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Architectural Gems: Wright-Taliesin, Calatrava-Milwaukee Art Museum, Lunts-Ten Chimneys

Program Number: 10963RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/30/2013 - 10/3/2013;
Duration: 3 nights
Location: Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Price starting at: $668.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 9; 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Experience Wisconsin’s extraordinary architecture, from Frank Lloyd Wright’s world-famous Taliesin Estate in Spring Green to the pristinely preserved Ten Chimneys estate of Broadway couple Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. Explore the galleries and collections of the fantastical Milwaukee Art Museum and examine the restored rotunda at the architecturally significant Wisconsin State Capitol.


• Hear from docents about Frank Lloyd Wright’s family life, architectural innovations and love of the countryside at Taliesin, his 48-year work-in-progress.
• Witness the opening of the “wings” inside the Milwaukee Art Museum, a masterpiece of design by esteemed architect Santiago Calatrava.
• Walk in the footsteps of Broadway’s brightest stars at Ten Chimneys — it’s as if Alfred and Lynn will return at any moment.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile on hilly, uneven surfaces, standing for extended periods.

Coordinated by Covenant Harbor.

Lake Geneva

One hour southwest of Milwaukee, Lake Geneva is a resort city whose popularity arose from its accessibility from Chicago via the railroad. With its many large summer homes, the city has been called "The Newport of the West," and it remains a year round destination for those seeking a quaint, lakeside getaway.

Conference center on 52 wooded acres with 1,150 feet of shoreline. Alcohol not permitted on site.
Meals and Lodgings
   Covenant Harbor
  Lake Geneva, WI 3 nights
 Covenant Harbor
Type: Conference Center
  Description: You'll be staying at the Geneva Bay Retreat Center at Covenant Harbor Bible Camp. Since 1947, this faith-based camp and retreat center has been committed to providing excellent facilities and programming to the youth, families and adults who come to this lakeside location. Situated one mile west of downtown Lake Geneva on 52 beautiful wooded acres, the camp and retreat center offer an ideal location to learn, relax and create lasting relationships. The historic property includes several buildings left from the Sturges Estate created around the time of the Great Chicago Fire when wealthy families built their summer "cottages" at the lake and stayed for the summer season. Today, the Lake Geneva area is still known as Chicago's Summer Backyard. Guests are encouraged to explore the grounds and walk along the public access lake shore path. The path goes all the way around the lake (23 miles total) but even walking a small portion you'll see historic and modern homes, all beautifully kept.
  Contact info: 1724 W Main Street
Lake Geneva, WI 53147 USA
phone: 262-248-3600
  Room amenities: Each guest room contains a radio/alarm clock, hair dryer, telephone with voice mail, soap, shampoo and lotion. This retreat center does not have televisions in their guest rooms; as a retreat center they do not want any distractions to get in the way of you getting the most from your program experience.
  Facility amenities: Geneva Bay Retreat Center is a self-contained facility with 32 guest rooms, meeting space and dining room all in one building. An elevator provides access to all three levels (meeting and dining room in the ground floor level with two floors of sleeping rooms above). Free internet (wi-fi) service throughout the building. Due to the topography of the area, mobile phone signals may not always be reliable. Relax with new friends in two lounges, one with a television with basic news channels. No alcohol permitted on site.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $80.00 Covenant Harbor is pleased to offer a special pre- and post-stay room rate of $40/room for Sunday and Thursday nights (based on availability). Please call 262-248-3600 x333 to make your reservation. Meal service is not available for these days but there are many restaurants in Lake Geneva.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $80.00 Covenant Harbor is pleased to offer a special pre- and post-stay room rate of $40/room for Sunday and Thursday nights (based on availability). Please call 262-248-3600 x333 to make your reservation. Meal service is not available for these days but there are many restaurants in Lake Geneva.
  Check out time: 10:30 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check in begins at 4:00 PM at conference center. You will be staying at Covenant Harbor that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends upon return from final field trip. Approx. 2:30 PM. You will be staying at Covenant Harbor the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. COVENANT HARBOR WAIVER. This form cannot be completed online. You'll find it in the pre-program materials just in front of the Participant Information Form. This waiver should be completed and returned to the address provided.
  Parking availability:
Free surface parking for duration of program.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Lake Geneva, WI
  Nearest city or town:  Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
  Nearest highway: Highway 50.
  Nearest airport:  General Mitchell International Airport (MKE), Milwaukee, WI.
  From End of Program
  Location: Lake Geneva, WI
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

Gen. Mitchell Int'l Airport (MKE), Milwaukee, WI to Lake Geneva


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Covenant Harbor Van Shuttle
phone: 262-248-3600 x309
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


$75 per person, $100 for two people traveling together
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


1 hour 15 minutes 




55 miles


Van Shuttle provided by Covenant Harbor from/to the Milwaukee airport on the program start and end dates only. Contact Ms. Brooke Furmanek, the program coordinator, to make your reservation at 262-248-3600 x309. One-way cost $75 per person or $100 for two people traveling together.

