Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Road Trip to Wisconsin

I am back from a 'road trip'. I love driving trips though, admittedly, not as much as I used to when I was younger and had less aches and pains. I went from my home up to Racine, Wisconsin and back.

In Racine, I had the pleasure of going through the Herbert F. Johnson, Jr. home, WingspreadThe home is incredible, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and now serves as a conference center. Check out all the pictures at the website.

I also went to see the S.C. Johnson Building and Fortaleza Hall.  Once inside the gates of the complex, absolutely no picture taking is allowed, but the two sites I listed have great photos and info.

While the experience of actually being inside the buildings was truly wonderful, it was a video of Sam Johnson and his sister Karen recalling memories of growing up at Wingspread, that was, perhaps, the highlight of the trip there.  Sam was charming and funny. 

My favorite story was about the leaky roof in the house due to the skylights.  Wright is notorious for roof leaks and this house was no different.  Sam's father Herbert thought he had fixed all the leaks and then he held a lavish dinner party with many important guests, including the Governor.  A storm broke out during dinner and eventually the water started leaking in and hitting Herbert on the head.  He placed a call to Wright at his home in Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona (a trip I made many years ago) to complain and tell Frank that the water was falling on his head.  Everyone at the dinner heard Frank tell Herbert to 'move his chair'.  Problem solved?

One of these days I plan to go back to Taliesin in Spring Green, WI and tour the house there.  I have been to the studio and theatre, but the day I was there, the house was not open.

As you may notice, I am a big fan of Frank Lloyd Wright.  One of my 'bucket list' items is to go to Architecture Fantasy Camp in Oak Park, IL.  Some day.

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