Iowa has been on my mind this past week. I've so enjoyed my experience here. This two years' time has flown by on the wings of prairie winds and winter snowflakes. I am so glad that I was able to get out and explore a few small parts of this great state. I love Pella and the Tulip Festival, delighted in exploring downtown Des Moines, and enjoyed my treks across vast tracts of farmland while on my way to and from Illinois, Nebraska, and Minnesota.
Although there is still much I would like to see in Iowa, one attraction has recently captivated me to the exclusion of all else.
Mason City. I know, I had no idea where this place was, or what was so special about it until I caught a snippet of a show about Frank Lloyd Wright. For a number of years I've had a superficial interest in Wright's work. I admire his aesthetic and appreciate his attention to detail in both his external designs and internal fixtures. When he designed a house, he didn't just craft the exterior, but made it a cohesive whole by also creating the furniture, carpets, windows, doors, decorative elements, etc., etc. Amazing. While living in Arizona, I was privileged to tour Taliesin West several times and I graduated from Arizona State at the Wright-designed Gammage Auditorium. I have always wanted to see some of his other buildings, but time and schedule have yet to allow this - until now.
You see, Mason City happens to hold the largest amount of Prairie School architecture outside of Oak Park Illinois. The Park Inn Hotel is the only remaining hotel designed by FLW. The Stockman House has been fully restored and is open to the public.
I feel a roadtrip coming on. After last week's marathon drive, 2 hours in the car (one way) is the last thing I look forward to. But I think I'll make an exception for Frank.
PS - I am not (completely) insane. The title of this post is from last night's repeat episode of 30 Rock.