I spent the morning Friday traversing a series of scenic roads from Flagstaff, south through Sedona and Payson to Scottsdale, a northeastern suburb of Phoenix. There I visited Taliesin West, the winter home and workplace of architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Wright bought approximately 800 acres of land here (before it became the sprawling suburb it is today) in 1937 for $3.50/acre, which was considered a high price back in those days, and Taliesin West was built soon after that. Two years ago I visited Taliesin (pronounced tally-ESS-en), his summer home in southwest Wisconsin.
For having been designed and built in the late 30’s it is typical Wright, contemporary even by today’s standards, with a low profile and materials to blend in with it’s surroundings, incorporating natural light throughout and with every detail having a purpose. He lived and worked here, and had his many apprentices living on site, literally in tents or other basic structures. The site is still used today by students who live and work here year-round. The only place we visited on our tour where photographs were not allowed was the huge design studio where, although students now use computers, plotters and 3-D printers, they are working on drafting tables and other furniture used by Wright and his minions back in the day. It is a magnificent facility.
I also need to mention that a woman from Chattanooga, Tennessee saved the blog when she discovered my digital camera laying next to the guest registration book at the gift shop and turned it in at the tour desk. I had set it down to write my information in the goofy book and forgot all about it (evidently I need to get a strap and tie it to my body, which may also help keep Mr. Butterfingers JohnBoy from dropping it into a canyon somewhere…).