rhapsodized with an artist’s eye about “Night shadows so wonderfully blue . . . Wild grape, fes- tooning fences and trees . . . The World of day- light gold.”

Two more children were born to the Wrights, Jennie and Maginel, but William and Anna’s mar- riage was an unhappy one and they were divorced in the summer of 1884, leaving the eighteen-year- old Frank as head of the household. But beware the man who has never experienced an Oedipal defeat. Wright’s victory over his father in his mother’s affections, and Anna’s conviction that her son was predestined for greatness, helped to forge his headstrong and willful character. The family did not have enough money to send Frank away to architectural school so he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin in civil engineering. With his mother’s help, he also obtained part-time work as a junior draftsman with an engineering professor for the sum of $35 a month, some of which went toward the likes of “dancing gaiters” in order to cut a good figure on campus. Wright was already displaying his life- long proclivity for debt and high living. During this time the architect-to-be witnessed a tragedy that left an indelible impression on his young mind. One day he passed the new wing of Madison’s old State Capitol Building in time to hear the “indescribable roar” of the building collapsing and the “agonized human-cries” of the workers. The image of the plaster-coated men, as white as statues, emerging from the rubble with bloodied faces never left him. The collapse was

Taliesin Spring Green, Wisconsin, Drafting Room

Taliesin was the longest ongoing project of Wright’s career. He added new structures to the estate in each decade of his nearly seventy-year-long career. The house was the site of some of his deepest personal satisfactions and greatest losses. He once remarked, “Nothing picks you up in its arms and so gently, almost lovingly, cradles you as do these southwestern Wisconsin Hills.”


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