Spring Green, WI – 2012 Road Trip – Day 16 – House on the Rock

We continued our eastern route Saturday morning into Wisconsin along I-94, past Eau Claire, finally exiting at Maulston to lead us south to Spring Green. This small Wisconsin town is the home of Frank Lloyd Wright, and as a result they have the famed home and school of his, Taliesin. We had a nice lunch at the visitor center, but we chose not to tour the compound for two reasons; 1 – we had seen numerous FLW buildings and 2 – We were there to see House on a Rock

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House on the Rock: The “house” itself is atop Deer Shelter Rock, a column of rock approximately 70 feet  by 200 feet (61 m) on the top, which stands in a forest nearby. In addition to the House on the Rock itself, the Gate House, and the Mill House, are reminiscent of the work of FLW, though much less coherently designed than is characteristic of Wright, given its patchwork of external structures and interior spaces.

 

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According to the story, the building actually began partly to spite the master architect FLW, who ran his Taliesin communal school near Spring Green. These early structures feature exposed stone, low ceilings, dark woodwork, and antiques on display

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One of the highlights is the Infinity Room, an engineering marvel that extends 218 feet out over the valley, sitting 156 feet above the ground. The Infinity Room has 3,264 windows for walls that treat guests to a truly spectacular view.

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We spent more than 4 hours wandering around this amazing place, thoroughly amused throughout. Someday we might return to Spring Green and see Taliesin, but it is clear we made the correct choice this day.

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Our hotel was in Madison, only about an hour away. On the way we went through a small town called Mount Horeb, the troll capital of the World. All around town are statues of trolls.

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But you can only have so many trolls, and a short time later we were in Madison. Our home for the night, Hotel Red, was trendy boutique hotel that offered cocktails upon check in. In addition, it was just around the corner from Camp Randall Stadium, home of the University of Wisconsin

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As with other college towns that are seats of the government, it was a nice city, much cleaner than most, and obviously has some wealth. Situated between two lakes, there were many lakefront parks and homes.

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After some time driving around, then walking campus we found a small French/Belgian restaurant called Brasserie V, a casual, European inspired neighborhood basserie located on Madison’s historic Monroe Street. They advertise they were born out of a passion for the French Joie de Vivre developed from time spent in Belgium and France, that combines their love of rustic French food with Belgian beer.

All in all our last full day on the road was great, with the uniqueness of House on a Rock, the trendiness of the boutique hotel, and the nice French restaurant.