Today as we are on the eve of a blizzard, I thought it would be nice to take you to a very warm place in the desert. Taliesen West, was the winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright. It is now the home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. On my birthday and anniversary in October we booked a tour of this most wonderful place!
Taliesin West sits in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains near Scottsdale, Arizona. Mr. Wright started building his winter home in 1937 with the help of his apprentices and other craftsmen. Taliesin East was Mr. Wright's home in Spring Green, Wisconsin.
There are timed tours that we booked before leaving home, so we went into the reception center/ book store to get our tickets and wait for our guide.
Our guide began by telling us some information on Frank Lloyd Wright and his philosophy about building.
Mr. Wright started his career working for Louis Sullivan. Frank Lloyd Wright learned much from his time working at that firm, but began to do jobs on the side. This was frowned upon by the Adler and Sullivan firm and they decided to fire him. So Mr. Wright ventured out on his own! Prairie Style or organic architecture is what he became famous for. He used what was locally available as far as materials. Never wanting to take away from the natural beauty of the landscape, Mr. Wright's Taliesin West fits beautifully into the mountainside. The many stones you see in this home came from the property. He felt very strongly about using the materials from the land, if at all possible.
Mr. Wright loved angles and it is quite evident here at Taliesin West. Geometric shapes appealed to him. He said the the circle was infinity, and the triangle was unity in structure, and the spire was aspiration, and the spiral was organic progress, and the square was integrity.
In his office we were told that he never had a telephone for his business and really didn't want electricity. He was born June 8, 1867 and died April 9, 1959. Frank Lloyd Wright's mother, Anna Lloyd Wright, was from a large Welsh family. To honor his Welsh heritage he named his home Taliesin, which means "shining brow" in Welsh. As I look at Taliesin I can see why he chose that name. Of course Taliesin East was built first. You can go HERE to see the similarities to the placement of the home into the hillside.
“No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together each the happier for the other.”
~ Frank Lloyd Wright
Mr. Wright loved to sit outside in the evenings and gaze at the valley. We noted the utility poles and wondered what he thought of them. The small brown poles were the ones that he began to see in the 1940's. He despised them so much he appealed to President Harry Truman to have the lines put underground. Unfortunately President Truman was a little busy at the time and his appeal was refused. Wright considered moving Taliesin to Tucson, but instead moved the entrance to the front of the building and declared never to look at the valley again!
|Small brown poles not the large ones that Wright objected to|