Photo courtesy Mark Hertzberg/Wright in Racine

RACINE — “Wright before the ‘Lloyd,’” a new exhibit at the  Racine Heritage Museum, highlights the young Frank L. Wright and his friend Cecil Sherman Corwin, the forgotten architect and mentor who did much to shape him into the architect we know as Frank Lloyd Wright.   

Wright has a rich history in Wisconsin, both in Racine and Walworth County.

Lake Geneva once was home to Wright’s Hotel Geneva, as well as five private residences and a yacht club on nearby Delavan Lake.

Of those homes, the most well known is the Fred Jones House and Gatehouse known as Penwern.

The home was the subject of a book, “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Penwern: A Summer Estate,” by author and photographer Mark Hertzberg published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press in 2019. 

The exhibit in Racine is comprised of his extensive collection of early Wright architectural salvage, drawings and images.

Wright wasn’t always Frank Lloyd Wright. In his youthful years of architectural practice at the end of the 19th Century, he was very different from the brash, self-confident public celebrity who several decades later gave Racine its landmark S.C. Johnson & Son campus. Born Frank Lincoln Wright, the young architect signed his works prosaically as “Frank L. Wright.”

Read more at Wright in Racine.

The museum is located at 701 Main Street in Racine. Museum hours are: Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 10am-3pm, Sunday Noon-4pm.  Admission is free. The museum, built as a Carnegie Library in 1904, is a historically preserved building and is not ADA accessible. For more information call the museum at 262-636-3296 or visit their website,

The exhibit, on the museum’s main floor center and north galleries, runs through Dec. 30, 2024.


By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak launched Walworth County Community News in 2021. He is the former editor of The Week and Walworth County Sunday.