Frank Lloyd Wright went through several phases in his architectural styles, from the sharp straight lines of his Prairie Style homes to the rough and random cement and natural rocks of his Taliesin West works. Phoenix, Arizona has several Frank Lloyd Wright designed structures-but I only had time to visit two of them-Taliesin West and the First Christan Church.
Taliesin West is a working architecture school where fifteen or twenty students at a time study the methods of Frank Lloyd Wright. It cost $35 to spend an hour and half listening to some random guide prattle on about stuff that you may or may not find interesting. I would have been happy if they had some tour where I could just wander around and take photos, but there didn’t seem to be one like that. It was still an interesting place to visit, but I was not overly fond of all the cement and stone which made up the bulk of the walls. Whereas something like the Martin House in Buffalo or Falling Water in Pittsburgh left me feeling in awe, Taliesin West left me feeling like I could have made the place myself. There was a very rough and unfinished feel to Taliesin West and it was a good deal smaller than I was expecting.
The First Christan Church of Phoenix is a whole different experience from the Don’t Touch and Don’t Photograph without permission world of Taliesin West. It’s a church and you can park and wander around for free. The Church is made with the same cement and flat faced stone slabs found at Taliesin West. The Wife said it looks like a Cardassian Church and I have to think that the art designers of Star Trek Deep Space Nine must have helped themselves to a few of Wright’s drawings. The First Christan Church does look a little bit sci fi.
These images were all taken with my trusty Olympus E-1 and they were tweaked in Photoshop and Lightroom.