For some reason, this time, I reacted badly to Taliesin. I don’t remember much about the first visit – walking through the drafting studio, the admission requirement that you only needed a high school diploma which has now morphed into graduate school and a whole lot of licensing, being really bored and Wright’s assertion that tall people were “weeds.”
This time, I was uncomfortable, bored and annoyed that no photography was allowed. I also got kind of grossed out. Wright houses are famous for their leaking roof problems, and the smell of mold in the building with the theater in it nearly prompted me to run screaming outside. When we were asked to sit on the velvet-pillowed seats of the space, my squick level went sky high. Mold and FABRIC? They wanted me to TOUCH FABRIC? WHERE THERE’S MOLD!???
While tour folks were ever-so-slightly unpleasant, as they will be at the height of tourist season when it is also the height of dumb questions and bad behavior season, it was not really them that put me off. It was the mold, the dust, and the raving Wright fans. I could appreciate the architecture, and that he’s the most famous US-American architect in our history so far. But mostly, I associate him with mold, Ayn Rand, and silly fangirls.
Also, while I knew there were fires at Taliesin, I wasn’t aware there were murders. I still don’t know much about that, and I doubted I’d get much besides spin if I’d asked.
The most interesting part to me was the dining hall where students gathered and ate. Unfortunately, no pictures. Bastards.