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Theater at Taliesin to get major update after receiving grant

SPRING GREEN (WKOW) — Many people in southern Wisconsin have heard of Taliesin. The 800-acre estate was home to architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Now, the theater there will be getting a major update.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation received a $320,000 Save America’s Treasures grant to go towards the restoration of the theater, they have partnered with Taliesin Preservation, Inc. to work with local and national foundations, corporations, and private donors to provide over half a million dollars in matching funds for this $867,000 restoration project.

“It’s important for the preservation of the finishes and the building itself to do this work,” said Preservation Manager, Ryan Hewson.

Hewson is passionate about the theater and has been planning the upgrades for five years.

“There are almost no bad seats here and the acoustics are actually quite wonderful,” Hewson said.

Hewson has put in years of planning so that Wright’s architecture can live on in a functional way.

“In a way that they can see it being used and not just imagine from the seats what a concert might be like here,” Hewson said.

The goal is that nothing actually looks different but performs better.

“We’re most happy when people come into a room and say it looks like you didn’t do anything even though we know we did a lot,” Hewson said. “That’s the biggest compliment really.”

The restoration project is expected to take two years.

The theater will continue to be open for tours and performances during the beginning of the upgrades, but officials expect it to temporarily close during the spring of 2020.

Amanda Hari

Reporter, WKOW

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