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Florida has been home to over two dozen homes that were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

Florida has been home to over two dozen homes that were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

The less-known architectural road trip that’s worth the drive!

Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture is instantly recognizable, even to those who don’t have a special interest in it. From the iconic residences in Fallingwater to his desert retreat of Taliesin West and beyond, Wright has left behind a legacy that will not soon be forgotten.

Wright is one of America‘s most celebrated architects because of the masterful work he produced in his 44-year career through the construction of American homes and buildings which employed natural landscapes and custom furnishings. But even the most discerning design buffs may not know that the largest concentration of his work can be found a 90-minute drive from Orlando on an unassuming college campus in central Florida.

Wright’s work even prompted President Spivey to contact him for a visit to the school in Florida. They went on a leisurely trip and became friends. People smarter than me are trying to make a world-class institution of a Methodist university that’s been around since 1878.

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A month after the meeting, she arrived in Lakeland, Florida to find inspiration in the orange groves and Spanish moss-covered trees. He strolled through campus in style, wearing a beret and a cane. The sculpture of his likeness is on display at the visitor’s center.

Wright’s “Child of the Sun” campus was designed with 18 buildings in total, 13 of which were completely finished. Alexander Bruce’s paper on Wright and the folklore surrounding Florida State University discusses how reality and romanticism are intertwined in Wright’s work and his relationship with Ludd M. Spivey. The plan for a community called Broadacre City never materialize.

Wright worked to design & build the structures, while Spivey traveled the Sunshine State seeking donations and spreading the gospel of a “campus of the future.” Wright designed the original plans for the campus and often make use of students to help with construction. However, there were delays in the project and Wright passed away in 1959. His student Nils Schweizer continued the work for him but was still not completed.

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The campus is a historic home to many now and the latest edition of the National Register of Historic Places makes it even more special for architect’s work. We can also use grants from the Getty Foundation to help restore & maintain it. For older buildings like these, regular upkeep is a must. Hurricanes, humidity, and other environmental factors can wreak havoc on it over time. If your building needs a little help from Hurricane Restoration Services, give us a call to see what we can do for you!

Visitors to Florida Southern College can study Frank Lloyd Wright’s work and architecture that shaped the campus by getting a self-guided tour or joining a guided tour. The design of this street corner is meant to connect the historic trees that grew here before, creating a series of interconnected covered esplanades between buildings. The Water dome is the only water feature Wright ever built, tucked between the Watson-Fine and Raulerson buildings. The planetarium also is the only one he built.

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This building is stunning! It was originally constructed of coquina, a type of limestone that came out of the nearby waterway. With a post-fire reconstruction in 1944, it features beautiful stained glass and incredible acoustics for whatever event you’re planning.

The restored Danforth Chapel is right next to it and features leaded glass in the same colors, along with the original pews. Florida Southern’s campus also includes the only theater-in-the-round Wright designed. It can be found inside a courtyard that is surrounded by many different structures and houses multiple departments & classrooms on all levels.

The Usonian House is also included on the tour and is a testament to Wright’s masterful architectural design. The house was finished in 2013 and has features like large windows, careful details throughout & innovative designs.

Keep in mind, that it’s hard to miss these beautiful buildings on the way to school. There are many things that make Florida Southern a great campus aside from architecture – even you who might not be an architecture geek.

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