When it comes to the greatest American architects, Frank Lloyd Wright’s name usually tops the list. He might best be known for his masterpieces such as Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, but true architecture buffs also revere his famous home situated on a rolling hill in Spring Green, Wisconsin, about an hour’s drive east of Madison.
Named Taliesin, which in Welsh means “shining brow,” Wright’s sprawling home and studio is a pilgrimage site for design enthusiasts. But many of its visitors might not be aware that they’re also touring the location of one of the grisliest mass murders in Wisconsin history—a tidbit that’s often glazed over when studying Wright’s life and work.
The dramatic event that claimed seven victims, including Wright’s lover, took place on August 15, 1914. But the story begins quite a few years earlier.