Driving Directions
  From Chicago to Lake Geneva Take the I-294 N towards Milwaukee (there will be tolls). Take I-94 W (You are actually going north) to Milwaukee (There will be tolls). Take the Hwy 50 W exit to Kenosha/Lake Geneva. Follow Hwy 50 W approximately 28 miles to Lake Geneva. Stay on Hwy 50 W one mile and turn left into the Covenant Harbor Bible Camp entrance. The entrance is just before Highway 50 widens from two lanes to a four lane highway.
  From Madison to Lake Geneva Take I-90 south to I-43 north. Follow I-43 north to Hwy 50 east (Lake Geneva). Follow Hwy 50 for about 10 miles. As you enter Lake Geneva you are coming down a big hill and the highway will narrow from four lanes to two lanes, at this point the Covenant Harbor/Geneva Bay Centre entrance is on the right. Continue down the drive and bear to the right at the fork, up the hill to Geneva Bay Centre (three story red brick building). Passenger drop off to the left, parking to the right. Travel time approx. 1 hour 30 minutes.
  From Milwaukee to Lake Geneva Take I-43 south to Exit 36, Hwy 120 East Troy/Lake Geneva. Take Hwy 120 south 13 miles to Lake Geneva (three stop signs). Continue straight into Lake Geneva, do not follow Hwy 120 around the city, instead continue straight onto Broad Street to the second stop light (intersection of Broad St and Hwy 50, the lake will be directly in front of you). Turn right on Hwy 50 and proceed west one mile (the lake is on your left) to the Covenant Harbor Bible Camp/Geneva Bay Centre entrance on your left (lakeside). Look for the red "Welcome Road Scholar" sign. The entrance is just before Hwy 50 widens from two lanes to a four lane highway. If you see Snake Road you've gone too far. Continue down the driveway and bear to the right at Heinzelman Way, continue up the road and park in front of the thee-story brick building (Geneva Bay Centre).
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival and Orientation
(Monday, September 30)
 Arrive To: Travel to Lake Geneva on your own -- OR -- join the Covenant Harbor van shuttle departing from the Milwaukee airport at 4:00 pm. Advance Reservation Required. Claim your luggage and meet at the GoRiteway kiosk by 3:45 pm. You will arrive in Lake Geneva at 5:30 pm in time for check-in, dinner and orientation.
 Afternoon: Plan to arrive in Lake Geneva in the afternoon. Check-in begins at 4:00 pm in the lobby of the Geneva Bay Centre at Covenant Harbor Bible Camp and Retreat Center. Please, no early check-ins; however, if you do arrive early, you are welcome to bring in your luggage and wait in the lounge until your room is ready. Pick up your program booklet, name tag and room key from your Group Leader who will be in the lobby. The booklet will contain the final day-by-day schedule and other program information that we will review during orientation.
 Dinner: Buffet at 6:00 pm in the lower level dining room. Meals served at the retreat center are buffet style. At dinner you'll find a salad bar with fresh greens and an array of toppings along with hot entrees and a dessert. Be sure to pace yourself, there are a lot of choices. Find a seat in the dining room and take your glass to the beverage center for your choice of milk, soda, iced tea, coffee or ice water. Meal times are a great opportunity to meet your fellow participants and talk about past programs you have attended.
 Evening: Gather as a group in the meeting room for ORIENTATION at 7:15 pm. Your Group Leader will give an overview of the program, provide additional information about your accommodations and answer any questions. Then you'll have a chance to introduce yourself to the group and tell a little about your hometown and hobbies.
Accommodations: Covenant Harbor
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Taliesin in Spring Green
(Tuesday, October 1)
 Breakfast: Buffet at 8:00 am in the lower level dining room. Each morning you'll find a variety of hot and cold dishes along with fresh fruit and juice.
 Morning: Join Jim Slauson from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design for a primer in architecture from Stonehenge to Calatrava.
 Lunch: Buffet at 11:30 am in the lower level dining room.
