A Chance to Explore Frank Lloyd Wright’s Southwest

When he made Arizona his winter home, Frank Lloyd Wright incorporated a new vista into his nature-inspired architecture.

Wright Way Arizona: Design in the Desert, Feb. 22-25, will explore how Wright responded to the brilliant colors and grand mesas in the southwestern landscape. The four-day Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust expedition will travel to Phoenix and Scottsdale in the Sonoran Desert to see the glorious results of Frank Lloyd Wright’s late-career inspiration.

The highlight of the trip will be an in-depth tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1937 desert masterpiece and winter home, Taliesin West. Today Taliesin West is home to the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and the Taliesin Fellowship. In the architects’ private dining room, guests will visit with a Taliesin Fellow.

The tour will include three other Wright-designed buildings.

  • First Christian Church in Phoenix – designed in 1950 and built in the early 1970s – using Wright’s plans for a seminary that never materialized.
  • The sprawling UHaul-Price House mansion that stretches the length of a football field.
  • With its twin pedestrian bridges, the Grady Gammage Auditorium at Arizona State University is a project Wright worked on the last two years of his life.

A stop at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa will show Wright’s influence from the perspective of one of Wright’s Oak Park studio architects, Albert C. McArthur. Described as “The Jewel of the Desert” when it opened in 1929, the Arizona Biltmore is constructed with precast concrete blocks with a palm tree design. This historic structure is home to several of Wright’s Sprite sculptures from Midway Gardens and a Wright-designed glass mural from the Liberty Magazine cover, Saguaro Forms and Cactus Flowers.

The trip will open with a tour and tea at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix to introduce the plants and climate that influenced Frank Lloyd Wright’s desert designs. A morning driving tour will cover the architectural highlights of Phoenix and Scottsdale, including the exteriors of several Wright-designed homes.

This excursion includes three nights at the famed Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, two dinners, three lunches, all admission and tour fees and gratuities, and transportation by luxury motorcoach including airport drop-off at the end of the tour. It does not include airfare or airport transfer upon arrival.

The cost of the excursion is $2,395 and $2,195 for Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust members, based on double occupancy. A single supplement is $450.

For more information and a complete itinerary, visit WrightWayTravel.org.

Other upcoming Wright Way Travel tours include:

Town & Country Aug. 15-19: A four-day excursion to Chicago and southwestern Wisconsin, which will include visits to Taliesin and several private and public sites.

Morris to Mackintosh: British Arts & Crafts, Sept. 6-16: Visits to England and Scotland for exclusive access and curator-led tours of buildings and collections that represent the very best of the Arts & Crafts movement. Highlights of the tour include: Victoria and Albert Museum, Red House, Blackwell, the home of John Ruskin and Glasgow School of Art.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust operates Wright Way Travel as part of its mission to engage, educate and inspire the public through architecture, design and the legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright. For more information, visit WrightWayTravel.org

The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust provides public tours and educational programs at three Wright-designed structures: his Home and Studio in Oak Park, Ill.; the Robie House in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood; and The Rookery lobby in the Chicago Loop. For more information, visit GoWright.org.

Leave a Reply