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Schooling with Shakespeare: Summers in Spring Green, Wisconsin

Memoirs & Miscellany, Road Trips No Comments »

Photo: Erin Kelsey

By Erin Kelsey

Summer 2012 begins in an unusual manner for me. Three weeks from now, I will walk across a stage on the main quad of the University of Chicago to receive my diploma. From then on, I will be expected to take my degree, my student loans and my internship experience and find some way to keep afloat. The beginning of the summer marks a dramatic change for graduates.

One week later, my family embarks on the vacation that has been the highlight of every summer since I was seven: a trip to Spring Green, Wisconsin. A few hours’ drive outside of Chicago, Spring Green is a tiny town with a surprising number of reasons to visit. The area is full of opportunities to camp, hike and kayak. Frank Lloyd Wright built extensively there, including Taliesin. The reason my family found Spring Green, though, was American Players Theatre, affectionately known as APT.  Read the rest of this entry »

So long, Frank Lloyd Wright: Descending into Wisconsin’s anti-Taliesin, the House on the Rock

Road Trips No Comments »

By Rennie Sparks

House on the Rock is a cozy ski lodge fallen into a ring of Hell. It’s also the number one privately owned summer tourist attraction in Wisconsin.

Located in Spring Green atop Deer Shelter Rock, the House began in the 1940s as a tent and Hibachi where young Alex Jordan used to go to barbecue steak and drink a few Tom Collins. One day his dad, an architect wannabe, decided to bring a design to Frank Lloyd Wright, but when Wright laughed and said, “I wouldn’t hire you to design a chicken coop,” Alex told his dad he’d get the family’s revenge by building a house on Deer Shelter Rock (right down the road from Wright’s architectural school) that would rival the most graceful examples of Wright architecture. But, what started as a spit in the eye of the King of the Prairie School, now fifty years later, borders on the indescribable. Read the rest of this entry »