Florida Southern College
in Lakeland, Florida has the largest group of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings on one site in the world.
Ludd Spivey, college president from 1925 to 1957, contracted Wright to design and build a number of structures on the FSC
campus. Twelve of the eighteen buildings he planned were constructed between
1938 and 1958.
Frank Lloyd Wright
was considered the most uniquely American architect at the time Spivey was working with him at Florida Southern. Wright called his style organic architecture and he firmly rejected the
classical style borrowed mainly from Europe. His
approach to architecture was rooted in nature and he was strongly influenced by the elements of structural design and culture
Wright was captivated by Japan’s inherent use of simplicity and natural forms in building, landscape, art and
textiles. However, expressing the American spirit and culture was one of Wright’s most noteworthy objectives. He preferred
to use native materials, such as local stone and rocks and worked with the landscape at hand to create a distinctively American
style of architecture.
Wright wrote, “In
Organic Architecture then, it is quite possible to consider the building as one thing, its furnishing another and its setting
and environment still another. The Spirit in which these buildings are conceived sees all these together at work as
He also said,
[A building] " is conceived in an organic sense, all ornamentation is conceived as of the very ground plan and is therefore
of the very constitution of the structure itself."
Wright was interested
in harmony, unity and geometry and these concepts are all apparent in the FSC buildings. Each structure on the Florida Southern campus is unique but all of the buildings are indelibly
stamped with the brilliance of Wright.
Wright used the flexibility
of concrete to create beauty. He combined it with wood, sand and metal and created cantilevered roofs, variously molded angles
and forms, soaring ceilings and glass encrusted walls.
All of the Wright buildings
on the campus contain many details, including distinctive use of colored glass and unique furniture made just for the structure.
On the FSC campus Frank
Lloyd Wright has created a significant record of twentieth century architecture.
The Wright buildings
on the Florida Southern Campus:
Merner Pfeiffer Chapel
Cora Carter Seminar
Charles W. Hawkins Seminar
Isabel Walbridge Seminar
E.T. Roux Library, (now the Thad Buckner Building)
E. Watson Administration
Fine Administration Building
J. Edgar Wall Waterdome
Industrial Arts Building, (now the Lucius Pond Ordway
William H. Danforth Chapel
County Science Building
On this site are photographs I have taken of many of the Wright buildings on the FSC campus. As a librarian at the Roux
Library, I have an interest in the details of Wright's work and therefore my photos reflect this.
Birk, Melanie., ed. Frank Lloyd Wright's Fifty Views of Japan, the 1905 Photo Album. San Francisco: Pomegranate
Lind, Carla. The Wright Style. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992.
Secrest, Meryle. Frank Lloyd Wright. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992.
Wright, Frank Lloyd. An Autobiography. New York: Horizon Press, 1977.