Minnesota and Wisconsin 2018:
Day 5 - Madison


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Minnesota and Wisconsin 2018: [Day 1 - St. Paul] [Day 2 - St. Paul] [Day 3 - St. Paul] [Day 4 - Wisconsin Dells] [Day 5 - Madison]

Monday, June 11, 2018: Carol was gone at dawn but we got to sleep in, so it was 8:30 AM before we hit the road.
Less than an hour later, we passed the first of several Frank Lloyd Wright houses. We had put together a driving tour that would pass most of the homes in Madison.
Here's the Herbert Jacobs II House in Middleton. This one has a beautiful entrance but this is the best shot we got of the house, since we didn't want to slow down and creep out the owners.
This barely visible building is the Eugene Van Tamelen House in Madison. Right next door to this one was a very FLW-looking house, but this is the one with the fancy sign in front.
This is the Walter Rudin House in Madison.
Here's the Herbert Jacobs I House in Madison.
Our first tour of the day was at the First Unitarian Society Meeting House.
We had some time available before our 10:30 tour, so we walked outside, passing this colorful display on the lawn.
Here's the stunning church.
The roof is copper that has weathered to green. It's due to be replaced soon because it leaks, to no one's surprise. FLW was the king of leaking roofs.
We went back inside for our tour, ...
... but paused to get a photo of the iconic red FLW signature tile indicating that this was a Frank Lloyd Wright original.
The problem with Frank Lloyd Wright tours is that there are always references to other FLW properties, which just feeds the addiction. This harmless little poster for the Heller House was in the restroom.
This wooden model showed the support structure underneath the soaring roof.
Here's the lobby, ...
... and here are the cool wooden boxes stored behind the front desk.
Our tour started by walking back around to the place we had been just a few minutes earlier, but our tour guide, Rose, had lots of interesting things to tell us about it. She pointed out that the current look of the church, ...
... was somewhat different than the one depicted on the guidebook, which still included the pipe organ installed after the church was finished.
Rose showed us a photo of how secluded the church was when it was first built. Now, it is surrounded in all directions by the city of Madison.
We returned to the church entrance and Rose pointed out the classic FLW entryway technique - a low entry that opens into a larger ceiling.
There's a gap between the exterior of the atrium and the ceiling support for the wind to blow through.
The glass separating the exterior and interior is inserted directly into notches in the stone.
The theme of the building is equilateral triangles. This triangular kitchen table is designed to be either clipped into place in the middle of the room or to be moved elsewhere to extend the working space.
Here's the main auditorium.
Let's get a closer look at the woodwork over the pulpit.
There's a planter built into the stone pulpit.
The gold lettering along the back reads, "Do you have a loaf of bread break the loaf in two and give half for some flowers of the narcissus for they bread feeds the body indeed but the flowers feed the soul - Ancient Parable." Insert punctuation wherever you see fit, gentle reader.
The church pews are designed to be moved as needed and to be folded down as well.
Names of prominent Unitarians are painted on each side of this hexagonal ceiling, including Mr. Wright's uncle, Jenkin Lloyd Jones.
In the back corner is a fireplace. Mr. Wright did love his fireplaces. Like many of the ones that he designed, this one doesn't draft very well.
This long hallway of offices was called the Loggia by Mr. Wright.
This case displayed a portion of the curtain that was used to separate the auditorium into two separate spaces. It was woven by volunteers in the church to Mr. Wright's specification.
Looking to the left down the hall, all of the Japanese prints (gifts of Mr. Wright) are vertical.
Looking to the right, all of the prints are horizontal.
All of the tables have equilateral four foot sides, and all the benches are also four feet wide. Shown here are a bench, one of the original tables that was built for the church, and two replacement tables.
Here's the original design for the church.
This bell used to hang at the tip of the church roof, but it caused damage to both the bell and the exterior in the wind. There's no clapper inside the bell - it was just there for show.
Here's a lovely meeting room, ...
... and the obligatory fireplace.
This is the view from the meeting room.
Over time, the congregation grew and the church needed to expand, so they commissioned an architecture firm to expand. The basic requirements were that the new design needed to match the original church but leave all of the focal point on the original church.
We remembered the plant-covered narrow building we had seen when we first arrived and correctly determined that this was the new portion of the church.
What we didn't realize is that the majority of the new church space is below the level of the parking lot, ...
... and it is surprising large.
Like huge. Seriously, who would have guessed that this giant room existed when first viewed from the parking lot?
Here's the other side of the room.
This library is lit with natural light from above, as are nearly all spaces in the new structure.
The building is LEED-certified and here's the proof.
Here's the plant-covered new portion of the church. It just doesn't look that large, does it?
Back on the house tour again, this is the Eugene Gilmore House in Madison.
