PHOENIX – There was a time when my significant other and I spent a lot of time on the trail of Frank Lloyd Wright. We've seen works large and small – landmark and under the radar – by Wisconsin's native son, in Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
Perhaps my favorite has always been his home and studio at Spring Green, called Taliesen. Situated in one of the loveliest natural areas of the state, Taliesen feels a part of the landscape. And that's no accident. Wright liked to bring his works in harmony with nature.
This weekend I finally got to see Taliesen's bookend, Taliesen West, which Wright constructed on a craggy Scottsdale hillside later in his life. Like its namesake, this Taliesen, too, feels like part of its setting.
It's interesting to see Wright in an entirely new context. His work in Wisconsin and Oak Park has a certain feel and context. Seeing how Wright responded to the arid desert valley gives a whole new visual perspective on his continued dedication to what has been called "organic architecture."
Wright used local stone, hauled by his students, to build the structure. In one misstep, he imported California redwood, which has been largely replaced or is decaying and needs replacement.
But like Taliesen in Wisconsin, Taliesen West is so well integrated into its setting that you can only really see it once you've come entirely face to face with it.
Once you do step up to it, you see how he worked to make the most of the breezes, how he hoped to keep the place cool in the desert by building it low to the ground and, in some cases, below it.
There are three tours – one hour, 90 minutes and three hours – and I urge to you devote at least 90 minutes. Time flies and the tour offers much more than than the 60-minute version.
While I was visiting Taliesen West, the Phoenix Art Museum was showing the Milwaukee Art Museum's "Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century" exhibition.
I didn't go, having seen it already here last year, but it helped close Frank Lloyd Wright's Wisconsin-Arizona circle for me.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Bobby Tanzilo
Published May 5, 2015
Carol Voss represents District 8 - which includes Bay View and most of Milwaukee's southeast side - on the Milwaukee Board of School Directors. We caught up with her to ask her about the election and what comes next for her in her new role as a member of the school board.
Published May 4, 2015
Milwaukee surf outfit The Revomatics have been getting better and better gigs lately and with a new record washing ashore this week, it seemed the perfect time to reconnect.
Published May 4, 2015
When I became a dad and my kids neared school age, I hoped they'd have a teacher like one that made a lasting impression on me. A few years into their school careers, I can honestly say that my wish has already come true.
Published May 1, 2015
I love chocolate and I love wings, but I don't think I'd ever have considered marrying those flavors. Luckily, The Irish Pub in the Third Ward has. I stopped in for a taste.
Published April 29, 2015
Every now and I again, I come across the photos I took the day I flew an airplane. Now, I make no claim on being either an airplane pilot or a great photographer, but the combination of dabbling in those things resulted in some decent aerial photos of the city, some of which made it into the original story. When I stumbled across them today, I decided to share them here, along with some great advice I received that day from my instruction ... "don't drop the camera out the window."
Published April 28, 2015
WAMI board president Zoy Begos lauded Milwaukee trio Chief as "the perfect intersection where rock meets heavy metal." For me, Chief is the living, breathing, Milwaukee spirit of Thin Lizzy: heavy guitars and a pounding rhythm section, but with good songs constructed around melodies. Asked frontman Chris Tishler about the band that almost ceased to be, the music that vanished into the ether and the perhaps miraculous new CD.
Published April 28, 2015
Though I was born and raised about 1,000 miles from Milwaukee, I grew up knowing the words to Mad Man Michaels' cream city classics - the A- and B-sides to his 1950s-era single: a "Dragnet" take-off called "The Czarnina Kid" and "Michaels Market (Kobasa Song)." Here his recorded oeuvre here.
Published April 27, 2015
If you haven't yet gone over to 2151 N. King Dr. to get a peek at the beautiful four-story Chicago commercial style building that Kirchoff & Rose designed for legendary Milwaukee department store, Schuster's, don't hesitate too long.
Published April 24, 2015
Now that her term on the Milwaukee school board has officially wrapped up, Meagan Holman, who has represented Bay View and other South Side neighborhoods on the board, is filing papers today to run for the 14th District Common Council seat, which includes Bay View and Polonia, to the west.
Published April 23, 2015
If, like me, your trips to the hardware store are extremely focused as you attempt to cut down the number of trips you'll need to make for even the simplest project, you might not notice the firehouse that forms part of Downtown's National Ace Hardware, 1303 N. 4th St., despite the fact that its Romanesque facade is painted red.