Family Vacations in Wisconsin

Family Vacations in Wisconsin: Taliesin

©Steve Minor Taliesin was the start of many experimental ideas that characterized Frank Lloyd Wright's designs.

Taliesin is regarded as a prime example of Frank Lloyd Wright's organic architecture. The house is located in Spring Green, Wisconsin, an hour's drive from Madison. Construction began in 1911, but the project was soon wracked by nightmarish conflicts. In 1914, while Wright was away, a servant murdered seven people, including Wright's mistress, with an ax and set fire to Taliesin. Much of the building was destroyed.

Wright fought through his agony and rebuilt the residential wing of the home, naming it Taliesin II. But this wing was again consumed by fire in 1925. The home visitors enjoy today is Taliesin III, which Wright tinkered with until his death in 1959. Wright built the house in the valley settled by his Welsh ancestors and named it after the Welsh bard Taliesin. The house was originally constructed with local limestone, plaster made from sand gathered along the Wisconsin River, cedar and glass. Wright's technique of building the house from native limestone made it look organic, as though the house was part of the hill on which it was built.

In 1976, Taliesin was recognized as a National Historic Landmark. Today, tours of Taliesin begin at the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center, the only Wright-designed freestanding restaurant. On the tour, you'll see many structures Wright built on the 600-acre estate: the Romeo and Juliet Windmill Tower, Hillside Home School, Tan-y-deri, and Midway Barns.

Taliesin Information

Address: Lloyd Wright Visitor Center

Hwy. 23 and Cty Rd. C, Spring Green, WI

Telephone: 608/588-7900, 877/588-7900

Hours of Operation: May - Oct., 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., daily

Admission: Cost varies by tour

Continue to the next page for details on fun-filled family vacations in Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Wisconsin State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Wisconsin, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.