Taliesin was Frank Lloyd Wright’s personal home for most of his adult life. It’s a beautiful place with a sad past.
- Frank Lloyd Wright built Taliesin in 1911 in Spring Green, Wisconsin for himself and his mistress Mamah Borthwick. He had spent many childhood hours nearby at his aunts’ home and school and loved the area.
- In addition to the house itself, Wright built most of the furniture for it.
- The home sits on 600 acres that included over 1,000 fruit trees and plants including 285 apple trees, gooseberries, blackberries, raspberries, pears, asparagus, rhubarb, and plums.
- Like most of his projects, Taliesin was built to harmonize with the natural world. It is tucked into the side of a rolling hill with lots of windows for light. Wright said it was low, wide, and snug.
- Its name means “shining brow” in Welsh. Wright’s family often gave their homes Welsh names.
- Wright’s studio was here too and he opened a small school for architecture students. In 1937, he opened an additional school in Scottsdale, Arizona.
- In 1914, a servant and butler, Julian Carlton, violently attacked Mamah and her two children while Wright was away. He killed them and then locked the doors to the dining room where the servants were eating before lighting the house on fire. Five servants died.
- Carlton was mentally ill and had been given notice that he could no longer work at Taliesin.
- Wright was grief stricken, but soon began rebuilding Taliesin, almost exactly like the original.
- In 1935, a faulty electrical wire caused a second fire and the house burned again. Wright built it once more.
- Harmonize: to complement and go together
- Welsh: the language spoken by people in Wales, a small country that is part of the U.K.
- Architecture: the art of designing buildings and spaces
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