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Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona (1937)

Taliesin West exterior

By 1932, Frank Lloyd Wright was not only growing tired of the harsh Wisconsin winters ( I can only imagine; a call to our friends back in Illinois had confirmed the 15-18 inches of snow that had fallen and the four-foot drifts in our driveway while we visited Taliesin West), he was also going broke.

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The trip to Phoenix in 1927 to consult on the Biltmore Hotel must have piqued the imagination of the Master Architect; he was fated to return to the desert to found the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture. Originally known as the Taliesin Fellowship, the little “camp” of architects would grow into Taliesin West on the six hundred acres Wright purchased around 1937 at the foothills of the McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale.

A Home in the Desert

It is difficult to imagine Scottsdale in the late 1930s, when the population was barely 2700, especially today when it is more than a quarter million and still growing. (He likely paid little more than the $2.50 per acre that it cost U.S. Army Chaplain, Winfield Scott — who the city is named after — back in the early 1880s.)

Steps at Taliesin West

Entering the “estate” however, imagination is easier; the desert surrounding Taliesin West swallows it whole. It is not until one is on the “doorstep” to the place, that one can see anything at all of the buildings. They so perfectly blend in with the desert.

In Wright’s own words, Taliesin West would be “a look over the rim of the world“, serving as an architectural laboratory for him for the next 20 years.

On July 7, 2019, UNESCO announced the addition of Taliesin West along with seven other Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings to the United Nations’ list of the world’s most significant cultural and natural sites. View the complete list.

Ceiling detail of Taliesin West

Tour Taliesin West

There are a number of different ways to experience your time at Taliesin West. Browse the various tours and book online at franklloydwright.org

Location of Taliesin West

Places to Stay in Phoenix/Scottsdale

Resources, Links & Products

Browse these resources for more information about this FLW Building, it’s history and information about the region.

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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