandparents moved into the Lippincott House – a historic home built in 1917 in Eaglemont – some visitors would howl with laughter at the number of windows. “I don’t think people would have that kind of reaction now but early on in the house’s history it was almost startlingly different,” Griffin says. What the visitors probably didn’t realize was that the home was co-designed by Walter Burley Griffin, the American architect best known for designing Canberra.
For the first time, the Lippincott House will be part of this year’s Open House Melbourne weekend, where the public is invited behind the closed doors of some of the city’s most fascinating private homes. The Lippincott House is an example of the revolutionary Prairie style school of arts and crafts architecture, which emerged in Chicago from the work of architects including Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan, and emphasized nature, craftsmanship, and simplicity.
“We’ve got photos of this house sitting in basically paddocks and it’s incredibly bold,” Griffin says. “It’s not a mansion by any means. And it’s not ornate, but it’s brilliant and innovative design. It’s a house you are struck by, there’s no doubt about that.”
The newest issue of the Friends of Kebyar Journal is now available. The journal presents Bruce Goff’s involvement in Bruce Plunkett’s Lake Village development (sometimes referred to as The Villages at Lake Palestine), a planned community just outside Tyler, Texas. Goff’s involvement in the project was multi-faceted, with designs for both custom and speculative homes. However, in an essay by Craig Lee, the focus is on Goff’s non-residential aspects of the development. As it certainly isn’t an all encompassing tome on the entire subject, we are hopeful that perhaps this might spur on further scholarly research for a much more comprehensive publication of the complete venture in the future.
The second half of the issue offers a glimpse of never before seen or published images of Bruce Goff taken by Bruce Plunkett. Plunkett was initially a student of Goff’s who later became Goff’s friend, builder, client, and patron.
Members of FOK should be seeing their copies in mailboxes soon, but if you want to order a copy, follow the link.
In his long career, Frank Lloyd Wright designed more than 1,000 buildings — and Robie House in Hyde Park stands out as an icon of his Chicago work. In 1908, Wright was 41 years old and had designed dozens of houses, not only in his home base, Oak Park, but also in Chicago and other Illinois towns, when Frederick and Lora Robie commissioned him to design a home for them.
The house the Robies and their two children moved into in May 1910 was spectacular. Almost everything about the exterior emphasizes the horizontal. That includes bands of windows, the long cantilevered roof lines on the upper two levels, the ribbons of stone that cap brick walls and some subtle trickery: Not only are the bricks long, thin Roman brick, but their horizontality gets emphasized by the grout between them. Horizontal runs of grout are white, but verticals are red like the brick, so that each course of brick looks like one long red line.
Since 1997, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust has been steward and proprietor of the university-owned building, and has poured millions of dollars into making it shine like the treasure it is. But the future of the Robie House wasn't always secure. Follow the link to learn more.