Guide

Explore Wisconsin's Frank Lloyd Wright Trail

Frank Lloyd Wright, America’s most beloved and renowned architect, was born in 1867 in Richland Center, Wisconsin. Although he would go on to earn international renown, he loved his home state and designed over 40 structures there during his lifetime.

Wisconsin’s Department of Tourism partnered with the state’s Department of Transportation to create a driving trail that highlights nine significant Wright buildings in the southern part of the state. Peruse our guide to learn more about these incomparable structures, and start planning your own trip.

  1. Photo By: Keith Ewing/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

    SC Johnson Administration Building and Research Tower

    These two structures in Racine, Wisconsin, hold the worldwide headquarters of SC Johnson, the household cleaning product conglomerate. The Administration Building dates from 1939 and holds Wright-designed furniture and 43 miles of glass windows. The Research Tower, built a decade later, is one of the highest cantilevered buildings in the world. The Tower also features a mock-up of a 1950s-era laboratory, allowing visitors to experience how the architecture stimulated scientists’ cutting-edge advancements.

  2. Photo By: The Johnson Foundation

    Wingspread

    H.F. Johnson, Jr., the third-generation head of the SC Johnson Company, commissioned Wright to build a family estate in the late 1930s. Construction of Wingspread, the largest of Wright’s Prairie School houses, was completed in 1939. Built of natural materials like brick, stucco, unstained wood, and limestone, the structure artfully blends into the surrounding woodland and prairie. It’s currently used for meetings and retreats for the Johnson Foundation, but visitors can make appointments to take a 75-minute tour.

  3. Photo By: Wright in Milwaukee

    Burnham

    The Burnham Block in Milwaukee contains six still-standing examples of Wright’s American System-Built houses, an early attempt at prefabricated housing and part of his ongoing efforts to design homes that were affordable for the typical American family. Tours of one of the homes are available on select weekends by trained docents.

  4. Photo By: Monona Terrace

    Monona Terrace

    Wright designed this civic center for the city of Madison in 1938, but had trouble securing public funding for the project. He continued to seek support for its construction until his death in 1959. The state finally approved funds for the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in 1992, 33 years after Wright’s death, and his vision was finally completed in 1997.

  5. Photo By: First Unitarian Society of Madison

    First Unitarian Society

    Completed in 1951, this National Historic Landmark houses one of the largest Unitarian Universalist organizations in the United States. Wright was born into a Unitarian family and identified as a Unitarian throughout his life. The limestone and oak Meeting House, with its distinctive copper roof, embodies one of Wright’s core principles: unity with nature. Tours are available throughout the year; consult the First Unitarian Society of Madison’s tour schedule to check availability.

  6. Photo By: Travel Wisconsin

    Taliesin and Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center

    Frank Lloyd Wright’s home on this 800-acre estate in Spring Green, Wisconsin, is located on Wright’s favorite hill in the region during his childhood. It was damaged by fire and repaired on two different occasions, and its current iteration dates from 1925. Constructed in Wright’s classic Prairie Style, restoration projects and renovations have been ongoing since Wright’s death in 1959, but the architect’s former home and workshop is open to the public for tours.

  7. Photo By: Wyoming Valley School Cultural Arts Center

    Wyoming Valley School

    The Wyoming Valley School is located just three miles from Taliesin, and it promotes the arts and culture of the surrounding region. Built in honor of Wright’s mother, Anna Lloyd Jones, the school provides space for workshops, lectures, exhibits, and performances. The building stood empty from 1990 to 2010, but it reopened in 2011 as a nonprofit arts and cultural center.

  8. Photo By: Travel Wisconsin

    A.D. German Warehouse

    This four-story Mayan Revival warehouse in Wright’s hometown of Richland Center was designed in 1915 and built between 1917 and 1921 for a local commodity wholesaler. It’s one of the few public buildings that Wright designed around this time period that was actually built, and is the best remaining example of his work with sculptural ornamentation. Today it houses a gift shop, small theater, and an exhibit of murals illustrating Wright’s architectural work.

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