What Is It?
Florida Southern College is home to the largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture. Wright designed 18 structures for the college throughout a period of 20-plus years, with 13 of the proposed designs funded and built. Visitors to the campus can enjoy a beautiful display of Wright’s genius.
Who Was Frank Lloyd Wright?
Wright is known as one of the greatest American architects. His designs have been deemed one of the first uniquely American styles. Known for his “prairie” and “organic” style, focused on connecting buildings with the natural landscape. The Florida Southern campus is one of 28 of Wright’s projects recognized as National Historic Landmarks.
After Florida Southern lost significant enrollment during the Great Depression, college president Dr. Ludd Spivey commissioned Wright to design buildings for the school. Wright agreed since he would have the opportunity to build his designs on a massive scale, and because he fell in love with the landscape after his first visit to the campus.
When Wright first toured the campus, he explained how he imagined his buildings would grow “out of the ground and into the light—a Child of the Sun.” This collection of buildings on the campus is now called the “Children of the Sun.” The buildings and their walkways radiate around a central focal point: the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, which is the first building Wright created for the school.
There are multiple tour options when visiting the campus. Basic tours are offered daily at noon for $30, and in-depth tours daily are at 10:30 a.m. for $45. Note that COVID-19 regulations are in place when visiting.
Florida Southern College is at 111 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland. The Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor’s Center is open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Contact the visitor center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 863-680-4597. For more information about the college, visit www.flsouthern.edu/frank-lloyd-wright/home.aspx.