Near the capitol is the Robert Lamp House. It is just barely visible from the street because it is set in the middle of the block, surrounded by buildings. This sign helped us understand why Waze couldn't seem to lead us to it.
We got three glimpses of it from three different sides of the block. This was the best shot we got of it, and this photo was seriously cropped. Fortunately, we saw a better photo of it at our next tour stop.
Here's a look at Madison. No capitol, no FLW, just a street with some interesting stuff on it.
We drove to Monona Terrace, parked in the parking garage, and headed toward the capitol building.
Bucky on Parade had just started a few weeks earlier, featuring statues of Bucky Badger scattered around town. Many of them were clustered within a few blocks of the capitol, so we set out to find as many as we could in the limited time that we had. This shiny guy is titled I Am Bucky.
It was lunch time and there were food trucks lining the blocks.
Here's Signature Bucky.
Behold, Wisconsin's capitol building.
Here's Bucky on Guard.
This is Lucky Bucky.
He's covered with pennies including a 1961 penny. This is relevant because just the night before, Carol had mentioned how rare it is to find a 1962 penny and that turned out to be very true as we looked at all the pennies on Lucky Bucky and didn't find one.
We caught a glimpse of Lake Mendota from the capitol terrace.
These Buckys are: Bucky.exe, ...
... When You Say Wisconsin, You’ve Said It All, ...
... Vial Caps for a Cure, ...
... Vintage Gridiron, ...
... Spark a Dream, ...
... and Animals Need Bucky Too.
Here's an interesting map of all the counties in Wisconsin. See that X toward the bottom? You are here.
Here's an artsy photo of the capitol reflected in the shiny building.
In the midst of all the Bucky statue hunting, we ran across a cow that matched the statues we hunted on our last visit to Wisconsin.
After lunch at Milio's sandwich shop, we finished up our Bucky hunt with the last two on our way: Ringo, ...
... and Bucky Energized!
We headed back to Monona Terrace, ...
... which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Our 1:00 tour was led by Bruce and included one other FLW enthusiast from Toronto. We started in front of this portrait of Mr. Wright taken at Taliesin West.
Another photo depicted the H. J. Neils Residence in Minneapolis. As of this writing, it was on the market for a mere $3.5 million.
Monona Terrace was built between 1994 and 1997, based on plans by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Here's what it looks like from the water.
This display says, "Monona Terrace: the long awaited wedding between the city and beautiful Lake Monona - Frank Lloyd Wright."
Discreetly placed on the wall is the Frank Lloyd Wright signature square. This isn't one of the iconic red tiles, but it's just as official and was presented by Taliesin Architects.
Here's the auditorium.
Here's a multi-use open space.
The shape theme selected for this building is the semi-circle. The more you look at the details in these photos, the more you'll see them.
Our tourmate remarked that this reminded him of the playroom at the Frank Lloyd Wright home. We haven't seen it but once we looked it up, we realized how correct he was.
Here's a meeting room. Note the semi-circles.
The lights were very cool, ...
... especially with the lights turned low.
Here's another level of exhibit/event space.
Signs and door handles everywhere were semi-circles, ...
... including the map of the facility shown here.
The huge curved bank of windows brings in lots of natural light.
This is one of the smaller conference rooms. The curves on the table in the center match the curves on the edges of the room.
Our guide noted that the large curtains are often kept closed since it is hard to concentrate on your meeting with a large, beautiful lake right outside.
More circles and semi-circles.
This cool photo depicts the large convention space with a partition down the center. Only half of the space is lit. Kudos to Tom for this idea.
Here's Mr. Wright's last drawing of Monona Terrace, which was completed shortly before his death in 1959.
We stepped outdoors to see the exterior and the bike path that was built around the base of the structure.
Back inside, we got a cool view looking straight up several floors to the domed ceiling where we started our tour.
Exhibits along the way up include china sets, video presentations, unphotographable original furniture, ...
... and a model of the current structure.
At the end of our tour, we perused a few more photographs of FLW structures. Here's the Robert Llewellyn Wright Residence in Bethesda, Maryland.
This is the George Sturges Residence in Brentwood Heights, California.
Here's the John Clarence Pew Residence, a home we didn't get to see in Madison.
Here's a photograph of the Robert Lamp House which we barely saw earlier, so it was nice to get a better look at it.
Here's a cool aerial view of the entire structure.
After our tour, we stopped by the gift shop, managing to leave with only a box of notecards.
We were delighted to see a display of our grandchildren's favorite bedtime books when they stay overnight at our home: Herve Tullet's The Game in the Dark and The Game of Shadows.
Before leaving, we went to the William T. Evjue Rooftop Garden.
There's a nice view of the capitol building from up here.
There are also sculptures like this ...
... and this.
Here's a nice view of the Lake Monona shoreline with the parking garage spiral.

We grabbed a snack at Taco John's on our way out of town then sped home to Indianapolis.

** THE END **


Minnesota and Wisconsin 2018: [Day 1 - St. Paul] [Day 2 - St. Paul] [Day 3 - St. Paul] [Day 4 - Wisconsin Dells] [Day 5 - Madison]

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