For the 150th anniversary of Wright’s
birth, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism rolled out a self-guided driving tour
spotlighting some of the world-renowned
architect’s most famous structures.
Born about an hour’s drive west of
Madison in Richland Center, University
of Wisconsin-Madison alumni Wright
constructed several masterworks close to
home, including the First Unitarian Society
Meeting House, family home Taliesin and
“There’s a lot of interest in Frank Lloyd
Wright for visiting groups,” said Rob Guard,
senior manager, PR and communications
of the Greater Madison CVB.
That’s really only the beginning of the
story for arts and culture in Wisconsin’s
state capital, a destination that rests comfortably at the intersection of premium
meeting amenities and energizing cultural
“When we do familiarization tours for
planners, we include cultural and arts
components so they can get a feel for what
we have to offer to attendees,” Guard said.
“Something that speaks volumes to Mad-
Dynamic Event Spaces
ison as a meetings destination is how high
our closing ratio is when we have planners
come and visit,” Guard added. “There’s
only so much you can do over the phone or
through proposals. It’s really letting our city
speak for itself that cinches that deal and
brings groups here.”
Wright began designing the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center
in the late ’30s and devoted himself to
refining the project for the next 20 years.
Unfortunately, it was not to be realized
in his lifetime. Monona Terrace has the
distinction of not only being the architect’s
final major project, but also one that did
not open its doors until 1997, nearly 40
years after Wright’s death.
“It’s really kind of our highlight, our
centerpiece,” Guard explained. “You have
that Frank Lloyd Wright design, with inviting lines and curves all around you, with
gorgeous views overlooking Lake Monona.
It’s a one-of-kind view.”
Aside from being a premiere event
space, the LEED-EB Gold-certified venue
inspires visitors to explore it in more depth
out of session with guided tours, a gift shop
resplendent with Frank Lloyd Wright wares
and, in the summer months, a rooftop cafe.
Another beloved venue for conventions,
meetings and other events is the Overture
Center for the Arts.
“Our big time music and theater venue,”
The Overture Center stages everything
from Broadway productions to nationally
From art to architecture, Madison, Wis., is a hub for its cultural
highlights from local
legend Frank Lloyd Wright.
Madison inspires groups with its artistic flair
OPERA IN THE PARK, GARNER PARK
MADISON MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
OVERTURE CENTER FOR THE ARTS
BY JUDITH LLOYD