Frank Lloyd Wright called the Florida Southern campus “Child of the Sun”, and designed what he said was one of the first true American campuses, more specifically, one for the orange grove country of Florida. Located in Lakeland, the campus has the highest concentration of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in one location in the world.
Of the eighteen structures he designed, twelve were built and still stand on the campus, and are all part of a larger masterplan that Wright created. All of the structures are linked with sun-blocking esplanades that shade the sun as students walk between buildings.
The other characteristic that binds the masterplan is the custom patterned concrete blocks that Wright first introduced in his California “textile-block” Usonian houses. Every building uses the horizontal shaped blocks, all made on site using Florida sand.
The College has begun fundraising efforts to start renovations on all the Frank Lloyd Wright structures, as many of them are in disrepair and have been unsympathetically renovated and repurposed over the years. One of the first efforts was to construct a Unsonian house that Wright designed, many of which were originally intended to circle the perimeter of the campus. The craftsmanship on this Usonian, following the original plans, showcases the detailing and the feel of the house as it would have been as a new home back in the 1920’s. The house was just completed in late 2013.