Tailiesin West

12621 N Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd Scottsdale

Written By VAMONDE

Digital Storytelling and Visitor Analytics for City and Cultural Institutions

Taliesin West

Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect best known for his Prairie Style architecture. He believed buildings should be in perfect harmony with their surroundings, and created structures to complement the existing environment. For example, Fallingwater, one of his most famous designs, was constructed over a waterfall to take advantage of the natural landscape.

Beginning in 1935, Wright made an annual trek each winter to Arizona. Wright’s beloved home in Scottsdale was dubbed Taliesin West after his summer retreat, Taliesin, in Wisconsin. Built to match the rugged desert elements of the area, Taliesin West is constructed from local rocks placed in wood forms, which were then poured with concrete. When Wright purchased the land where Taliesin now stands, he discovered Native American petroglyphs. Wright used these drawings as a basis for the symbol of Taliesin West.

Wright founded the Taliesin Fellowship here in 1937 and diligently handcrafted Taliesin West for many years into a world unto itself. Built and maintained almost entirely by Wright and his apprentices, it is among the most personal of the architect’s creations. Deeply connected to the desert from which it was forged, Taliesin West possesses an almost prehistoric grandeur.

Today, Taliesin West is a National Historic Landmark nestled in the desert foothills of the McDowell Mountains. It is also the home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the School of Architecture at Taliesin.

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Fun fact: Wright's son invented the iconic building toy Lincoln Logs in 1916. Clearly, architecture ran in the genes! In addition, Wright was an early adopter of automobiles despite being born two decades before they came into common use. He owned over 50 cars in his lifetime, and his love for them is said to have inspired the ramp design in arguably his greatest creation, the Guggenheim Museum.

Cover photo via franklloydwright.org

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