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December 17th, 2019

In Memoriam: Ron McCrea (January 30, 1943 – December 14, 2019)

Journalist Ron McCrea contacted me in 2010 while beginning work on his book, “Building Taliesin: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home of Love and Loss,” published two years later by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press. Our contact came because Ron had acquired copies of images by Taylor Woolley (a Wright draftsman until 1912) from the Utah State Historical Society. These photographic negatives showed Taliesin being constructed in 1911 and during its first winter and spring.

Because I am the historian at Taliesin, Ron called me. He trusted my insight almost from the start. He accepted what I said without any hint of “Oh, what does this young lady think she knows?” (Okay, I was 43 years old, but he was 25 years older than me and had worked in journalism since around the time I was born.)

While working, he showed me chapters from the book and accepted my suggestions, stating at one point: “You are a keen and knowledgeable observer.” That generous remark—indicative of his honesty and tenacityare part of what will be missed about him. Plus his persistence paired with a hearty dose of curiosity are what gave us his book, which is worthy of being added to the essential compositions about Wright’s home.—Written by Keiran Murphy, Taliesin Preservation Cultural Historian; Photos courtesy of author Mark Hertzberg.

Read more about McCrea’s life and work at:

The Cap Times and Wright In Racine