Monday, October 09, 2006

Frank Lloyd Wright's Monona Terrace

It's not exactly what Frank Lloyd Wright had in mind. There were nearly six decades of wrangling between the time he first proposed a lakeside civic center -- not a convention center -- in downtown Madison and its completion in 1997. By then he had been dead for nearly 40 years. Taliesin architect Tony Puttnam updated Wright's designs and had to raise the roof to accomodate a modern exhibit hall, blocking more of the lake from street level than people thought it would. The Monona Terrace website has a nice timeline, and its "inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright" tagline is probably the most accurate way to describe the structure's relationship to the master. But even second-hand Wright is pretty damn good -- and sometimes it's downright magical.

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