Hillside Home School/Taliesin (1933 and after), Spring Green, Wisconsin


The Hillside Home School was a progressive coeducational boarding school founded by Nell and Jane Lloyd Jones, aunts of Frank Lloyd Wright, in the valley settled by members of the Lloyd Jones family during the Civil War. The school had outgrown its original shingle-style building designed by Wright in 1887, and a second building was completed in 1903. The Hillside Home School was successful for many years, but closed in 1915 due to financial difficulties. Wright purchased the abandoned buildings from his aunts for future conversion into a school for architects.

More than a decade later, the Hillside Home School buildings were remodeled extensively. The school reopened in 1932 as Taliesin, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture –an institution devoted to architecture and the allied arts. Apprentices formed the Taliesin Fellowship and not only studied architecture under Wright but also became involved in all the activities of the 200-acre property, from cutting stone to building ponds, making furniture and raising crops. Music, drama, and cinema were important components of the community’s social life.

The former school’s gymnasium became a theater, and the chemistry rooms became exhibition space. A large drafting studio flanked by apprentice rooms was added to the north section of the existing building. Although Wright’s initial plans for the complex envisioned additional buildings and expansions, these were never realized due to financial constraints. Hillside, as the complex is now called, remains the summer campus of Taliesin, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

 
Location: Taliesin, Route 23, Spring Green, WI 53588
Tours are available, May 1 – October 31. Photos of interior spaces are not permitted.
 


Sources:
William Allin Storrer, The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright (1995), #69.
Thomas A. Heinz, Frank Lloyd Wright Field Guide (2005), p. 150-151.
Robin Langley Sommer, “Taliesin Fellowship Complex (Hillside),” Frank Lloyd Wright: A Gatefold Portfolio (1997), no page number.