Jim & Cathy Duff's Knox muddie

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Donvale - a final pilgrimage

In the main part of our story, we told of how we met Alistair Knox. He always spoke of, and was greatly influenced by, the noted American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. Frank Lloyd Wright needs no introduction; one of his principles was organic architecture, whereby the home is one with the environment; Alistair used the same concept, and called it environmental design. So, during the construction of our home, we came to know more of Frank Lloyd Wright through Alistair, to the extent that we have become FLW disciples.

What is described below is a kind of closing of the loop by way of a pilgrimage, in honour of Alistair, to the home of his role model Frank Lloyd Wright. In 2003, we were among that happy bunch of Harley Davidson owners who rode from all corners of the globe to celebrate the 100th Birthday of that American Icon Company. We shipped our bike to San Francisco, and rode across the summer plains, mountains and valleys to Milwaukee, Wisconson (via the Annual Rally at Sturgis).

As Spring Green was very close to our destination, it was imperative that we visit Taliesyn, Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio. Our travel plans had us arriving there a couple of days after my birthday, but good weather and luck had us there on my birthday, making the occasion even more special. Firstly, we went to the Vistiors' Centre where we had lunch, and booked a three-hour guided tour. As we approached Taliesyn, I had very strong feelings that Alistair was there with us.

Then, when we entered the place, I have to say the hair stood up on the back of my neck, and I felt as if time had warped back over twenty years to being in one of Alistair's homes ­ the feeling was overwhelmingly eerie. I felt as if I had built a home heavily influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, via the medium of Alistair Knox. Now, whenever I show photos of Taliesyn to friends, I get goosebumps again as I vividly recall those strong emotions; more like a SNAG than a HOG.

Cathy at Taliesyn, outside Frank Lloyd Wright's daughter's quarters.



Jim at Taliesyn Visitors' Centre, having lunch on his birthday, 2003.

There must be something about those leadlights that mysteriously inspired Cathy with her leadlight windows for Donvale.

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