Florida Southern College

Text and photos (c) Mark Hertzberg

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The sun rises over Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, left, and Danforth Chapel at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida March 13. The college is the largest single-site collection of buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. College president Dr. Ludd Spivey commissioned Wright to design the college campus master plan and the buildings in 1938. Twelve structures designed by Wright were built over a twenty year time span from 1938 to 1958. The Waterdome and the Esplanades are considered two of the 12 completed structures).

A thirteenth building, a Usonian home designed for faculty housing, was completed in 2013. It serves as a guest relations center for tour guests.

Florida Southern College

We had the privilege of a behind-the-scenes tour of the Wright-designed buildings on campus with Mark Tlachac.

The Annie Pfeiffer Chapel, with its carillon tower, below, is the best known of the Wright buildings.

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The smaller, more intimate William H. Danforth Chapel is adjacent to the Annie Pfeiffer Chapel. Its “prow” is somewhat similar to Wright’s Unitarian Meeting House near Madison.

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The Esplanades, which Wright designed to shield people from the sun and rain, were my favorite subject. Wright designed them as evocative of citrus trees. The first photo is the projected shadow of one of the columns at sunrise.


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The ceiling of the reception area of the Fine Administration Building reminded me of ceilings in Price Tower.Florida Southern College

I also liked the original Roux Library. The building has been remodeled, but Wright’s lower level reading room is still similar

 as when built.

Florida Southern College

Florida Southern College

Florida Southern College

Jeff Baker, an architect from Albany, New York, is working with the college on the restoration of many aspects of the buildings.

Florida Southern College

Florida Southern College

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5 thoughts on “Florida Southern College

  1. Beautiful!Thanks for sharing,you know I love Frank Lloyd Write.I truly hope you all have a happy Easter.With Love,Mom and Dad

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Beautiful! Visited there 10 years ago and very encouraged that the buildings are being better maintained and preserved. Need to return now that the Water Dome is operating.

    • Dear Ed,
      Thanks for asking. I shoot with a Nikon D7000 and a D600. The latter is a full frame digital format (akin to what 35mm film cameras would see). The lenses are a 14mm f2.8, a 17-55mm f2.8, and an 80-200mm f2.8. The D600 gives about 20-30% more image (I forget the exact amount) than the DX format.

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