25,000 House Guests a Year

The Wiscnsin State Journal, profiles a family that lives year-round on the grounds of Taliesin — not just on the grounds, but in apartments just steps away from the main residence, just off the path of the tour groups visiting the site every day.

The Hamblen family, Floyd and Caroline and their sons, live in one of the apartments built for drafts men and apprentices. Floyd, an architect who mentors the student architects, and his wife, who coordinates the Taliesin Arts and Culture Program, are maintaining Wright’s tradition of architects working in a community of artists. They live, school their children and happily co-exist with the hordes of visitors who crowd Taliesin during the summer.

Living at Taliesin is a rich experience for the boys, who meet students from around the world, join the rest of the community working in the communal vegetable garden, eat in the school dining hall and help out at formal dinners and other events.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for them,” their mother said.
The boys regularly wander the labyrinth of stone walls, walkways and steps that weave through Taliesin’s lush flower gardens and around the 16,000-square-foot main building. They don’t have trouble finding their way back home, but there are challenges for their parents.
“Sometimes it’s hard to find the kids right away,” Floyd Hamblen said.
Lukas said there are rules for when they encounter tour groups on the grounds. Stand back. Show respect. Don’t approach them or talk to them. Pick up any toys that might be in their path. He pauses, then thinks of one more: “No yelling.”

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Floyd Hamblen said it’s a good life.
“The buildings are fascinating. But it’s so much more interesting that there is a life that happens here,” he said. “It’s the way Wright envisioned it: as growing.

The article includes a video of the family’s home (quite a bit of unWright-like clutter, including a heap of Legos) and a very brief video clip of The Guy Who Lives in the Silo.

Last year, PrairieMod linked to these photos of a Floyd Hamblen-designed house in Wisconsin.