D Wright House
Price Sr House
1st Christ. Chrch
More FLW Sites
Originally commissioned in 1949 by the
Southwest Christian Seminary in Phoenix, Frank Lloyd Wright (then 82 years
of age) was to design a Classical University. Complete with chapel and
other structures, the campus would occupy eighty acres. His drawings
were finished and made public in 1950. The Seminary however, ceased
its operations and the university was never built. Permission was
obtained from Wright's widow to use the plans for a new First Christian
Church; construction began in 1971 and the church was completed in 1973.
Stunning -- and very Frank Lloyd Wright in every way -- the church
spire looks like a triangle and rises seventy-seven feet to the heavens (it
is actually has four sides) in bold fashion; the outer walls are concrete
and native stone. The red tile with Mr. Wright's signature imprinted on it
is an immediate signal that the building is an authentic and original Frank
Lloyd Wright design.
Built and dedicated in 1978 is a separate and
free-standing, 120-foot bell tower that is topped with a 22-foot cross.
It's four sides are also an optical illusion, as it -- like the church spire
-- appears to be a triangle. Containing more than 300 tons of
concrete, stone and steel, the tower has no inward-supporting structures and
is truly one of the most unique of Wright's designs. We were grateful
for the opportunity to tour and photograph the building.