Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture Tour

Adventures in Travel & Prairie School Architectural Studies

In keeping with Frank Lloyd Wright’s belief in homes that are in harmony with nature and people, consider volunteering a few hours to help on a Habitat for Humanity Project in the Iowa town of Marshalltown to support tornado recovery efforts. Share your building talents and make a difference.

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Sojourn – Gain a better understanding of the community you’re visiting. Learn about different religions or spiritual practices. How do these impact the communities? How does religion or spirituality influence local traditions?

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Savor – Will you choose sweet or savory? Take the time to visit local markets and discover unique local ingredients. Learn how to prepare traditional meals & local favorites.

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Tip of the Tongue – Each morning, take the time to learn a few basic greetings and phrases in the local language. Learn how to write greetings & your name in the local script.

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A Wrinkle in Time – History influences our present. Discover the history of the country you visit. Hear the stories of your guides & their family history. Where do they come from?

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Journal Journeys – Take some time to reflect on the day’s events and document your journey. Spend a moment journaling about the day had & day ahead. These are memories for a lifetime!

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Culture – From local dances, festivals, or simple gestures to communicate – all of these make up a country’s culture. Learn and practice cultural norms & how to show respect in the culture you visit.

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Welcome to Mason City, Iowa – named by Conde Nast Traveler as #8 among the 20 best cities for anyone who loves architecture.

The nearest International Airport is in Rochester, Minnesota, where an airport shuttle will be available to take you on the 1.5-hour ride to your hotel in Mason City where your adventures in travel will begin!

In Mason City, you’ll be staying at the Historic Park Inn, the last remaining Frank Lloyd Wright hotel in the world! Settle in, relax, and begin to enjoy and explore your comfortable surroundings. You will tour the hotel in more depth tomorrow, but this evening, enjoy a welcome dinner with your group at its 1910 Grill. Here, you’ll experience the vintage appeal of the Prairie School design blended with modern amenities; there is also a 1910 lounge and a 100-year-old billiard table!

After a delicious breakfast with your group, take an official tour of this impressive hotel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Learn about its history, its connection with the National Bank, and how Frank Lloyd Wright ended up coming to Iowa and making his architectural contributions to the area. You’ll explore locations throughout the building and learn how a group of citizens saved the hotel.

Then, take a fascinating walk through the Rock Glen Historic District to see designs by Frank Lloyd Wright and other well-known architects. This area has the most extensive collection of Prairie School homes gathered together in a natural setting in the United States.

Today, explore the Stockman House, constructed in 1908, and the only Prairie School house that Wright designed in Iowa. It houses the arts and crafts and creations of the time, and the Architectural Interpretive Center will give you more unique perspectives into Wright and the Prairie School designs of the area.

The Kinney Pioneer Museum is a fun place to learn more about life on the Iowa frontier and Mason City’s past. Explore the living history of the pioneer village and vintage exhibits as you step back in time in its one-room schoolhouse and log cabin, blacksmith shop, and other examples of life long ago.

If you’re up for a relaxing walk in nature, enjoy a stop at the Lime Creek Nature Center for walking trails and exploring restored prairie, wetlands, and forest. See how remnants of the 19th-century life reveal how the area looked before Frank Lloyd Wright arrived.

Visit more of the area’s architecture in the 1895 modified Queen Anne style boyhood home of Meredith Willson. This internationally renowned composer of the music, script, and lyrics of “The Music Man,” immortalized his hometown of Mason City in the famous Broadway musical. Check out the footbridge that has been part of the city’s history for over 100 years; visit Music Man Square to experience the streets of 1912 with set designs from the Warner Brothers’ “Music Man” motion picture.

This afternoon, step back into nature and explore the Fossil and Prairie Park Preserve to learn about fossils from the area and the native prairie nearby. Learn about its natural and historical features, 1880’s log cabin, and collect fossils!

Just another step back in time to contrast growth and change in architecture as well as the land.

Today is busy discovering more of Mason City’s unique architecture. See the 1903 Kirk Apartment Building as an example of Victorian architecture and copper; the Usonian Tom MacNider House; the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum with its steam-bent cedar shingles; and the 1912 Melson House with its stones looking out over the river.

Inside the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum, you’ll find a cultural treasure of American art, including the Bil Baird Puppets!

Relax in your historic hotel’s 1910 Lounge this evening as you reflect on the talent of Frank Lloyd Wright and his remarkable life and architectural creations.

Frank Lloyd Wright made a lasting mark on Mason City. Take another walk through the Rock Crest – Rock Glen Historic District to absorb more of the Prairie School architecture amazing collection.

Then, take a relaxing cruise around Clear Lake on an authentic paddle-wheeler, one of the few still in operation. Enjoy the sun and warm hospitality of the crew as you learn about the boat, the lake, and the history of the area from the captain.

Tonight, you’ll have a farewell dinner with your new friends at your historic hotel in the 1910 Grill.

After one last breakfast in your historic hotel, you’ll head back to the Rochester Airport this morning to catch your flight home. Perhaps your next trip will explore Frank Lloyd Wright’s other architectural achievements in other parts of the country!

Experience adventures in travel to discover Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie School Architecture on a visit to Mason City, Iowa, one of the top places in the country for those who want to explore outstanding architecture. You’ll stay in the last remaining Frank Lloyd Wright hotel in the world, and explore the most extensive collection of Prairie School homes gathered together in the United States. Learn more about the area’s architectural heritage, Wright’s life and designs, and the talents of other well-known architects in the area. Immerse yourself in the incredible creations of the world’s most famous architect.


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