Frank Lloyd Wright at Madison Airport

November 18, 2010 at 5:00 am 3 comments

So say, the laxative effect of your morning coffee has taken you offguard. You find yourself in an airport…with urges. Out of all the airports I have been through, the one I would find most comforting in this situation would be the Dane County Regional Airport in Madison, Wisconsin. Between Gates 10 and 12, there is a restroom which I have found to have surprisingly low traffic. As a result, it provides a luxury most airport bathrooms can’t– privacy!

And that my friends, is what stood for years in my mind as the most unique characteristic of the Madison Airport. When I thought about flying through Madison, that’s what came to mind.

On October 20th, after we visited the UW Arboretum, Larry and I pulled over at a place called Monona Terrace. No real reason we stopped there. We just thought it looked neat. We went inside and as Larry pursued a bathroom of his own, I wandered into the gift shop. I was surprised to find a lot of Frank Lloyd Wright stuff… and then I noted all these pictures of Frank Lloyd Wright and his buildings hanging in the hallways. It was shortly thereafter, Larry and I pieced together we had stumbled into Frank Lloyd Wright’s last public building. The design for Monona Terrace was originally conceived in 1938, but construction didn’t begin until 2004, roughly 45 years after the architect’s death.

The next morning Larry and I flew out of Madison Airport and suddenly my eyes were open to details I had missed before. I noted patterns that looked very much like the coasters and clocks and ties that were on display at the Monona Terrace gift shop. All over the Madison Airport, there are little homages to Frank Lloyd Wright. You can even see one as you work your way through airport security.

Madison, Wisconsin - Frank Lloyd Wright At Airport Parking
Parking Garage Flags

Madison, Wisconsin - Frank Lloyd Wright Light at Airport
Light in the Concourse

Madison, Wisconsin - Frank Lloyd Wright at Airport Security
Panels Near Airport Security

Madison, Wisconsin - Frank Lloyd Wright at Gate
Panels Near the Gate

What wonderful details to add to an airport. I don’t know how many times I rushed by to baggage claim without giving these elements a second glance. I do know, now that I’ve noticed, I’m going to continue to notice.

And when I think of Madison Airport, it will be TWO things that come to mind.

(Apologies, Mr. Wright)


Entry filed under: Airport, Frank Lloyd Wright, Travel, Wisconsin.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. geekhiker  |  November 18, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    If only, oh, ANYTHING at LAX looked that nice!

  • 2. macgizmoguy  |  March 9, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    I just flew into Dane Cty Airport for the first time. It is truly spectacular, right down to all these little prairer style details: I felt like I was in a museum, not just a ‘public transportation building’.

  • 3. Kathleen  |  April 4, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    I have flown into that airport several times, gone to the Arboretum, and stayed at the hotel at Monona Terrace. Love the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright that is evident throughout the town and airport.


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