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Frank Lloyd Wright

Young Frank Lloyd Wright (1885 ca.)

Wisconsin Historical Society Image ID: WHi-3403

Frank Lloyd Wright

Architect, June 8, 1867-April 9, 1959

Frank's father, William Wright, had been widowed in his first marriage, with three children. Frank was the eldest of three children born of William's second marriage to Anna Lloyd Jones. They were married in 1866.

While brilliant, William had a difficult time making enough money for the family to live on. The family had lived in or near Richland Center, McGregor, Iowa; Pawtucket, Rhode Island; and Weymouth, Massachusetts before looking to return to Wisconsin for home. Sometime during the fall of 1878 they moved to Madison.

Their first home was across the street from the Leitch house on Gorham Street. The home was later razed and became the home of Mayor Kayser, now Yahara House at 802 E. Gorham Street.

The children attended school at the Second Ward School where Wright attended seventh and eighth grades. Wright was attending classes at Madison High School when he heard the capitol collapse in 1883. His parents divorced the following year.

This same year, Wright began to work as an office assistant for architect Allan Conover. Two projects during his years with Conover were the Dane County Courthouse, then located at the site of the parking ramp across from St. Raphael's cathedral, and Science Hall on the UW campus. Wright later attended classes at University (now known as Bascom) and North Halls.

Wright left Madison in 1887 for Chicago. He sold some of his father's books to raise money for his train ticket.

Bibliography of Articles about Frank Lloyd Wright:

Books by Others

Frank Lloyd Wright's Monona Terrace: The Enduring Power of a Civic Vision by David Mollenhoff and Mary Jane Hamilton, University of Wisconsin Press, 1999.

Frank Lloyd Wright and Madison, 1990.

Historic Madison Journal Articles

Gordon D. Orr, Jr. "Prairie Homes in Madison," Historic Madison: Journal of the Four Lakes, Vol. 1 (1975), pp. 21-31.

Barbara Armstrong, "Frank Lloyd Wright and the Unitarian Meeting House," Historic Madison: Journal of the Four Lakes, Vol 2 (1976), pp. 14-18.

Mary Jane Hamilton, "Wright's Nakoma County Club: An Unrealized Madison Masterpiece," Historic Madison: Journal of the Four Lakes, Vol 7 (1981-1982), pp. 3-14.

Mark T. Purcell, "Some Reminiscences: The Bradley House, Its Construction and Reconstruction," Historic Madison: Journal of the Four Lakes, Vol 5 (1979-1980), pp. 27-36.