If you asked us to name a famous architect, we would probably come up with the same answer as most Americans. The reality is that while we love looking at all of the amazing architecture, we are oblivious to the masters behind the work. One name that we recognize, is Frank Lloyd Wright. This American designer created over 500 structures that carry recognizable features. It’s easy to say that he impacted American architecture as much as anyone. With 60 years of magic under his belt, it’s easy to say he was an inspiration for others.
We want to thank Visit Mason City and the Park Inn for hosting our stay. Rest assured that all opinions are our own.
It’s hard to imagine that all of these geometric masterpieces started with a man born in 1867. To say that his ideas were ahead of his time would be an understatement. Being raised in the Midwest gave him a solid base for his views of how homes on the prairie should look. Wright’s first attempt at adding geometric design into his structures came in his own home. Building in a quiet suburb of Chicago, he added his new design style to his in-home studio and the kid’s playroom. This would be the beginning of his ‘Prairie School” architectural movement.
60 Years of Magic
Our visit to Mason City, Iowa allowed us a chance to stay in the only remaining Wright-designed hotel in the world. The Historic Park Inn Hotel is truly awe-inspiring. From our first sighting, we knew that it would be special. After checking in at the front desk, we decided to wander around the historic lodge. Each floor holds recognizable geometrically-designed, leaded-glass windows. The simple lines are carried through in so many of the accents that it becomes a huge tapestry of repeated shapes.
We are kind of late-comers to the group of Wright appreciators. In fact, it wasn’t until a trip to Springfield, Illinois that we toured our first structure designed by this architecture genius. The Dana-Thomas house introduced us to his unique simplistic, yet soothing style. Wandering through the Historic Park Inn reminded us of this previous visit. The design of the furniture and light fixtures echoed the patterns we found throughout the hotel. It was the fact that he repeated his theme throughout a design that speaks the most about Wright’s 60 years of magic.
Carrying It Through
It was time to check out our room, which we were sure would also include the same attention to detail. Sure enough, we found the design in the furniture and windows, just as we had in the main rooms. With so many layers of repeating design, it’s easy to overlook some of the finer details. One that became more apparent in our room was the arch-shaped pattern to the wall treatment. Discovering this renewed our effort to capture more of the finer points.
Taking it Outside
Mason City has embraced its relationship with the famous architect and his 60 years of magic. As we wandered the city, we found a variety of murals that mimicked the geometric patterns that are synonymous with Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs. Each one cements the marriage of art and architecture.
More To See
While most of our travel blogging adventures don’t allow for an extended time in our lodging, we had to make adjustments for our stay at the Historic Park Inn Hotel. Having an opportunity to experience such a notable destination, we wanted to soak it in. Each mural that we found, which reminded us of Wright’s work, made us long for more time at the hotel. We weren’t about to forego our other stops, but we knew in the backs of our minds that we had a fantastic rest awaiting us. Have you ever visited any of Frank Lloyd Wright’s properties?