Unitarian Meeting House (1947), Shorewood Hills, Wisconsin
The Unitarian Meeting House was designed in 1947 for the First Unitarian Society of Madison, Wisconsin. Construction began in 1949 and was completed in 1951.
The rising, green copper roof of this church symbolizes hands folded in prayer. Limestone and oak are the primary construction materials, and the limestone was hauled thirty miles to the site by congregation members. The church was built by Taliesin apprentices, with the assistance of volunteers to save money. After its completion, two extensions were added, both of which were designed by Taliesin Associated Architects. Frank Lloyd Wright gave the first sermon at the church and ensured that one of his red square signature tiles was installed in the entrance.
The Unitarian Meeting House is recognized as one of the world’s most innovative examples of church architecture. In 1960 the American Institute of Architects designated it one of seventeen buildings to be retained as an example of Wright’s contribution to American culture.
Location: 900 University Bay Drive, Shorewood Hills, WI 53705
The church is open to the public except on Saturdays. Tours are offered Sunday thru Friday from May 1 to September 30 and on Sundays only from October 1 to April 30.
William Allin Storrer, The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright (1995), #291.
Thomas A. Heinz, Frank Lloyd Wright Field Guide (2005), p. 168-169.