The city’s most famous snowbird, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, spent winters at his home and architecture school in the Sonoran Desert. Taliesin West brings the horizontal lines and organic materials of Prairie School design to the desert landscape in low, skylighted buildings. Behind-the-scenes tours visit the pop-up structures that students have designed as living spaces amid the barrel cactus and paloverde trees.

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Nature's Architecture Done Just Wright

Hidden in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains, blending in with the beautiful Sonoran desert, is the great American architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s former home. Walk around the grounds while taking in the amazing views of Scottsdale and Camelback Mountain. It’ll be an experience to remember! One of the best ways to view Taliesin West is through their night lights tour. On Friday evenings you can take in the masterpiece transformed at night. They also host many local cultural events including local lectures, dance performances and concerts. In order to view the grounds you have to be part of a guided tour, but the volunteers and guides provide a wealth of insight and stories about Wright and his eccentricities. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation does a superb job at memorializing his life and work. The 600-acre complex not only captures the amazing skills of the famed creator but also hosts their own School of Architecture, where students can live amongst a place they hope to aspire. Most day tours run every 30 minutes and take anywhere between 1–3 hours and take you throughout the grounds. Photos are allowed in most spaces, so bring your camera to snap up some memories!

Frank Lloyd Wright in Arizona

Take a tour at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesen West. Learn all about FLW’s philosophy and the history of this second he set up in the Arizona desert as the winter location to its counterpart in Wisconsin. There are several different tour options, ranging from 1 to 3 hours and led by current or former students at the school. One gentleman who actually studied with FLW himself spoke to our group on the 3-hour “behind the scenes” tour, which includes a lovely tea service. The gift shop has a great selection of FLW-inspired designs in a wide variety of objects as well as books, postcards, etc.

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