Taliesin West (1937)
Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect
12621 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ 95261
From the archives, Visited September 24, 2009
This is a “must see” destination for all Architecture Tourists – Frank Lloyd Wright’s own winter home and studio in Scottsdale AZ at the foot of the McDowell Mountains in the Arizona desert. Visiting you really can sense that it feels more like a camp than a permanent complex of buildings. As you would expect from Wright’s best buildings, the building is -as he would put it- “of the site”, not on the site. With the inclusion of the native american petroglyphs at the entrance, and the native materials used in the “Desert Masonry” walls, it feels as though it has been there forever – and I hope it remains there for many more generations to experience in person. Photos do not capture that sense of place and discovery that you experience walking through in person (and I have seen hundreds if not thousands of photos of Taliesin West over the many years). Taliesin West houses the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and still teaches architecture to its “apprentices” at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.
There are many types of tours available for Architectural Tourists. Check out the Taliesin West Tour Webpage for details.
I took the 3-hour Behind the Scenes Tour, but there are also less expensive 1-hour tours, 90 minute tours, and Night Light tours. Take your pick and I am sure you will not leave disapointed with any of them.
Not only is Taliesin West worth the trip to tour the complex, it also has a great bookstore and gift shop. The Frank Lloyd Wright Archives are also housed there for scholars and researchers to study the principles of Wright’s work. Checkout the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Website for details.
This is truly a working/living facility, not a mothballed museum behind plexiglas – come and experience it for yourself!
After exploring Taliesin West, I recommend you stay on theme and head to the Arizona Biltmore and relax over a drink and dinner at Wright’s at the Biltmore, a Traverse360Restaurant recommendation.