Tag Archive | Richard Haas

Home Sweet Homewood – Illinois

Illinois Trip – Day 3 – April 23, 2014

Homewood Illinois sign

Our last destination, Homewood is a village of over 19,000, just 23 miles from Chicago.   What piqued our interest here were the new murals by artist Richard Haas, the same artist who did the mural in Madison back in the 1980’s. We had to see them! See complete listing of mural locations here. It is the largest collection of his murals in one place in the world! Let’s take a look.

Richard Haas Homewood Mural

Richard Haas Mural 2 Homewood

Nelson's Bakery mural Richard Haas Homewood

Dixie Service Garage mural Richard Haas

There were more interesting things to see in Homewood also.  This is the Henry Gottschalk House, built in 1893.  His business in Homewood was brick making, and it was built of his own bricks.  The had “Homewood” stamped on them. Here  is Henry on horseback in front of his brickyard.


Henry Gottschalk House - Homewood, IL

Henry Gottschalk home plaque

Trains are also important here. In addition to freight trains, Amtrak and Metra trains are available.  In fact, I saw a lady running for the Metra which was just arriving 🙂

Late For The Train

The train station itself is a historic, possibly the only Spanish-style one in the Mid-west. They also have a Rail Fan Park here, like Park Forest does.

Homewood Train Station

 On this side is a Illinois Central orange Caboose on display. Also an engine.

Illinois Central Caboose


Illinois Central engine

There is a tunnel underground leading to this train station, there are pictures on  the walls a little more interesting.

Homewood Depot portrait

On the other side is a viewing platform with a great view of all the tracks.

Homewood Rail Fan viewing platform

Train platform view

One of the major roads going through Homewood is the Dixie Highway, and there is a marker downtown in Independence Park.

We had a great visit in Homewood and hope to come back to see more.

Homewood Water tower


Spring Green – Creativity Shining Through

9-27-10 / 3-9-14 / 6-29-14

Spring Green sign

This was our first visit to Spring Green in 4 years.  An interesting fact, famous mural painter Richard Haas was born here.  Not all of Spring Green’s attractions are downtown,  several are outside of the main city.  Frank Lloyd Wright’s influence is especially prevalent here, much more than his hometown of Richland Center.   We have seen his work all over Wisconsin, but the most seem to be in this area. Taliesin is a major attraction in the summer months. we also stopped at the nearby Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center,   not open until May also.  If you wish to take a tour of Taliesin, you begin here. Frank Lloyd Wright was such an influence in Spring Green, there is a marker describing just that.

Frank Lloyd Wright marker

Taliesin signTaliesin main building

FLW Visitor Center

In the 1800s, this site has an interesting history.  The Wisconsin River can be seen over the sign.

Military River Crossing marker

Wisconsin River

More of Wright’s work, the only school designed by him, now the Wyoming Valley School Cultural Art’s Center.  Open in summer and fall.

Wyoming Valley Cultural Arts Center

A hotel was also designed by one of his apprentices, J.C. Caraway, The Usonian Inn.

Usonian Inn Motel FLW

The Theatrical Arts are also well represented in the area. American Players Theatre is performed on an outdoor stage, a very popular venue.

American Players Theater

The White Church Theatre Project is a new addition to the theater scene, offering education in the theatrical arts.

The White Church Theatre Project

As you might expect,  many interesting and historic buildings are in Spring Green, many of them designed by Taliesin associates.  The Round Barn Lodge and Restaurant and Hayloft Cafe catch the eye as you drive by on US 14. It was a 1914 Dairy Barn originally. Designed by Jim Pfefferkorn, 1973 and 1979.

Round Barn Lodge and LodgeHayloft Cafe

Rite-Way Plaza was a former Philip’s station. Built of Limestone, designed by James Charles Mantooth, 1995.

Riteway Plaza

These buildings are located on the Northside of town.   We especially like this one. The business here is The Opal Man- Gallery of Opals.  This unique building was a Johnson Oil gas station in 1926. This is the ONLY ALL- Opal jewelry gallery in North America.

