Journal

Frank Lloyd Wright Weekend (Cedar Rock, Iowa)

So a week ago (10/24/2009), Shannon, Dave, JoAnne, and I headed out to see a few Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. This all started with a documentary that we saw on IPTV. While the documentary wasn't the best (kind of rambling), it got us talking and thinking that hey, that's it's not to far to Spring Green, WI (under 300 miles) to see Taliesin (east). After doing a bit more research we found that there was an Iowa state park called Cedar Rock, which is a Frank Lloyd Wright signature house. Which means that he designed the house, furniture and etc. Which is something that he insisted would be for the best.

The signature tile for Cedar Rock:

Frank Lloyd Wright Signature Tile for Cedar Rock house in Iowa

The house itself on the outside is absolutely beautiful. Clean lines. Though with the flat roof and Iowa and winter and rain, I could see out it could create problems. The roof is actually kind of a bowl, so not only does it collect rain and snow, it keeps it. Still looks good though.

Outside shots of the house:

Frank Lloyd Wright's Cedar Rock house in Iowa

Frank Lloyd Wright's Cedar Rock house in Iowa

Frank Lloyd Wright's Cedar Rock house in Iowa

Frank Lloyd Wright's Cedar Rock house in Iowa

The house overlooks the Wapsipinicon River and has a boat house which is also impressive. I especially like the long narrow windows on the side of the building.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Cedar Rock house's boat house in Iowa

Frank Lloyd Wright's Cedar Rock house's boat house in Iowa

According to our DNR guide, the Walter's were actually looking for something like the boat house, to have as a summer home. Simple, practical and etc. If I remember right, the original budget for the house was $18,000 ($~174,324.75 in 2009 dollars) and ended up costing $~150,000 ($~1,344,205.39 in 2009 dollars). So it went a tad over budget. Though according to the DNR guide and our guide at Taliesin, was kind of common with his houses.

While he designed the house to the scale of the owners of the house, it made problems for those of us who are above his so called "human scale". I did like, to some extent, how the areas where people are not meant to congregate (entryways etc) and I could see how it really opened up the areas of the house where people are to meet and congregate. Because of the differential, it made those areas just feel more spacious. Shannon already posted a whole bunch of pictures on her facebook page, so I'll keep my selection of indoor pictures to a minimum to the things I really like about it.

So the living room has a great look, with near floor to ceiling windows, so it makes for a great place to sit in the sunshine or have a great view at night of the surrounding areas.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Cedar Rock house's Living Room

Nothing says love like a heart shaped ashtray.... I know I already made that comment, but still, I find it funny, but it's still a great looking ashtray, though it probably wouldn't look as good if it had actual butts in it...

Frank Lloyd Wright's Cedar Rock house's Living Room, heart shaped ashtray

Great wood color, mirror and just gorgeous serving things.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Cedar Rock house's Living Room, wood bar, serving glass

If I remember right, this was the "poor man's stained glass". Though placed lighted pieces of glass really accentuated the room and added color. According to the DNR guide, when placing the glass, they never put it back in the same location after cleaning it, because it was meant to be moved around.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Cedar Rock house's Living Room, lighted glass

It's not really the bedroom, but the wood color...I love the wood color.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Cedar Rock house's bedroom and great wood color

While the kitchen was small, it seem very practical and easy to use. Though I would still want a bigger one...but that's just me. I have kitchen envy (not necessarily of this house, but of many houses).

After our tour was complete, we talked with the DNR guide for a bit and she told us about a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Cedar Rapids (who knew?) and Johnston (really?), but they're not open to the public.

After our tour, we headed back to Independence, Iowa and ate at Bill's Pizza and Smokehouse, which was...well...mediocre at best. After lunch, we headed over to the park and mill museum across the street and wandered around a bit. Took some pictures, had a little fun.

We got back into the car and headed to Dubuque. We took a break and spent some time with the views from Eagle Point Park. I admit that I do give my co-workers a bit of crap from time to time for coming from this area, however, it really was beautiful up there. Though the city itself...

Afterwards we headed up to Spring Green, Wisconsin.