Homesickness and Frank Lloyd Wright

I am sure that almost everyone has been homesick and one point or another. Perhaps when spending the night at a friend’s house or a relative’s house you were overcome with homesickness. I know when my cousin Kris stayed with me once she was really homesick. We loved spending time together and cherished our rare sleepovers. So she must have been conflicted to be homesick. When I went to camp for a week when I was 11 and again at 13 I was homesick. When I was away at college there were certainly times I was homesick.

When I toured Taliesin West, the tour guide was quick to remind us that it isn’t a museum. It is a living, breathing, ongoing school of architecture. The architecture program is year-round. They are in residence at Taliesin West in the Phoenix area from about October until May. Then they head to Taliesin in Wisconsin From late May until the end of September or early October. The students are from all over, and they live right there on the campus. Many of them are from the snowy parts of the country. Wright knew they would be homesick. He, of course, thought of the tiniest details. In the photo below, you will see two beams/cantilevers protruding under the roof on the right. Hanging from those 2 red beams are two long red shapes that look like long stretched-out triangles. Guess why those are there?

When it was snowy and cold in the north, Frank would have the students come outside and face the pool and building that housed the studios. He’d point out the two shapes—and say they were the Taliesin West icicles. Now isn’t that a wondrously thoughtful way to help the students? I really liked it. (My Art History prof would have said “Now isn’t that charming?”

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
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16 Responses to Homesickness and Frank Lloyd Wright

  1. Judy says:

    wow. We didn’t hear that on our tour! I love that! Great story~thanks for sharing with this FLW fan! 😉 BTW I love your intro about homesickness too…. Excellent piece!

    • Kate Kresse says:

      Thanks, Judy—I would imagine each docent passes on various information. Our guide was very into the history behind the details of the architecture, and stories of Wright’s personal life.

  2. I would have enjoyed this tour! What great details you’ve shared, and I think I previously thought that an architect of his stature might have been a bit more arrogant than to have kindly considered a fun detail for the students. I am impressed! Debra

    • Kate Kresse says:

      According to our guide he was more than a bit arrogant—yet also artist, forward thinking, and wanted his students to have a full experience….his work was always focused on being one with nature.

  3. Love living vicariously through your stories and shared events. Also am an absolute fan of Frank Lloyd Wright.
    Go Figure. : )

  4. He designed much of the campus of Florida Southern College were I went 1967-71. A funny matter is that he was a short person and he designed things for people of his statue and many people had to duck when walking the covered walkways because they were too low. (oofs)

  5. Louise says:

    I love Frank Lloyd Wright. Years ago I was able to visit a few of his homes in the Midwest. He was truly amazing.

    Thanks for sharing my friend!


  6. Tilly Bud says:

    Sounds like a good tour.

    I don’t get homesick, as such. Apart from when I lived in South Africa and we had a rare grey, wet day and I would miss Britain. Now I’m back in the UK, I feel homesick for South Africa on every grey wet day in Britain – so, every day, because we never see the sun 🙂

    • Kate Kresse says:

      The tour was wonderful. With homesickness, yeh—i find myself missing various places i have lived. … I have been to London, but no other parts of the UK—and never to South Africa…from what you describe of your experiences, both places sound like lovely places to live.

  7. What an amazing way to inspire the students or anyone for that matter. Water, sun and a view that stirs the heart keeps the imagination and artistic talent flowing. Homesickness is a sad, heavy, lonely feeling. The first time me and my wife left our country and ventured to a city in California. We both would cry at night for almost a week. There’s no words to describe the longings. I can relate to what this students feel and it helps a lot when you are around people who treat you like family….Than you.

  8. Homesick.
    For Missouri’s rolling hills and pastoral scenes, yes, for several year. Then I found the Lord and have ever since been homesick for Heaven.

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