Tan-y-Deri, the Jane and Andrew Porter home designed by architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.
|Location||south of Spring Green, in Iowa County, Wisconsin|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Frank Lloyd Wright|
In 1907, architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed the home, “Tan-y-deri”, for Jane and Andrew Porter, his sister and brother-in-law. The home was built in a valley in the town of Wyoming, Wisconsin (near the town of Spring Green). This valley was originally settled by the Lloyd Joneses, who were the family of Wright and his sister's mother. The Lloyd Joneses were originally from Wales and, as a result of this heritage, Wright chose a Welsh name for the Porter home: “Tan-y-deri” is Welsh for “Under the oaks”.
The Porter family moved to the town of Wyoming because Andrew had been hired to be the business manager of the nearby Hillside Home School run by Jane’s aunts, Jane and Ellen C. Lloyd Jones. Wright designed a home for the Porters, but they chose a design of his that was more economical: Tan-y-deri is an example of one of his designs for A Fireproof House for $5,000.
In 1911, Wright would design his own home, Taliesin, on a hill within sight of Tan-y-deri (Taliesin is a Welsh word meaning, "shining brow"). Three years later, Tan-y-deri would be used for triage following the attack and fire at Taliesin that resulted in seven deaths. Jane and Andrew's four-year-old son, Franklin, was kept upstairs away from the victims, but his bedroom overlooked the open veranda to the east on which they were laid. He later wrote
… Mingled with the memory of intense excitement of the fire is that of men moaning in the night with pain, and of a whippoorwill singing during moments of quiet…. For ever after the song of a whippoorwill at night at Tan-y-Deri seems infinitely sad.
The Hillside Home School closed in 1915, so the next year, Andrew went to work in Chicago in an investment firm. Two years later his family followed him to Chicago and the Porters purchased the Arthur Heurtley house, also by Wright. Tan-y-deri then became a summer vacation home for the Porters until the 1930s. Andrew Porter retired in 1935 and he and Jane returned to living at Tan-y-deri full time. They remodeled the lower level, opening the former basement into excavated space on the north. By the 1930s, Wright had started the Taliesin Fellowship on the Taliesin estate, in which men and women were living with him as apprentices.
Andrew died several years after World War II, in 1948. Jane died five years later. In 1955 their son, Franklin, sold the home and surrounding acre to his uncle, so it also became part of the Taliesin estate. The estate is owned by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which was founded by Frank Lloyd Wright and his wife, Olga Ivanovna “Olgivanna”, in 1940. Tan-y-Deri is one of five Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings on the Taliesin estate. Two of the other Wright-designed buildings on the estate can be seen from Tan-y-Deri: the Romeo and Juliet Windmill, and Taliesin. Midway Barns, which was the farming facility he designed, is on a hill to the east.
Because the house has been owned by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, the home has since been used as housing by the Taliesin Fellowship and the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. A major restoration project of the home was carried out by Taliesin Preservation, an independent non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the Taliesin estate and running a tour program and bookstore housed near the site at the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center (also a Wright design).
- Maginel Wright Barney, The Valley of the God-Almighty Joneses: Reminiscences of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Sister (1965 Appleton-Century; 1st edition; Unity Chapel Publications, 1986) ISBN 978-1125132081
- William Allin Storrer, The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion (University of Chicago Press, 2006), ISBN 978-0226776217, p. 133.
- Mary Jane Hamilton, “Tan-y-deri: Another View of Taliesin’s Unfolding Narrative,” in The Frank Lloyd Wright Quarterly, Summer 2006 (Vol. 17, No. 3), p. 11.
- Meryle Secrest, Frank Lloyd Wright: A Biography (University of Chicago Press, 1998), ISBN 978-0226744148, p. 222.
- Hamilton, p. 17-18.
- Hamilton, p. 18.
- Hamilton, p. 19
- Maginel Wright Barney, The Valley of the God-Almighty Joneses: Reminiscences of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Sister. 1965 Appleton-Century; 1st edition; Unity Chapel Publications, 1986. ISBN 978-1125132081.
- Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, Frank Lloyd Wright Complete Works Taschen, 2009.
- Meryle Secrest, Frank Lloyd Wright: A Biography (University of Chicago Press, 1998). ISBN 978-0226744148.
- William Allin Storrer, The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion. University of Chicago Press, 2006, ISBN 978-0226776217.
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