Florida Southern College - Frank Lloyd Wright Masterful Creation
Mar 31, 2014
|We drove around Lakeland and found this small lake where there were 10s of Imperial Swans nesting around it, they are protected by the town and the community provides nesting material for them. What a sight. We also ran across a historic home that overlooked the lake.
What a treasure Florida Southern College (FSC) has, an Original Frank Lloyd Wright home. Mr. Wright wanted to build what he called Usonian homes around the campus. They were not built; however, FSC found a receipt for the plans and they went to the FLW archives at Tallesin to obtain them, they raised the monies to build it on the exact spot Mr. Wright picked for the home. What a gem. Mr Wright built 10 uniques structures. The Esplanades (covered walkways) are over a mile in length, they protect the students from the Florida sun and rain, they are low and have very geometric columns that can be a hazard to anyone walking by. The water Dome (fountain), when the water is flowing at full force, the fountain creates a water dome, unfortunately because of the drought the fountain only was at 30%. And, 8 others, he had envisioned 16 building for the FSC campus. The grounds are outstanding, FSC has been named the most beautiful campus in America two years in a row. FSC is in the process of restoring all the structures to the way they were when Mr. Wright finished them. It is a very peaceful campus, worth the drive to visit and see Frank Lloyd Wright’s genius first hand.
Florida Southern College (FSC) has the largest concentration of Wright designed structures anywhere in the world with 10 buildings and two additional structures on campus, and is in the National Register of Historic Places. It needs to be noted that all the concrete floors were colored Cherokee Red, Mr. Wrights favorite color.
Wright felt most college campuses were architectural failures and wanted the opportunity to design an entire campus from scratch. Wright believed his concept of Organic Architecture would unite the individual structures with their environment and as a group enabling them to work together to create a whole better than the sum of its parts.
Ludd M. Spivey was FSC President from 1925 to 1957. In the midst of The Great Depression, Spivey envisioned a "college of tomorrow" as one part of a plan to build college enrollment which had been hit hard by The Depression. Spivey visited Wright at his Wisconsin home in 1936 and proposed that the world famous architect design the Methodist college campus. The two men's dreams came together with a handshake, and Wright began design immediately. In 1938 ground was broken for the first building.
Sixty-nine years old when he began his work at FSC, Frank Lloyd Wright was world renown and at the peak of his career. Many considered him then to be the greatest living American architect.
Collection of Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture
• Annie Pfeiffer Chapel - First completed Frank Lloyd Wright building, begun 1938, dedicated 1941, French-door balconies restored in 2007
• Buckner Building (originally the Roux Library) - begun 1942, completed 1946
• Ordway Building (originally the Industrial Arts Building) - begun 1950, completed 1952
• Danforth Chapel - begun 1954, completed 1955
• Polk County Science Building (commonly known as Polk Science) - begun 1952, completed 1958
• Watson Fine Building (administration building) - begun 1946, completed 1949
• Water Dome - partially completed 1949, fully completed and restored in 2007 to Wright's original plans
• Three Seminars or The L A Raulerson Building (currently the Business Office) - begun 1940, completed 1942, and underwent renovations into one office building in 1958
• The Esplanades - various completion times, currently undergoing restoration around the campus