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As small Florida Southern College embarked upon an ambitious building program in the 1930s, the serendipitous arrival of Frank Lloyd Wright transformed the future of the school. Pres. Ludd Myrl Spivey was a leader with limitless imagination, and he realized the virtue in bringing an architect of Wright’s renown to Lakeland. Wright’s first visit to the lakeside campus was in 1938. He envisioned a grand 18-unit “Child of the Sun” campus, where buildings would grow from the Florida sand into the light. The buildings are especially suited to the landscape and are connected thematically by a series of covered walkways Wright called the Esplanade. Over the next 20 years, 12 of these unique structures were constructed at Florida Southern, and today they comprise the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work. The campus attracts thousands of visitors annually, and preservation and restoration projects are ongoing. The Florida Southern College Architectural District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
About the Author
Randall M. MacDonald and Nora E. Galbraith are librarians, and James G. Rogers Jr. is a professor of art and art history at Florida Southern College. Drawn from the college archives, local libraries, and the authors’ collections, these images chronicle the construction and evolution of Frank Lloyd Wright’s magnificent work at Florida Southern College.
Table of Contents
Annie Pfeiffer Chapel 9
Seminar Buildings and the Esplanade 37
E. T. Roux Library 47
Administration Buildings and the Waterdome 67
Lucius Pond Ordway Building 83
William H. Danforth Chapel 99
Polk County Science Building 109