Friday, March 25, 2016

We Know Wright! "Child of the sun"

The water dome, which at various time during the day, literally becomes a dome of water
Earlier this morning I packed Scooter Bob tight in his travel box, jumped on Kimmie and hotfooted it into Lakeland, Florida.   The more I learn about this town the more I think I need to spend a few hours exploring it, but the weather didn't look like it was going to hold and I technically had to show up for work today...sometime at least.

I had hoped to get a few pictures of Bob with the historic Swans, direct descendants of the very swans that once belonged to Richard the Lion Heart, of Lakeland.  Perhaps a few pictures of him enjoying  the Tigers Spring Training.  Even take him over to the wonder that is Florida Polytechnic. 

Bob meets the man himself.  
However with the nasty weather closing in and my requirements to actually make a living we decided to spend most of our time at Florida Southern University wandering about the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wrights work.  A collection he called his "Child of the sun."

I have a background in engineering and the sciences in general, so I can appreciate exactly what Wright was trying to do.  All his trademarks are here, the buildings use a lot of natural light and the Cathedral in general I'm certain is absolutely glorious during certain times of the day.  Water, also an element found in a lot of Wright's work makes an appearance here as well.

Inside the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel

 The campus itself is small but that that means that you can walk easily from site to site.  Their are a total of 18 structures on site and each one has its own unique feel and personality and the last one was completed in 2013.  Sadly the only one that was open to the public today was the Pfieffer Chapel.  Many of the buildings are sadly in various states of disrepair and their is an ongoing effort to restore them.

I was also surprised to learn that a few of the buildings were completed well after Wrights death.  During the Second World War, the students often labored under Wrights direction to complete the work on his buildings.  

Bob!  Get down from there!
 The Esplanades are covered walkways covering just over a mile and are timed in copper with a natural Green patina (see photo) and they often connect the buildings.  The supports are said to suggest the various orange trees which covered the campus at one time.  Wright could have made them all the same, but each section is a little different and some allow the flow of natural light in vie various skylights. 

At one time this was rated as the most beautiful college campus in America and I can understand way.  This is simply a lovely peaceful place and I for one have every intention of returning.

Just a interesting water feature on campus
The Esplanades
The steps are rounded giving an appearance of flowing lava
Back of the E. T. Roux library
Inside the Pfeiffer Chapel 
Pfeiffer Chapel from afar

Someone was promised a rose garden

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  1. Quite the architectural tour de force for scooterbob! Thanks for the pics.

  2. What an unusual architecture. I love the way you have Scooterbob modelling in front of the buildings.

  3. Very nice Rob. Susan and I took a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's home in Chicago and he designed a number of homes there.

    The houses have a warmth to their design that his public buildings lack which makes sense.

    I just love architecture. Wright's work is so compelling. I didn't know about the Florida connection.

    Thanks for that fascinating tour.

  4. I'm bookmarking the place. A colleague of mine is from Lakeland and keeps telling me its more than the KKK capital of Florida.