Southwest Road Trip, Part 3

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This post is the final one I will make that documents my vacation I recently got back from.  Between 4/6-4/14 we drove about 4,000 miles which equalled out to right around 54 hours spent in total travel time, needless to say we really saw an amazing amount of sites.  I have to admit it was not one of the most restful vacations I’ve ever taken but me and my wife (my true sidekick) experienced things that I classify to be some of the most beautiful areas I’ve seen in our country.  If you’ve followed my blog in the past you may have noticed that many of our trips have included touring or discovering Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes and buildings.  For the final stop on our vacation we toured a home that Mr. Wright designed and had built for himself.  The home I’m referring to is Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Below are the things I found most interesting about this amazing campus.

  1. Taliesin West became the winter home of Wright after he purchased a plot of land in 1937, which later also became a teaching center that is still active called the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.  When the program first started it cost $750 per student to enroll and also came with a list of requirements spanning from students being used as staff to run the complex, to them also having to entertain guests at fund raisers that were thrown to help cover the operational costs of the institution.
  2. Wright being notoriously bad with money built this Taliesin with cheaper or more cost effective materials than what I’ve seen in some of his other homes he designed for paying clients.  That being said we are talking about a freaking genius, one of the most fascinating things I saw that he did with the home was building the walls out of concrete and stones dug up from the land the home is built on.  He noticed that most all the rocks he saw in the area had at least one side that was flat, taking advantage of the students on hand, he instructed them to dig for rocks and bring back any that had a smooth flat side.  The next step was to built wood framing to start construction.  In this process one student would hold a stones flat surface flush against the  side of the framing while the other student poured in concrete.  This is simply brilliant and resourceful.  If Frank were alive today he’d laugh at the concept of going green, I think he had us beat.
  3. All the water you see on the complex is actually coming from a natural underground spring located on the property that Wright insisted he could find.  A lot of the locals asked Frank why he would move all the way out there because they believed that water could not be found but Frank noticed that there were signs of run off which had to go somewhere.
  4. The furniture in the home, as usual was designed by Wright, is made out of thick sheets of plywood cut into sharp angles.  This was another cost effective choice suggested by Frank and you actually get a chance to sit in them on the tour which is not a normal occurrence when touring other homes he’s designed.
  5. Many stones found on the property had Indian writings on them, which fascinated Wright and affecting him so much that he used one of the symbols to incorporate into many design elements of this home.  The entrance by what is now the gift shop has one of the most prevalent displays of this symbol that I noticed throughout the entire complex.

Hopefully I have more travel pics to share in the near future but for now this closes out my coverage of my Southwest Road Trip, enjoy all the images and this slideshow in particular.  I think I have found my grove when it comes to photographing Frank Lloyd Wright homes, I highly suggest touring any of them that are scattered across the country.  It is always a truly unique experience and I’m so thankful for the creativity Wright has left for us to be inspired by.


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