Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Shining Brow goes West for Winter

After my summer visit to Talieson (East), I was very eager to visit Talieson West. Luckily, a recent visit to my grandparents in Mesa, Arizona put me right in the vicinity. 

Frank Lloyd Wright built Talieson West as his winter home while he was working on the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix. He, along with his (third wife) Olglivanna and his apprentices traveled to Scotsdale for 20 winters. Students of the Fellowship still travel between Talieson West and Spring Green.

Architecturally, there are many similarities to Talieson in Spring Green. The layout is long and vast, built right into its environment without obliterating it's surroundings. The views are intentional and breathtaking. The 620 acre estate was confirmed a National Historic Landmark in 1982. 

Talieson West is owned and run by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation now, but overall seems to be in much better condition than the home in Spring Green. (Perhaps because West is made from a mix of desert rock and concrete, while most of Spring Green is made of softer limestone, which was more readily available in Wisconsin.) But if Wright had bothered to patent any of his structural innovations, the Wright Foundation wouldn't be struggling to afford repairs!

It's an (not surprisingly) impressive design and architecturally amazing site—especially when you consider most of the building was done via forced labor of his apprentices! Oh, plus it's in the desert so it's an amazing escape from these nasty 2° Michigan Days!


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