More on Taliesin West, a Travel Destination for Seniors

Nov 1st, 2010 | By | Category: Senior Travel

There’s so much to write about Frank Lloyd Wright and Taliesin West that I’ve divided it into two sections.  Here’s the second one…

It is said that FLW “played every key on the piano”. He coined the phrase,  “The interior space itself is the reality of the building.” He designed his buildings as works of art. A cup in the bookstore at Taliesin West reads, “I believe that a house is more of a home when it is a work of art.”  FLW continually sought to enhance his projects, including light as an important element that he called “the comforter of life.”

FLW wrote…“Our new desert camp belonged to the Arizona desert as though it had stood there.” Wright began building this desert masterpiece in 1937 as his personal winter home, studio, and architectural campus.

It became his winter home and studio away from the cold, harsh climate of his native Wisconsin from 1937 until his death in 1959.

Located on the beautiful Sonoran desert in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains in northeast Scottsdale, Taliesin West is the consummate example of Wright’s brilliant ability to integrate indoor and outdoor spaces.  Wright’s architectural plan was to create a campus that was in total sync with its surroundings.  Here you will see a myriad of shapes and a multitude of natural desert hues.  It is true that TW was literally created out of the  desert and using organic architecture principles, including sunburned desert rocks for walls; many formations were created out of what Wright called “Desert Rubble Masonry.”

Organic is used in the sense of creating buildings that are in harmony with the natural environment in that the buildings and the landscape at TW complement each other; “form and function are one.”  The Arizona quartzite and sand walls came from the desert itself as did the many petroglyphs scattered around TW.  In 1982 TW was named a National Historic Site.  

From the beginning, this remarkable set of buildings astounded architectural critics with its beauty and unusual form. Frank Lloyd Wright, recognized as the 20th century’s greatest architect, with his apprentices gathered rocks from the desert floor and sand from the washes to build this desert masterpiece.

Visiting TW is particularly meaningful since the buildings are used for the purposes for which they were designed; the site still serves as a living, working, educational facility.  The bookstore is phenomenal for souvenirs and practically anything and everything FLW. They have hundreds of books on Wright’s architecture, TW and even about Arizona. Included are functional replicas of FLW’s designed furniture and lamps.

Everywhere at TW you will see Wright’s favorite color…Cherokee Red. The use of natural materials and natural light while conserving resources in very innovative ways at TW are two of Wright’s trademarks.  Check out the YouTube video below.

TW is located at 12621 North Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85259. The entrance to TW is at the Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd and Cactus Road intersection.  Call (480) 860-2700 ext. 494 or 495 for additional information. The site offers a broad range of public tours everyday, except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, from 9 am to 4pm. Parking is free and tickets may be purchased in the bookstore. I invite you to come and see for yourself how FLW blended nature with TW. On your tour you will have the opportunity to witness first hand how the preeminent American architect created this stunning work. I’m a volunteer tour guide at TW, and look forward to your visit with us.   jeb

More on TW:  Part I  Part II  Part III

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