Growing Up Wright by Lonnie Lovness

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Frank Lloyd Wright called them his “Do-it-yourself couple”. Don and Virginia Lovness came to see him in 1955, and he agreed to design a home/studio for the young duo. Beginning in spring, 1956, they laid stone, plumbed, wired and framed the Usonian house themselves while living in a small trailer on-site. By the fall of 1957 it was complete and with their two young daughters they moved into the unique structure. With adapted plans from Wes Peters, they also constructed a copy of the Seth Peterson cottage in 1975. 


The Lovnesses became close to Mrs. Wright and the Taliesin Fellowship over the years, and Don re-created several of the Midway Gardens “Sprites”. He built furniture and lighting for both houses, duplicating designs from the Hollyhock and Little houses. Virginia acted as Mrs. Wright’s co-host at Wisconsin Taliesin soirées, visiting often enough that the “Lovness Suite” was reserved and named for them. 


Daughter Lonnie Lovness grew up in the Studio from the age of six, and in this new book she describes her parents’ determination to build two “dream homes”, with a detailed account of their construction and fascinating Taliesin stories spanning almost fifty years. The book closes with an in-depth chapter on restoring the buildings in 2015-17. 


Growing Up Wright is an insightful look at two of Wright’s Usonian masterpieces and the couple who built them, and along the way became immersed in a “Wright” life. 

286 pages, over 600 photos, drawings and illustrations. 

Publisher: River Place Media