Friday, May 10, 2019

FLW Enthusiasts: 3 Tips for a Great Road Trip on the Wright Trails!

As a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, you know that many architecturally significant structures are lost each year due to new development plans, neglect and natural disasters like wildfires.  As a fellow Wright enthusiast, webmaster for and a participant in the Coursera Northwestern University Social Marketing Program, I have found two articles discussing the effort that is now being made to promote some of Wright’s work and increase architectural tourism in the states of Wisconsin and Illinois.

In a Curbed article titled "Map: The New Frank Lloyd Wright Trail in Wisconsin", author Patrick Sisson discusses the new trail that was designed in 2016 in an effort to boost Wright tourism in Wisconsin.  The trail starts in Racine, Wisconsin at the SC Johnson Administration Building and highlights nine structures throughout the southern portion of the state.  The article includes links to Google maps for each stop along the way,

Unitarian Meeting House in Madison, WI
Photo courtesy of 

In a Lonely Planet article, "Explore the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright through Illinois", Alex Butler discusses the Frank Lloyd Wright trail that was created in 2018. The article highlights some of the thirteen Wright-designed buildings that are open to the public around the state of Illinois.  The website has additional information about the “self-guided architectural adventure” and free downloadable maps and travel guides.  The guides go a step further in highlighting other interesting sites, local finds and restaurants along the way.

Drawing on these two articles and my own experiences traveling to various Wright sites around the country, I have listed 3 actions you should take before heading out on the road to explore the Wright trails.
  • Download the Maps –There are links to downloadable and printable maps, as well as suggested itineraries.  This information may be helpful when planning your trip.
  • Plan your Route – Since there are many sites to see along the trails, you’ll need to choose which places you would like to tour and which you might just make a quick stop at or skip for a later date.
  • Make Reservations - Many tours and hotels are booked months in advance so it’s best to make reservations and have your itinerary in place ahead of time to avoid unnecessary disappointments. 

Take advantage of the season and start today to plan your summer architectural road trip!

My name is Yvonne Carpenter and I am currently a participant of the Social Marketing Specialization at Northwestern University offered through Coursera.  I am co-owner of Northern Sky Designs, LLC, a company (est. in 1998) that specializes in website design and social media management for small businesses. is a website that is owned and managed by Northern Sky Designs and provides information about Wright-designed sites around the country. Feel free to reach out or contact me on Twitter @FLWsites or on LinkedIn

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