So did you know that Frank Lloyd Wright designed a bunch of buildings for Florida Southern College? I didn’t either! But this post from Life Without Buildings informs from its link at NPR:

Wright designed the master plan for the campus, as well as 18 unique buildings, 12 of which were built. Unfortu[n]ately, In the grand tradition of FLW Buildings, the campus buildings are crumbling apart. In fact, they’re degrading so quickly that they have been included on the list of the 100 most endangered sites by the World Monument Fund. Phase one of the restoration project will be completed later this month, and the university is hoping to raise the 50 million dollars required to completely restore, and in some cases improve, the remaining Wright structures.

Wow! The Florida Southern College website says the following on the subject:

Wright was 67 years of age upon his first visit to Lakeland. As he toured the orange grove area he envisioned the buildings rising “out of the ground, into the light and into the sun.” His master plan called for 18 buildings using the following basic materials: steel for strength; sand because it was native to Florida; and glass to bring God’s outdoors into man’s indoors.

The first ground breaking ceremony was held may 24, 1938 for the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel. Dedication of the building took place March 9, 1941. […]

Wright visited the campus often during his twenty years of work at Florida Southern. Lakeland residents would turn out to see him in his preferred attire which often included a flowing cape, beret or pork pie hat, and carrying his walking stick, but few would engage him in conversation

Here is a website with some terrific pictures from all angles of the “FLW” structures built at Florida Southern. They are taken by Mary Ann Sullivan, who has graciously allowed people to use them for non-commercial purposes. I have no desire to pass aesthetic judgment on the structures, but I will say that Polk County is an interesting place. If I were to believe all my friends from Ft. Meade and Bartow, the streets are paved with gold.

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