As we traveled south along Hwy 14 we passed Reeds Creek Nursery, nestled in a valley just outside Reedstown. All of the nursery trees looked as if they had been flocked. We experience magical frozen fog in the driftless region with some frequency at this time of year, spectacular and nearly impossible to describe. We were both awed.
We had participated in the DesPlaines Public Library's book discussion of Loving Frank by Nancy Horan Barb and I had each lived most of our lives aware of the famous architect being Chicago area folks. We've been to his home and studio in Oak Park, Illinois and seen other of his famous buildings.
I wasn't entirely sure how long the drive would take. We had to gather in the visitor center by 10:15. Not to worry, we pulled into the lot at 10:08 with plenty of time for a potty stop first, as we had been warned that no facilities were available to the public on the tour.
Our tour was to last 2 hours and is the Highlights Tour. It was a perfect first visit on a nippy autumn day.
FLW lived a long and troubled life. He was talented, arrogant, and always short of cash, as he rather buy beautiful things than pay his bills. Even in death he could not rest in peace. At his death in 1959, he was buried at Unity Chapel, his mother's family plot. When his third and last wife died over 20 years later, her will stated his remains were to be removed, cremated and joined with hers. Wright's descendants refused. So his body was snatched in the night. Only his marker remains in Wisconsin.
This is the 100th anniversary of the home at Taliesin. Fortunately there is a foundation that now has the enormous responsibility to keep the 600 acre estate, properties, artifacts, buildings, and legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright alive. The school of architecture is still functioning, its students, staff and some emeritus individuals are now moved to Taliesin West in Arizona til May.
We had a most delicious lunch and enjoyed the gift shop. Each of us bought several things, and sadly did not buy everything we loved there. There were even Lego models of some of his buildings!
Tomorrow, October 31, Taliesin closes til next spring. I was delighted to be able to visit with such a good friend on a day much nicer than today's constant rain and cold wind.