12 October 2008

take that, mr. frank lloyd wright

House on the Rock / Spring Green, Wisconsin
Spring Green lies about 45 minutes west of Madison, Wisconsin and is better known as the home of Taliesin, the one-time home and communal school of architecture founded by Frank Lloyd Wright. But just a few miles from Taliesin, one can find the House on the Rock - pure schlock, in a fun, delightful sort of way. What started as a Japanese style house built in the 1940's to spite Frank Lloyd Wright, has grown into a complex of art, architecture and memorabilia of every type - 1940's meets 1960's meets the new millennium head on. This photo is of a stained glass window wall in the main house's living area which is characterized by exposed stone, low ceilings and dark woodwork. But getting back to the tiff between the designer/owner Alex Jordan and Frank Lloyd Wright, the story goes that Jordan was a devotee of Wright's and at some point drove from Chicago to Taliesin to show Wright the plans for a building, the Villa Maria in Madison, which Jordan had designed. Jordan was hopeful of Wright's approval. Instead, he took one look at the plans and told Jordan "I wouldn't hire you to design a cheese crate or a chicken coop. You're not capable." Fuming, he left Taliesin and within a short distance pointed to a spire of rock saying that he was going to put up a Japanese house on the pinnacle and advertise it for the world to see. Welcome to the House of Schlock (errrrr Rock) Mr. Wright.

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