Earthbound Artist

Frank Does Not Disappoint

03 June, 2011 2 comments Leave a comment

Our good friend Roger is an ardent admirer of the famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Roger's enthusiasm has rubbed off on us. So when we travel we try to take in some of Wright's buildings that are open to the public.

We stayed three days at an excellent KOA campground in Deforest, Wisconsin so we could tour two famous buildings that Wright designed; the first being the S. C. Johnson Administration Building, pictured below.

S. C. Johnson Administration Building and Tower, Racine, WI.

Since the 35 acre campus is still in use by the Johnson company, we were not allowed to take photos anywhere inside the gates, unfortunately. But we were privileged to take a free tour of the building on the left (built in 1936) and noticed all the curvy furniture that Wright designed is still in use by the employees today. It must be amazing to work in a national historic treasure!

The natural light inside was beautifully softened by a roof of narrow clear glass tubes cemented together horizontally, supported by concrete pillars shaped like giant golf tees. The carpet and upholstery on the furniture was Wright's signature colour, Cherokee Red, which is sort of half way between dusty rose and brick red. The tower, built in 1944, is no longer in use due to modern fire codes (stairways are too narrow and there is only one exit) but the president of the company insisted the building remain intact as a monument to Wright's genius. We felt so lucky to have visited there. Thanks for the tip Roger!

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High Water in Michigan

01 June, 2011 0 comments Leave a comment

Flooded Boardwalk in Lansing, Michigan.

We started our trip across the northern USA, from the Great Lakes to the West Coast, with a lovely weekend visit with our friends Murray and Marilyn in Elliot Lake. The weather was rainy so we cancelled plan A (going fishing in their pontoon boat) and enjoyed plan B (playing board games and eating well).

On Sunday we swung back down through London to our RV dealership as our new trailer needed some warranty work to fix a leak in the roof. That only took an hour, so we crossed the border into Michigan after lunch. (Without a search of our trailer by US Customs - we must have said all the right things!)

In phoning ahead to book a campsite for the night, we heard that Michigan was pretty soggy with all the spring rains and flooding so we pressed on to Lansing and found a gorgeous private campground on a private lake and stayed there two days.

The campground was just a block away from the start of the city biking trail (paved and wood boardwalk) so we managed a delightful but wearying 5 mile hike one hot afternoon through the city greenspace. Parts of the board walk were under water, so we could tell some flooding was happening in the area.

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