 Afternoon: Board our motor coach at 12:30 pm for our FIELD TRIP to Madison and Spring Green. Approximate travel time to Madison is 1 hour 30 minutes. We'll pass the Frank Lloyd Wright inspired Monona Terrace and the Wisconsin State Capitol. Travel time to Spring Green is approximately 40 minutes. Our first stop for our visit of FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT'S TALIESIN will be the visitor center where we'll meet our docents and board our shuttles for a quick ride over to the estate. Enjoy a two hour docent led exploration of the main house. You'll hear stories of Mr. Wright's family life, his architectural innovations, and his love of the surrounding countryside. Taliesin was always a work in progress, Mr. Wright worked on it for 48 years. You're sure to find a favorite room, piece of furniture, or other object. You'll have some time to explore the bookstore before we depart for dinner.
 Dinner: Buffet at 6:00 pm at the historic Old Feed Mill Restaurant in Mazomanie. Your dinner consists of your choice of the restaurant's signature pot roast, chicken marsala or mushroom strudel along with a salad, vegetable and fresh baked bread using wheat grown on the Taliesin estate farm.
 Evening: Return to Lake Geneva after dinner. Enjoy watching the Lunts one and only feature film, "The Guardsman."
Accommodations: Covenant Harbor
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Milwaukee Art Museum
(Wednesday, October 2)
 Breakfast: Buffet at 8:00 am in the lower level dining room.
 Morning: Board our motor coach at 9:00 am for our FIELD TRIP to Milwaukee. Travel time is approximately 1 hour 15 minutes. We'll meet our docents at the MILWAUKEE ART MUSEUM on the shore of Lake Michigan for a 1 hour ARCHITECTURE TALK about the history of the museum including buildings designed by Eero Saarinen, David Kahler and of course SANTIAGO CALATRAVA. There is so much to see in this treasure of a museum. Learn how they moved the ribs for the "wings" through downtown Milwaukee, feel the smooth texture of the poured concrete walls and don't forget to go see the parking garage - it's worth a visit.
 Lunch: Box lunch at 11:30 am at the museum. Enjoy a lunch consisting of a sandwich, chips, soda or water, fruit cup and a cookie. We'll eat right in the museum with views of the collection and lake. At noon you'll want to temporarily leave your lunch and head to the pedestrian walkway to watch the "wings" close and open. The whole process takes about 10 minutes. Take your camera!
 Afternoon: After lunch you'll have some time for INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION of the museum. Take some time to explore the Bradley Collection donated to the museum by Mrs. Peg Bradley. She donated her collection and the money to build a building to house it. Re-board motor coach at 2:45 pm for return to Lake Geneva.
 Dinner: Buffet at 6:00 in the lower level dining room.
 Evening: Enjoy some light entertainment in the meeting room after our busy day in Milwaukee.
Accommodations: Covenant Harbor
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Ten Chimneys in Genesee Depot
(Thursday, October 3)
 Depart From: For those returning to the Milwaukee airport with the Covenant Harbor van shuttle, you will depart from Ten Chimneys after lunch. We'll take your luggage with us on the motor coach. The shuttle will depart at 1:30 pm for the airport and arrive at approximately 2:30 pm. IMPORTANT: Do not make any flight plans earlier than 4:30 pm.
 Breakfast: Buffet at 8:00 am in the lower level dining room. Check-out of rooms prior to boarding motor coach. Luggage can be left at the front desk for safekeeping.
 Morning: Board our motor coach at 9:00 am for our FIELD TRIP to the small community of Genesee Depot. Travel time is approximately 1 hour. This is where Broadway actors Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne built their home, TEN CHIMNEYS. Yes, there are actually ten chimneys. You'll hear this story and more during a two hour docent-led exploration of the house and estate. The home contains all the original furnishings and you'll feel like the Lunts have just stepped out.
 Lunch: Box lunch at 12:15 pm at the estate program center. Enjoy a box lunch consisting of a wrap, fruit cup and dessert bar.
 Afternoon: After lunch you'll have some time for INDEPENDENT EXPLORATION of the wonderful exhibits in the Visitor Center and learn even more about the Lunts. Thank you for visiting Darling! Re-board motor coach for return to Lake Geneva. Approximate return at 2:30 PM. Independent departures.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

