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You’re in the Wright Place!

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First Christian Church (1972)

First Christian Church exterior

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.

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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.

An Inspiring Tower

Spire of First Christian ChurchBuilt 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.

Location

6750 N 7th Ave., Phoenix, AZ

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Tours

There are no scheduled tours available. However, if you contact the church office, someone may be able to show you around the interior of the building or consider attending a service to view the building in use as it was intended. You can view contact information and service times on their website.

First Christian Church website

Places to Stay in the Phoenix/Scottsdale Area

Resources, Links & Products

First Christian Church is a Real Frank Lloyd Wright,
Phoenix New Times, March 5, 2009 by Robert L. Pela

Sacred Spaces: Houses of Worship Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
(documentary) (Actor), Michael Miner (Director)

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About Me

Yvonne Carpenter-Ross

FLW Enthusiast & Webmaster

Architecture and home design have always fascinated me. As a young girl I enjoyed drawing floor plans, rearranging my parent’s furniture and playing with Lincoln Logs and Legos.  My passion has always been the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Since I have been old enough to drive a car, I have visited Frank Lloyd Wright homes in the Chicagoland area and attended the Wright Plus house walks. Now, as co-owners of Northern Sky Designs, my husband & I are able to combine our website design skills and FLW travels to bring you this website! Enjoy!

Yvonne Carpenter-Ross