architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright on the campus of Florida Southern College
in Lakeland, Florida, is a little known Central Florida treasure. Florida Southern
College (FSC) has the largest concentration
of Wright designed structures anywhere in the world with 10 buildings and two additional
structures on campus, and is in the National Register of Historic Places. Shown above is the southwest campus entrance at
Lake Hollingsworth Drive and Johnson Street.
Wright felt most
college campuses were architectural failures and wanted the opportunity to
design an entire campus from scratch. Wright believed his concept of Organic
Architecture would unite the individual structures with their environment
and as a group enabling them to work together to create a whole better than the sum of its
Ludd M. Spivey
was FSC President from 1925 to 1957. In the midst of The Great
Depression, Spivey envisioned a "college of tomorrow" as one part of a plan
to build college enrollment which had been hit hard by The Depression.
Spivey visited Wright at his Wisconsin home
in 1936 and proposed that the world
famous architect design the Methodist college campus.
The two men's dreams came together with a handshake, and Wright
began design immediately. In 1938 ground was broken for the first
President Spivey is shown above left with Frank Lloyd Wright and
wife, Olgivanna, at a Memorial Day celebration on the FSC campus c. 1950.
Image courtesy of Special Collections, Florida Southern
College Library, Lakeland, FL
years old when he began his work at FSC, Frank Lloyd Wright was world renown
and at the peak of his career. Many considered him then to be
the greatest living American architect. The Johnson Wax Building and
the famous Fallingwater house were recently completed, and Wright appeared
on the cover of
Magazine on January 17, 1938.