Frank Lloyd Wright is an American icon. Ask anyone to name an American architect, and his name will be at the top of the list.

Apparently he was a snowbird, residing at Taliesin in Wisconsin and wintering near Scottsdale, AZ at Taliesin West.

Taliesin West is my subject. I am fortunate to live 45 minutes drive away.

Saturday we visited the grounds. We didn’t get a tour; tours are booked well in advance. We did wander the grounds, and visit the theatre he built for his wife.

He utilized natural local building materials and arguably the father of the open floor space plan found in modern homes and buildings.

Eschewing walls, he favored expanses of glass that merged interior and exterior living spaces. Rather than displacing the environment, he designed his buildings into the locale.

The foundation that maintains the properties runs an institute for architecture on the grounds.

In addition to the natural landscaping, the grounds are filled with sculptural artwork. Colors on the outside grounds are strictly natural hues. Inside, he used a lot of warm reds and oranges, which was likely quite daring in 1937, when Taliesin was built, but quite boring today, in my humble opinion.

Tours are booked solid, so we have plans to tour in the summer when tickets are cheaper and lines are short. Only the stalwart want to take a walking tour when the temperatures are hovering above 110º F.

Until then, we have the winter planned pretty fully.  Catalina Island for Thanksgiving.  Prescott’s Whiskey Row over Christmas. One of these days we will make it to Tombstone.


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