The Opal Man

On 242 N. Lexington is “The White School”, built 1877.  This picture was from our 2014 visit.

The White Schoolhouse 1877

Now we head to the downtown area for many more. This is a view looking west on Jefferson St, their “Main Street”.

Downtown Spring Green

The first stop is the Chamber of Commerce, which used to be a bank drive-up! It was designed by William Wesley Peters in 1975. You can pick up area information here, just go in.

Spring Green Chamber of Commerce

Going a bit further down the street, also on the right, we see a medical building created to attract a physician to Spring Green in 1961.

Medical Building

Medical Building plaque

Then we get to Nina’s which has been in Spring Green since 1916.  The building’s facade is what it looked like in the 1920’s.  The history is quite interesting, still in the family after 4 generations.

Nina's in Spring Green

The Shed is part of the Post Block that was established in 1894.

The Shed restaurant in Spring Green

This building was particularly impressive, it once was the Spring Green State Bank.  Now, it’s Freddy Valentine’s Public House restaurant.

Freddy Valentine's in Spring Green

It was close to 11:00, so we headed back to the other end on the street and turned right on Albany St. These colorful buildings of the Albany Street Shops brightened up the dark day we had.

Albany Street Shops

Across the street was our final destination of the day, the Spring Green General Store. We first discovered this store on our first visit here in 2010, they serve a great lunch in their cafe and we looked forward to another lunch here.

Spring Green General Store

The interior of the store is bright and cheerful, here is the front of the cafe.

Spring Green General Store cafe

We ordered our food, owner Karin Miller came over to our table and greeted us. What a nice lady!  She shared with us the many events that take place in Spring Green in the summer. It is a busy place! Then our food arrived, yum! Here is the Frito Pie we enjoyed on our first visit too.  We returned June 29 for their Arts and Crafts Fair and enjoyed lunch again. Al had a Hummus Sandwich and I had an Italian sub, delicious!

Spring Green General Store lunch


Frito Pie


Hummus and Italian subs Spring Green

As we concluded our visit, we planned on coming back soon.  The next chance will be the Spring Green Arts and Crafts Fair the weekend of June 28 and 29, 2014.

We did make it back for the fair and had a great time! So many items that we wanted to get, but couldn’t at this time.  At least we got contact information from the artists.

Spring Green Banner


SApring Green Arts and Crafts Fair

For a really great view of the Infinity Room at House on the Rock overlooking the Wyoming Valley, go to this Scenic Overlook. The address is 5945-5998 WI. Hwy 23 just outside of Spring Green. You exit off the highway in either direction and park in the lot. Then you walk a short trail to the overlook. What a great view.  I was able to even see the people inside of the Infinity Room!

Infinity Room at House on the Rock

Inside Infinity Room at House on the Rock


Us at scenic overlook

Spring Green has so much going on, we plan on returning often.

Obscure Madison Art – Richard Haas

Madison is a city with a bent towards the arts in all forms.  We have art fairs and art distributed throughout the city in parks and such.  However, some art is Madison  is lesser known due to location or perhaps on a minor street.

The biggest one is a mural designed by famous artist Richard Haas.  This art was commissioned by the city of Madison to be painted on the side of a building across from the train tracks on John Nolen Drive.  It was complete in 1987.  The view was unobstructed for 8 years or so. THEN, the city began building the Monona Terrace which was completed in 1997.  The building plunged the mural into darkness and obscurity.  You can barely see it now as you zoom through the tunnel.

One day a year, no cars are allowed for a few hours under this bridge. The first Sunday in June is Ride the Drive and only bikes and other people-powered transportation allowed.  I got off my bike and got pictures of each individual panel of the mural.  Beautiful!  This is most of it here, it’s too large for me to get the whole thing at once.

Mural full

Panel 1 rightPanel 2 right

Panel 3 rightPanel 4 Center

Panel 4 leftPanel 5 left

Panel 7 left endMural plaque

The last panel has a painted plaque in green. Here is more about the painting.  It was so exciting to finally see this beautiful art up close. I wish though I got the picture of it in 1987,  I was here then, I just wasn’t a photographer yet.