Historic Preservation

  • The Machine Shed is currently almost nonexistent, but it is well documented in photos and drawings.

Taliesin | Machine Shed Reconstruction Plan

University of Pennsylvania Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, 2021 Master of Design in Historic Preservation Post Professional Studio

For practicing design professionals seeking post-professional training, specialization, or change in career path, the one-year Master of Science in Design with a concentration in Historic Preservation (MSD-HP) offers an intensive complement to Weitzman School’s long-standing two-year MSHP degree. Two semesters of elective and required course work are synthesized in a three-week summer capstone studio.


In 2021, the MSD studio, led by Professor of Practice Pamela Hawkes, centered on developing a reconstruction plan for the Machine Shed at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin. The plan is important to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation's Rehabilitation Plan for the adjacent Midway Barn, scheduled as "Level One," high priority for reconstruction. The intended future use of the Barn is to be a “center for land use,” and the Shed is a key in supporting that goal. 

Wright’s design principles were realized in the original design of the Shed, with a utilitarian use, housing farm machinery, an informal “round house" design and true to Wright’s preference for hemicycles and natural forms found in nature. It is rough and refined, simple in form and complex design. Taliesin was where Wright’s ideas and principles could be worked out and where the problems were solved.

The reconstruction proposal is a continuation of that legacy of change and making it better. The shed has an important role in the cultural landscape of Taliesin and the Midway barn. These include Wright’s innovative gardening principles, working with the University of Wisconsin, School of Agriculture applying new agricultural ideas and terraced gardening concepts. The entire site as an opportunity for education and as the driving force behind the use of the land. The Barn and Shed demonstrate principles of buildings on a site and as a landscape as a whole, “of the hill not on the hill.”

View Michele Kolb's (MSD-HP) report and supporting presentation.