Imagine the opportunity to experience the environment which gave birth to some of the world’s greatest architectural wonders, walking where the great Frank Lloyd Wright walked, feeling the organic connection between earth and element that inspired such remarkable creations as the Guggenheim Museum in New York City and countless private residences throughout the United States, including much of the design work for Fallingwater, Wright’s residential masterpiece near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For those visiting Scottsdale, a trip to Taliesin West is just such an opportunity.
Wright’s Winter Home.
Taliesin West was designed by Wright in the 1930s as a winter home away from the cold, harsh climate of his native Wisconsin. Built by artists and apprentices studying under Wright, Taliesin West serves as home to the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and is a National Historic Landmark. Operated today by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Taliesin West is a breathtaking example of the Wright form, blending nature with structure and provides the public with the opportunity to witness first hand how the preeminent American architect created some of his stunning work.
Things to See.
Taliesin West is a collection of buildings, ranging from the Wright family living quarters to the facility’s office to Wright’s original outdoor entertainment venue, the Cabaret Theater. Even the drive approach up to the facility is an architectural wonder that should not be missed. Some of the highlights include:
The Garden Room – Considered the most stunning of all the structures at Taliesin West, the Garden Room was built by Wright himself and continually remodeled throughout his life. The room is large and spacious, open to a spectacular garden on the east and magnificent Arizona panorama at the south. A fireplace at the far end of the room reflects the warm flow of the sunset and is made from natural stone found on the property. The opposite end of the room leads to a hidden alcove that was the private living quarters for the Wright family.
Sun Cottage – The first living area for the Wrights, this early building on the campus was actually a collection of tiny sleeping alcoves surrounding an open space with a fireplace at one end. After the architect’s death in 1959, Mrs. Wright continued to remodel the space to include additional sleeping quarters for friends and family.
Office – The first building you approach when making your way up the scenic entrance drive, the Office is typical of Wright’s desert style, constructed of natural stone and sporting a see-through roof held up by thick beams of strong native wood and industrial steel. Preserved in much the same manner as it was when Wright greeted visitors each winter season, the Office is representative of the architectural style that is found throughout the campus.
Tours of Taliesin West.
There are several guided tours available at Taliesin West, including the dramatic Night Lights on the Desert tour. As Taliesin West is set high above the valley, sunset provides an entirely new perspective as the stone structures take on an artistic quality and the shimmering lights from the city below dance dreamily across the pavilions and patios that surround the buildings.
Specific tours of the different structures, including the Apprentice Court and the Garden Room living quarters are also available. The most popular tour at Taliesin West is the 90 minute Insights tour, and allows visitors to not only tour the rooms, bit sit in furniture designed by Wright himself and take in the atmosphere of visiting the home and its famous residents.
The dramatic setting of Taliesin West makes it the perfect venue for special events and gatherings of up to 300 people. The many patios and courtyards are exceptionally beautiful in the evening hours and several meeting rooms can accommodate small daytime groups as well. If you are planning a reception or intimate gathering in the near future, consider Taliesin West for a spectacular backdrop to your special occasion.
Getting to Taliesin West.
Taliesin West is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day and Easter Sunday. Located at the intersection of Cactus Road and Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard in northeast Scottsdale, Taliesin West is just east of Highway 101 and northwest of Highway 87.
12621 North Frank Lloyd Wright