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Mary Bergin column: From the reader mailbag: Wright design, diners and more

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The reader mailbag hasn’t been emptied for quite a while, so that’s what I’ll do this week and next. Keep your thoughts and ideas coming, but please note that I discourage anonymous correspondence and don’t respond to travel questions on short notice.

Wright designs

When I wrote about the newly reopened Historic Park Inn in Mason City, Iowa, I said it was Frank Lloyd Wright’s last standing hotel in the world. That sparked a little chatter.

Annette Thompson of Birmingham, Ala., pointed out that Frank Lloyd Wright’s only skyscraper, Price Tower in Bartlesville, Okla., contains a hotel. (Rates start at $145.) pricetower.org, 877-424-2424

Rich Herber, owner of Frank Lloyd Wright’s John D. Haynes House in Fort Wayne, Ind., said the house can be rented for overnight stays. (The rate is $299 per night for up to four people and a two-night minimum stay. Children are not allowed at this Usonian house.) hayneshouse.org, 203-644-2729

Mason City’s Historic Park Inn was one of the rare Wright projects specifically designed as just a hotel.

It is true that a few other remaining Wright projects are rented for overnight stays, include hotel rooms as a part of something bigger (like Price Tower) or are Wright-style buildings (like the Arizona Biltmore) — but he was not the architect of record.

In Wisconsin, these overnight options include the Seth Peterson Cottage, near Baraboo, $250 and up (sethpeterson.org, 877-466-2358) and the Bernard Schwartz House, Two Rivers, $295 and up (theschwartz
house.com, 612-840-7507).

Adam Ross of the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust made me aware of a new bus tour that spans more than 20 years of the architect’s career. The tour, titled Frank Lloyd Wright’s Chicago, provides “exterior interpretations of Wright designs in downtown Chicago, the near-south side and Oak Park — the community with the highest concentration of Wright-designed buildings.” Interior tours of Wright’s home/studio and Robie House also were included in the $55 ticket. The three-hour Saturday tours hit capacity fast this fall; no decision yet about when they will resume in 2012. gowright.org, 312-994-4000

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