Taliesin West

It's the last day of the Phoenix Recap! I hope it's been at least mildly interesting/entertaining. Thanks for clicking on over, folks. I appreciate you and your readership of this blog. 

How much do you know about Frank Lloyd Wright? Up until the tour Liz and I took on Sunday, I knew very little. In fact, I knew about this much: Frank was a brilliant architect sometime in the 1900s. 

That's it. That's all I knew. And even though I still have a lot to learn, I certainly absorbed some helpful knowledge on Sunday!

The tour we took was great. Our guide, Peter, was terrific. It was very clear that he has been doing these tours for a very long time. 

During the summer months, attendees are eligible for a 50% discount on the price of the 90-minute tour. Bonus. Love it. Fabulous.

Frank Lloyd Wright spent his winters in Arizona at Taliesin West for more than 20 years.  He also opened a school of architecture. His students are the ones who actually built the home. A fully accredited architecture school still exists there. The students spend part of the year in Arizona and part in Wisconsin. 

And another random, fascinating detail....There are a bunch of people who have been living at Taliesin West for more than 60 years! They are in their 80s and 90s now! They all live in their own individual units in the home. Maybe someday, after I do more research, I can write a whole post on this phenomenon. Who are these people? I want to meet them. They are artists and architects and they love the desert. I wonder if they are looking for any additional pals. I'd like to apply for their friendship!

I won't get too far into Frank Lloyd Wright's personal history in this post, but I encourage you to learn more about him. Mr. FLW is responsible for SO MANY THINGS we all use regularly. The revolving door?Yep. That's Frank. Lights along the pathway in movie theaters? Indeedy. That's also Frank. The list goes on and on and on. Plus, he designed and built more than 1100 structures!

He was really quirky. But brilliant people often are. Actually, isn't everyone? 

Those windows up-top are the individual units where all those awesome people have been living for all these years. Fascinating.

The view from the edge of this part of the yard was Frank's favorite. That is, it was his favorite until electricity made its way to Phoenix. When those power lines in the distance went up, Frank flipped out. He was really upset. But he learned to adapt.

And eventually, he grew to love-love-love movies. He even built a movie theater. Then he was very thankful for electricity. PS: His granddaughter was actress Anne Baxter. Who knew?

These are the actual drafting tables used by actual architecture students throughout the years (and still used today).

Two friends in stripes.

All of these beautiful sculptures were made by the permanent artist-in-residence at Taliesin West. Heloise Crista. She joined the Taliesin Fellowship in 1949 and she's been there ever since. She lives and works there. And her sculptures were so gorgeous. We only got to look for a moment, but it would have been wonderful to explore that area for an extended period of time.

I love the idea that Heloise found her passion and her heart - and an environment in which she could live it out. And she stuck with it. She found her home. Our tour guide said she never reveals her age. Love that detail, too. What a lady.

Bonus rant: Guess what? Most of the 15 architecture students build their own homes! TINY HOUSES! No running water or electricity. So perhaps my tiny house ideas aren't so crazy after all, huh?

Well. Actually, it is a little eccentric. When FLW was alive, he actually had the students live in tents. Some still do, but now they also have the home-building option. So there are 15 architecture students in the middle of the desert who build tiny (and then dismantle them) every year. These are my peeps!

Great, educational tour experience! Highly recommended!

And now - a few final random photos from my Arizona excursion....







PS: FINAL REMINDER: Pool pics, please.

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