Arizona – Taliesin West

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Taking a few weeks off to travel a bit in Arizona, I stopped by Taliesen West in Scottsdale. While Frank Lloyd Wright was alive, it was his winter residence. Some interesting stuff I learned from the tour:

  • While in Taliesen West, he cranked out the design for Falling Water in about 1.5 hours when his client called he was making a surprise visit and was two hours away. Can you say genius? He did it from his office and drafting table here (minus the current chairs of course).
  • In typical Wright fashion, the place leaked.
  • The roofing is simply canvas tarps. At the end of his stay, he would take down the roof and store it along with all the furniture and carpeting in local storage for the summer. The whole place is stone and mortar so any rain or elements didn’t impact the structure at all.
  • The current site houses a school of architecture. 1st year students live in a tent and for their second year, they need to design and build their own housing. Apparently, the program is ultra competitive. It takes about three years. Total student body is about 35.
  • An internal theater offers seating at an angle so that you can cross you leg to the right but still face the screen straight ahead. He also developed track lighting for the theater. Both concepts he could have patented but never did. He was not known as being a good business person.
  • When the federal government installed a bunch of power lines that ruined his view, he demanded a meeting with the President to air his grievances. Mr. Truman was apparently busy.
  • All photos.

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