This intensive four-day tour will begin on Thursday, September 30, in St. Paul, Minnesota, where we will visit architectural landmarks along fabled Summit Avenue. On Friday, with Stephen Fox, we will proceed downriver along the Mississippi to Hastings and Red Wing (Minn.) to view works by Frank Lloyd Wright and architects whom he influenced. We will have lunch on the Wisconsin side of the river, then cross back to visit Winona (Minn.) and one of the splendid small-town banks designed by George Elmslie, a prominent Prairie School architect.. We’ll stop in Decorah (Iowa), home of Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum. That evening we will hear a talk on the Czech composer Antonín Dvorák, who in 1893 lived in the Northern Iowa town of Spillville, a Bohemian settlement. And we’ll enjoy an Iowa Czech farm dinner.
The next day, we will pass through Monona and Postville (Iowa), cross the Mississippi, and head for Spring Green in southwestern Wisconsin, where Frank Lloyd Wright built his country seat, Taliesin, now owned by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. We will have lunch at Taliesin and tour the architecture there. On our way back to Iowa, we pass through the mining town of Mineral Point (Wis.), famous for its Cornish pasties, which we will sample. Our day concludes in Dubuque.
On our final day, we will drive through the German town of Guttenberg (Iowa) and enjoy lunch in a private home in Osage (Iowa), the “City of Maples.” We then continue to Owatonna (Minn.), where we will visit the most famous small-town bank designed by Wright’s mentor, Louis H. Sullivan. From Owatonna we will go to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for our flight back to Houston.
Brilliant fall foliage will color the lovely, picturesque landscape of the upper Midwest.
Stephen Fox is a fellow of the Anchorage Foundation of Texas and a lecturer in architectural history at the University of Houston and Rice University. He is the author of The Country Houses of John F. Staub (Texas A&M University Press, 2007).
On Thursday, September 23, Stephen Fox will speak at Architecture Center Houston about the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright and his midwestern contemporaries—and its connections to Houston. On Saturday, September 25, Fox will lead a tour of the only Wright-designed house in Houston. Study tour participants will be admitted to both events free of charge, but a reservation for the house tour is necessary. For complete information, see the course listings below.