The Fabulous Lunts: A Biography of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne

Author: Jared Brown

Description: For 40 years, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne were the most acclaimed stage actors in America. From 1928 (six years after their marriage) until their retirement in 1960, they appeared only together most notably in drawing-room comedies perfecting the subtle team playing that became their hallmark. In this comprehensive biography, Brown, theater professor at Western Illinois University, meticulously documents the couple's lives. Describing the perishable art of stage performance (the Lunts made few film or TV appearances) is difficult, but Brown succeeds in explicating the couple's nuanced technique. Though generally adulatory, the author criticizes the Lunts' increasingly "unadventurous" taste in their later years, when they appeared in plays that were little more than star vehicles. Dedicated to their craft, the team rehearsed long hours even after performing a play hundreds of times; their perfectionism continues to inspire theater people.


Author: Philip Jodidio

Description: Santiago Calatrava is not only one of the world's most prominent architects, but also an engineer and an artist. With recent projects such as the stadiums for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens or the new railway station in Liege, Belgium, he has reached a level of undeniable notoriety in Europe and continues to move further ahead. The only architect ever to have his work exhibited at both the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, he is currently working on the main transportation hub for Ground Zero in Manhattan as well as the tallest building in the United States: the 160-story Chicago Spire Tower. His first commission in the United States is the addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Frank Lloyd Wright: An Autobriography

Author: Frank Lloyd Wright

Description: Frank Lloyd Wright exerted perhaps the greatest influence on twentieth century design. In a volume that continues to resonate more than seventy years after its initial publication, Frank Lloyd Wright: An Autobiography contains the master architect's own account of his work, his philosophy, and his personal life, written with his signature wit and charm. Wright (1867-1959) went into seclusion in a Minnesota cabin to reflect and to record his life experiences. In 1932, the first edition of the Autobiography was published. It became a form of advertising, leading many readers to seek out the master architect--thirty apprentices came to live and learn at Taliesin, Wright's Wisconsin home/school/studio, under the master's tutelage. (By 1938, Taliesin West, in Arizona, was the winter location for Wright's school.) The volume is divided into five sections devoted to family, fellowship, work, freedom, and form. Wright recalls his childhood, his apprenticeship with Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan, the turmoil of his personal life, and the background to his greatest achievements, including Hollyhock House, the Prairie and the Usonian Houses, and the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.

Loving Frank

Author: Nancy Horan

Description: Horan's ambitious first novel is a fictionalization of the life of Mamah Borthwick Cheney, best known as the woman who wrecked Frank Lloyd Wright's first marriage. Despite the title, this is not a romance, but a portrayal of an independent, educated woman at odds with the restrictions of the early 20th century. Frank and Mamah, both married and with children, met when Mamah's husband, Edwin, commissioned Frank to design a house. Their affair became the stuff of headlines when they left their families to live and travel together, going first to Germany, where Mamah found rewarding work doing scholarly translations of Swedish feminist Ellen Key's books. Frank and Mamah eventually settled in Wisconsin, where they were hounded by a scandal-hungry press, with tragic repercussions. Horan puts considerable effort into recreating Frank's vibrant, overwhelming personality, but her primary interest is in Mamah, who pursued her intellectual interests and love for Frank at great personal cost. As is often the case when a life story is novelized, historical fact inconveniently intrudes: Mamah's life is cut short in the most unexpected and violent of ways, leaving the narrative to crawl toward a startlingly quiet conclusion. Nevertheless, this spirited novel brings Mamah the attention she deserves as an intellectual and feminist.

The Fellowship: The Untold Story of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Fellowship

Author: Roger Friedland and Harold Zellman

Description: Frank Lloyd Wright was renowned during his life not only as an architectural genius but also as a subject of controversy—from his radical design innovations to his turbulent private life, including a notorious mass murder that occurred at his Wisconsin estate, Taliesin, in 1914. But the estate also gave rise to one of the most fascinating and provocative experiments in American cultural history: the Taliesin Fellowship, an extraordinary architectural colony where Wright trained hundreds of devoted apprentices and where all of his late masterpieces—Fallingwater, Johnson Wax, the Guggenheim Museum—were born. Drawing on hundreds of new and unpublished interviews and countless unseen documents from the Wright archives, The Fellowship is an unforgettable story of genius and ego, sex and violence, mysticism and utopianism. Epic in scope yet intimate in its detail, it is a stunning true account of how an idealistic community devolved into a kind of fiefdom where young apprentices were both inspired and manipulated, often at a staggering personal cost, by the architect and his imperious wife, Olgivanna Hinzenberg, along with her spiritual master, the legendary Greek-Armenian mystic Georgi Gurdjieff. A magisterial work of biography, it will forever change how we think about Frank Lloyd Wright and his world.

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