City: Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Restoration Status: Demolished in 1970
Located in southern Wisconsin, Lake Geneva became a popular summer retreat for residents of both Chicago and Milwaukee with the advent and increased use of automobiles. Businessman John Williams and developer Arthur L. Richards responded to its growing popularity by establishing the Lake Geneva Hotel Company and commissioning Wright to design a hotel. The plan incorporated a lobby with a large fireplace, dining facilities, and ninety guest rooms. Low, hipped roofs surmounted the two-story structure, and bands of windows and a long covered terrace spanned the southern elevation, emphasizing its horizontal thrust. Wright employed a sophisticated program of leaded glass that incorporated windows, fixtures, and skylights in the dining room. The building’s ground-floor windows were comprised of geometric patterns while those found on the upper stories featured a tulip motif. The hotel faced financial difficulties shortly after it was built and changed ownership with frequency in subsequent years. The structure was demolished in 1970 after a fire ravaged one of its wings.