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Welcome

Growing Up WRIGHT

Building a Dream by hand with the World's Greatest Architect


9" x 9", hardbound

280 pages,

Over 500 photos and drawings

About the book

The Lovness Studio

Don and Virginia Lovness went to see Frank Lloyd Wright in 1955 at Taliesin, where he agreed to design a home / art studio for the young couple.  The following spring they began a two-year marathon of chiseling and laying stone, pouring cement and framing their Usonian gem on a small lake in Minnesota.  They lived in a tiny camping trailer on site with their two daughters, a cat and a goat.

The Lovness Cottage

An update of the Seth Peterson cottage in Wisconsin, Don and Virginia built this second Wright design by themselves in 1972.

A Wright life

Don and Virginia became very close to Mrs. Wright, Wes Peters and the entire Fellowship, and their home became a regular "R&R" stop for Taliesin apprentices. They were influenced by Wright in many ways and became avid collectors of Oriental art. Don re-created some of the "Sprite" designs from the long-gone Midway Gardens, sparking a resurgence of interest in these lovely figurines. 

Inside the book

A dream takes shape

Life in a Wright home

A dream takes shape

A Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian House hearth under construction by Don and Virginia Lovness, 1956

With no building experience, in April, 1956 the young couple began by laying tons of stone for the central hearth. Over two years they completed the house.

My mother the mason

Life in a Wright home

A dream takes shape

Virginia Lovness laying stone in her Usonian house, 1956

My mother would lay stone during the day and rake the joints in the evening, working until dark.  My sister and I spent the summers collecting pebbles for fill as the house rose around us. 

Life in a Wright home

Life in a Wright home

Life in a Wright home

Don Lovness reading a bedtime story to his daughters in their Frank Lloyd Wright home, 1957

When the house was finished in the late fall of 1957, my sister and I had a bedroom to share.  My father - a chemist, aviator, boxer and consummate builder - was a renaissance man with a soft side.  

Taliesin visits

Svetlana's travails

Life in a Wright home

A pageant at Taliesin East, summer 1965 with children, including the Lovness girls,  watching.

Our parents made regular visits to Spring Green where we would take part in the elaborate pageants put on by the Fellowship and apprentices.

The cottage

Svetlana's travails

Svetlana's travails

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The Cottage took almost 3 years to build by hand, using salvaged lumber and stone. It became their main home and saw a constant stream of visitors over the years.  

Svetlana's travails

Svetlana's travails

Svetlana's travails

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Wes Peters was a close friend and when he married Svetlana Alliluyeva (Stalin's daughter) my parents became close confidants to her while she lived at Taliesin.

Cover in pdf form

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