Architect Frank Lloyd Wright made Scottsdale his winter home from 1937 until his death in 1959. The dapper man in the pork pie hat turns 150 years old today. He was born June 8, 1867.
His design imprint and architectural influence is found all over Phoenix and Scottsdale. Here is a list of his best-known projects across the Valley:
- Wright’s 600-acre winter home and architectural school, Taliesin West, at the foot of the McDowell Mountains
- Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium in Tempe on the ASU campus
- First Christian Church (originally the Southwest Christian Seminary) at 6750 N. 7th Ave. in Phoenix
- The 125-foot internally illuminated blue-green spire at 7207 E. Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard
- David and Gladys Wright residence at 4505 N. Rubicon Avenue, Phoenix in the Arcadia neighborhood
- Benjamin Adelman residence at 5802 N. 30th Street in Phoenix
- Raymond Carlson residence at 1123 W. Palo Verde Drive in Phoenix
- Arthur Pieper residence at 6430 E. Cheney Drive in Paradise Valley
- Jorgine Boomer residence at 5808 N. 30th Street in Phoenix
- Harold C. Price Sr. residence or “U-Haul House” at 7211 N. Tatum Boulevard in Paradise Valley
- Norman Lykes residence at 6636 N. 36th Street in Phoenix
- The Arizona Biltmore Hotel was designed by one of his architecture students, but Wright consulted on the project in 1928
Although it was never approved or built, Wright submitted a design concept for a new Arizona state capitol building in 1957. The proposed location was Papago Park. He named his concept The Oasis. The divergent design for a government building includes a hexagonal glass dome with holes for trees, fountains, ponds and spires. The blue-green spire on Scottsdale Road was adapted from this capitol design. The sculpture was built posthumously in 2004 and is the only part of the capitol design project that exists today.
This is a fly-through video of a computerized model of The Oasis state capitol concept:
And lastly, there is the major thoroughfare that bears his name. Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard in Scottsdale. Wright didn’t design his namesake street, of course, but it’s a nice tip of the hat to our eccentric, semi-native architectural progenitor.
I’ve noticed that it’s a bit of a mouthful to tell the pizza delivery guy to “turn left on Frank-Lloyd-Wright-Boulevard,” but I’ve never heard anyone dare to abbreviate the street name.
Happy birthday, Mr. Wright.
A man is a fool if he drinks before he reaches the age of 50, and a fool if he doesn’t afterward– Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect of over 1000 structures