I was so excited when UNESCO recognized the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright as a heritage site in 2019. I decide to make a pilgrimage to Taliesin West during my stay in Phoenix this week. But I am disappointed when I reach the venue around 3 pm because the venue only organizes morning tours during July. All I can do is wander around the grounds for a few minutes to take photos of the exterior of the building.
Luckily my friend Janni is a Phoenix native so she surprises me with a visit to First Christian Church (also designed by Frank Lloyd Wright). I get to see up close and personal, all the signature attributes of the architect’s style—straight lines, simplicity, organic. To learn more about the edifice, I find there is a fantastic website (www.franklloydwrightsites.com) where I learn that the original design was for a classical university for the Southwest Christian Seminary. It ceased operations so the university was never constructed. But his widow gave permission to use his design to build the First Christian Church. It opened its doors in 1973.
“Stunning—and very Frank Lloyd Wright in every way—the church spire looks like a triangle and rises seventy-seven feet to the heavens (it is actually has four sides) in bold fashion; the outer walls are concrete and native stone. The red tile with Mr. Wright’s signature imprinted on it is an immediate signal that the building is an authentic and original Frank Lloyd Wright design.” (www.franklloydwrightsites.com)
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